KU volleyball splits two matches at Texas Tech
photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World photo
The Kansas volleyball team bounced back from a fifth-set heartbreak Friday, flipping the script Saturday to earn a win over Texas Tech and boost its record to 10-2 on the season (1-1 Big 12 Conference).
The Jayhawks will be back at home next Friday for their first-ever home conference matchups against Houston.
The Jayhawks saw a seven-match winning streak come to an end in dramatic fashion, as Reagan Engler, Caitlin Dugan and Reese Rhodes strung together consecutive kills in the final game to earn Texas Tech a five-set victory (22-25, 14-25, 25-17, 25-21, 15-12) in Lubbock.
The Red Raiders hit just .026 to KU’s .367 in the second set as the Jayhawks took a commanding 2-0 lead, but 11 attack errors derailed their momentum in the third frame. Texas Tech scored the first seven points of the fourth and held off a series of rallies that KU back within two points, hanging on for the 25-21 win to force the fifth set.
The Jayhawks had eked out their first-set win with five straight points after falling behind 22-20, including three kills by Ayah Elnady. Elnady led KU with 14 on the night, closely followed by 13 from Reagan Cooper (on .444 hitting), 11 from London Davis and 10 from Toyosi Onabanjo as part of a well-balanced attack. Camryn Turner had 46 assists, her third-highest total on the year, and Raegan Burns and Caroline Bien each cleared 20 digs.
Dugan had a game-high 18 kills for the Red Raiders.
This time, KU did not relinquish the momentum after a 2-0 start, putting up its best set of the weekend Saturday afternoon to complete a sweep (26-24, 25-19, 25-14).
The Jayhawks got their biggest test from the Red Raiders in a back-and-forth opening frame that saw KU trail early, but won a key challenge late in the set to go up 20-19 and then closed it out in extra points on back-to-back Elnady kills.
The second set’s conclusion took on a different flavor, culminating in a block by Davis and Mykayla Myers. KU also benefited from a pair of late Texas Tech service errors.
A pair of 6-1 runs in Game 3 keyed the Jayhawks’ strong finish.