- #9 Kansas def. Utah Valley 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-23)
- Kansas moves to 4-0; Utah Valley falls to 1-4
- Wolverine Invitational, Orem, Utah
- Box Score
In the opening match of the Wolverine Invitational, #9 Kansas defeated host Utah Valley in straight sets behind an impressive 18-kill performance from senior opposite Kelsie Payne.
Hitting at a .516 clip for the evening, Payne’s 10th kill moved her into 10th place on the Jayhawks’ all-time kills list. Senior outside Madison Rigdon also reached double digits in kills with 11, while senior setter Ainise Havili recorded 39 assists.
For Utah Valley, senior outside Lexi Thompson led all Wolverine scorers with 12 kills and 13.5 points. The home team also out-blocked the Jayhawks 10.5 to 5, with senior setter Sierra Starley leading the way with five.
The first set stayed close with Kansas holding a slight edge until Utah Valley took the lead at 14-13 on a kill by Thompson, who would finish the set with an impressive five kills and .833 hitting percentage. Kansas, however, pulled away late to take the set on a kill by Payne.
Payne remained unstoppable in the second, tallying her 13th kill on set point to give the Jayhawks a 25-19 win. In the third, Utah Valley led 10-6 on a Thompson ace, but Kansas caught them and reached set point at 24-21 before a kill by Thompson and an ace by Starley got the Wolverines within one. After a Kansas timeout, Havili recorded a kill to end the match.
Both teams continue play in the Wolverine Invitational with Friday and Saturday matches against Long Beach State and Montana.
Courtesy: Utah Valley Athletics
UVU drops Wolverine Invitational opener to No. 9 Kansas
OREM, Utah—The Utah Valley University volleyball team opened play at the Wolverine Invitational with a 3-0 setback to the ninth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday evening at Lockhart Arena (20-25, 19-25, 23-25).
With the loss, Utah Valley falls to 1-4 overall on the season, while Kansas improves to a perfect 4-0 with the win.
“We had our chances there at the end, but they (Kansas) showed a little more experience when it comes to those out-of-system plays. Despite that, we’re very encouraged,” head UVU coach Sam Atoa said. “I like that we were right there at the end of that third set. We’ll definitely learn and get better from tonight’s match.”
The Big 12 Jawhawks took an early 8-3 lead in the opening set and then extended the lead to a 12-6 advantage on a kill by Madison Rigdon. Utah Valley battled back with five unanswered points to cut the KU lead to just one point, 12-11. The two teams then went back-and-forth before a Lexi Thompson kill tied the game up at 17-17. Kansas then responded with a 4-0 run to take a 21-17 lead. KU held on to the lead to take the first set by a score of 25-20.
A UVU kill by Thompson cut the KU lead to just a two-point 8-6 advantage in set number two. The Jayhawks then used an 8-1 run to extend their lead to nine points, 16-7. UVU then scored six of the next nine points to cut into the lead, 19-13. The two teams then scored six points apiece the rest of the way as the Jayhawks claimed a 25-19 win in set two.
Utah Valley and Kansas played to a 4-4 tie to open the third set. The Wolverines then scored four unanswered points capped off by a Thompson kill to take an 8-4 lead. KU fought back to tie the game at 11-11 after a UVU service error. The two teams continued play to a 14-14 tie before Kansas used a 5-1 run to jump out to a 19-15 lead. UVU battled back to get to within just one point, 22-21, after a block by Jasmine Niutupuivaha and Sierra Starley. The Jayhawks then scored three of the next five points to wrap up the set with a 25-23 win.
Thompson led the Wolverines with12 kills. She registered a .346 hitting percentage and tallied one assist and a block. Kristen Allred also posted double digits in kills with 10, while Madison Dennison added with seven. Starley led UVU with 28 assists on the night and Seren Merrill fronted the team from the back row with 10 digs.
Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Kelsie Payne led KU with a match-high 18 kills. The senior tallied an impressive .516 hitting percentage as she had only two errors on 31 attacks. Reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week Ainise Havili recorded a double-double with 39 assists and 12 digs.
Utah Valley will continue play at the Wolverine Invitational on Friday, Sept. 1 as the team hosts Montana. Opening serve is set for 5 p.m. (MT). UVU will then close the home tournament on Saturday at noon against Long Beach State.
Courtesy: Kansas Athletics
No. 9 Kansas sweeps Utah Valley for 4-0 start
RALEIGH, N.C. – Ninth-ranked Kansas volleyball opened the Wolverine Invitational with a straight-set win over host Utah Valley on Thursday night at Lockhart Arena (25-20, 25-19, 25-23). The Jayhawks improve to 4-0 on the season behind a fourth-straight double-double from setter Ainise Havili and 18 kills from right-side hitter Kelsie Payne.