- Kansas defeats Texas Tech 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-20)
- Kansas improves to 19-2
- Texas Tech falls to 10-14
LUBBOCK, Texas – Kansas volleyball extended its winning streak to seven matches with a straight-set victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday night at United Supermarkets Arena, 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-20).
Junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon led the sixth-ranked Jayhawks with 17 kills and three aces, while junior All-American right-side hitter Kelsie Paynenotched her sixth double-double of the season with 16 kills and 10 digs.
The Jayhawks continued to roll-out the most stout defense in the Big 12, holding Texas Tech to a .064 hitting percentage. KU now has a league-best .134 opponent hitting percentage on the season.
“We played very well defensively and that set the tone for the match,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “We took some of (Texas Tech’s) energy just by how hard we were playing defensively – we wouldn’t let them get a ball on the floor. That can get frustrating for an opponent.”
Senior libero Cassie Wait was the ring leader for KU’s defense with a match-high 23 digs. It is the third time during Big 12 play that the Senior CLASS Award candidate has reached 20 digs in a three-set match. Middle blockers Kayla Cheadle and Tayler Soucie recorded eight blocks each, contributing to KU’s nine team blocks.
Junior All-American setter Ainise Havili helped guide KU’s offense to a .343 hitting percentage – the highest during Big 12 play and second-highest overall for KU this season.
Texas Tech (10-14, 0-9) remains winless in Big 12 play after starting the regular-season with a 10-2 record. Lauren Douglass paced the Red Raiders with 10 kills on the night.
Both teams brought solid back-court defense early in the first set to a 6-6 tie. A block involving Rigdon and Cheadle, followed by back-to-back kills by Payne gave Kansas a three-point separation, 9-6. Despite four service error hiccups by the Jayhawks, Kansas allowed just one Red Raider kill during a 14-5 run which brought KU’s lead to 20-11.
The last time Kansas faced Texas Tech, Rigdon registered six aces in the first set. She channeled some of that energy with a first-set ace on Wednesday night to give Kansas a 23-14 lead. Payne clinched the 25-15 first-set win with a kill. The Jayhawks registered 18 kills on a .415 hitting percentage in the first set, while holding Tech to a .057 clip.
Kansas denied Texas Tech of any sustained momentum in the second set with a 16-for-17 side-out rate (94 percent), which began as Payne terminated a Texas Tech overpass for a kill on the first point of the set. The Jayhawks went on to win the second set, 25-16.
Texas Tech started the third set with a 4-1 lead and maintained its lead until Kansas took control with a 5-0 run, which included three-straight Red Raider attacking errors and a solo block by Soucie. Rigdon scored her third ace of the match to give Kansas a 22-15 advantage in the tail end of the set. Redshirt freshman Ashley Smith subbed in during the waning moments of the set and recorded her lone kill of the night on match point to clinch the victory for the Jayhawks.
Wait finished her stellar defensive night with 10 of her 23 digs in the third set alone.
Kansas extends its overall winning streak to seven matches, which also includes five-straight sweeps.
Kansas leads the all-time series against Texas Tech, 27-16. The Jayhawks have won the last 13 meetings against the Red Raiders, including six-straight in Lubbock. This marks the sixth-straight season Kansas has swept the regular-season series over Texas Tech; KU has swept nine of the last 10 regular-season series with Tech.
KANSAS IS …
7-0 during the month of October … 17-0 when winning the first set … One win away from its 20th victory of the season; it would be KU’s fifth-straight 20-win season … 122-29 since the 2012 season … 49-5 since the 2015 season … 10-2 in Big 12 road matches since 2015.
The fourth-straight top-10 matchup between Big 12 leaders Kansas and Texas will take place in front of a sold-out Horejsi Family Athletics Center crowd on Saturday night in Lawrence. The second-ranked Longhorns and sixth-ranked Jayhawks will play for the upper hand in the Big 12 title race, as KU enters the weekend with an 8-1 league record and Texas with a 9-0 record atop the Big 12 standings.
“We are trying to go 2-0 this week,” Bechard said. “Saturday is a big match because it’s a team that in front of us in the Big 12 standings, but we will approach it the same way we have approached each match this season.”
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 6 Kansas outhit the Red Raiders .343 to .064 as Texas Tech volleyball wrapped up a two-game home stand against a pair of top 10 teams with an 0-3 loss to the Jayhawks Wednesday night at United Supermarkets Arena.
While the Red Raiders (10-14, 0-9) played Kansas close through the early stages of each set, the Jayhawk attack proved too much in the end as Kansas (19-2, 8-1) took a 25-15, 25-16, 25-20 victory.
“Kansas is an elite team, and they played like it,” head coach Tony Graystonesaid. “I was more than happy with what we did tonight. We looked so much better than the first time we played them. Knowing what we did the last time we played them and the things we are trying to work on, I thought tonight was a win for us. We were extending points, we were fighting hard, rallies were good and we were making them earn their points.”
Jayhawks Madison Rigdon and Kelsie Payne led all attackers with 17 and 16, respectively. Texas Tech’s defense, however, steadily improved throughout the night holding Kansas to a clip of .415 in the first set, .344 in the second and .257 in the third.
Texas Tech stayed even in the first set at 6-6 before Kansas put together a 14-5 run to pull ahead 20-11. The Jayhawks connected on 18 kills in the frame to just one error, while limiting Tech to eight kills.
Tech’s offense showed life in the second, starting off with a .300 clip as the team trailed just 12-10. The Red Raiders were unable to capture the momentum as Kansas posted a 94% sideout percentage (16-17) and held Tech to .059 hitting in the frame en route to the set.
In the third set, Texas Tech outdug the Jayhwaks, 17-16 behind 12 digs from sophomore libero Reyn Akiu. Kansas hit just .257 in the frame, its lowest output against Texas Tech this season, but put up a strong defensive effort itself with five blocks in the set to pull out the win.
Senior Lauren Douglass and sophomore Sarah Redding led the Tech attack with 10 and nine kills, respectively. Douglass’s 10 kills mark her 14th double-digit performance of the season, while Redding posted her nine slams on just 16 attacks with three errors for a season-high .375 clip.
Akiu led all defenders with 25 digs, while senior setter Marguerite Grubb tallied 27 assists.
After a two-game home stand, Texas Tech hits the road to take on West Virginia Saturday, Oct. 29, in Morgantown at 2:30 p.m.