No. 4 Kansas Tested On The Road, Takes Down West Virginia In Five

  0 Carly DeMarque | November 17th, 2016 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Press

  • No. 4 Kansas def. West Virginia 3-2, (25-18, 18-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-8)
  • Kansas improves to 24-2, 13-1 Big 12, West Virginia falls to 12-16, 3-11 Big 12
  • Hosted by West Virginia

Kansas was pushed into a five set match, which extended their winning streak to 12.

The No. 4 Jayhawks were led by Madison Rigdon with 15 kills, while Jada Burse posted 11. Setter Ainise Havali recorded a double-double on the night with 38 assists and 17 digs. From the back court Cassie Wait picked up 21 digs.

West Virginia had four players in double digit kills, led by Payton Caffrey with 19 and 16 digs for a double-double. Followed by Natania Levak with 13, Morgan Montgomery with 12 and Mia Swanegan added 11. Picking up a match-high 23 digs was Gianna Gotterba.

Press Release

Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Fourth-ranked Kansas volleyball was pushed to five sets on the road at West Virginia on Wednesday night inside WVU Coliseum and managed to extend its winning streak to 12 by finishing with a strong fifth set (25-18, 18-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-8).

The Jayhawks (24-2, 13-1 Big 12) rallied around the absence of junior All-American Kelsie Payne, who exited the match in the second set with a minor injury. Freshman Zoe Hill and redshirt freshman Ashley Smith helped fill the gap, while junior Madison Rigdon led the Jayhawks with 15 kills, adding nine digs and six blocks, and freshman Jada Burse had 11 kills and four blocks.

Senior middle blocker Tayler Soucie continued her hot streak of late with seven kills and seven block-assists – reaching six or more blocks for the fourth-straight match. Senior libero Cassie Wait held KU’s back row intact with 21 digs while serving up a match-high two service aces.

Junior All-American setter Ainise Havili recorded her 12th double-double of the season with 38 assists and 17 digs.

“It was a grind. You never know when things are not going to go your way,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “We had some key performances tonight. Zoe (Hill) came in and gave us a huge boost off the bench. Ashley (Smith) came in and was competitive – blocked well. But in the end, once again, Tayler (Soucie) got us off to a really good start in the fifth set.”

Kansas took a 2-1 lead in the match with impressive first- and third-set victories. The Jayhawks featured a 16-for-19 side-out rate against WVU’s serve and a .333 hitting percentage on the way to a 25-18 win in the opening set. Burse recorded four of her 11 kills in the third set, while junior defensive specialist Tori Miller came off the bench to dig up seven attacks to lead Kansas to another 25-18 win in the third set

After lackluster team performances in the second and fourth sets, where the Jayhawks had a combined .057 hitting percentage, the senior leadership of Soucie kicked in. The Osawatomie, Kansas native finished her last road trip to Morgantown with two kills and two blocks in the fifth set as Kansas improved to 6-0 in five-set matches this season.

The Jayhawks ran away with the fifth set, 15-8, by registering nine kills on a .500 hitting percentage with the help of three kills from Hill.

West Virginia (12-16, 3-11), which celebrated its Senior Night on Wednesday, finished with four Mountaineers in double-figure kills, led by freshman Payton Caffrey’s 19 kills and 16 digs. Kansas improves to 12-0 all-time in the series against West Virginia.

“I told the team, ‘there is nothing to hang our head about.’ West Virginia has taken a lot of teams to four or five sets in this building,” Bechard said. “We absolutely had to earn it tonight because West Virginia played one of their better matches of the season, I thought.”

Kansas now stands one win away from clinching at least a share of its first-ever Big 12 Conference title.

Tayler Soucie passed Amanda Reves (1996-99, 514) for second on KU’s career blocks list with 518.

Kansas returns to Lawrence for Senior Day against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. Central.

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Press Release

Courtesy of West Virginia Athletics

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Four Mountaineers finished with double-digit kills as the West Virginia University volleyball team dropped a hard-fought, five-set match to No. 4-ranked Kansas by a score of 3-2 at the WVU Coliseum on Wednesday. The Mountaineers (12-16, 3-11) fell to the league-leading Jayhawks (24-2, 13-1) in set scores of 18-25, 25-18, 18-25, 25-20 and 15-8.
Prior to the match, setter Haley Roe, defensive specialist MaTia Hughes and middle blocker Hannah Shreve were honored as part of the team’s annual Senior Night celebration.
Wednesday’s match marked the ninth time this season and the sixth time in Big 12 play that the Mountaineers have gone to a deciding set. WVU is 4-5 in five-set matches. It also marks the first time since 2014 that West Virginia has taken a pair of sets from a nationally ranked opponent.
“I think it was a good effort by us,” WVU coach Reed Sunahara said. “We did some nice things. Kansas is a good team. For us, it’s something we can build on. The future is bright.”
Payton Caffrey recorded her 12th double-double of the season with a team-best 19 kills and 16 digs, also adding a pair of blocks. Natania Levak netted 13 kills while Morgan Montgomery hit a team-high .346 with 12 kills. West Virginia finished the night hitting .172 with 61 kills and seven team blocks.
Mia Swanegan was the fourth player in double figures with 11 kills and led the Mountaineers with five team blocks. Shreve hit .273 with five kills and a block.
Erin Slinde registered her second double-double of the season, dishing out 55 assists and adding 10 digs in addition to a trio of blocks. Gianna Gotterba led the floor defense with 23 digs, while Gabrielle Cuckovich had six.
Caffrey, Swanegan and Montgomery each finished with a service ace.
Hitting .333 in the frame, the Jayhawks took an 11-6 advantage in the first on back-to-back WVU attacking errors. The teams traded points throughout the set as the advantage remained with Kansas. The Jayhawks used consecutive kills to take the set, 25-18.
Behind 16 kills from four players, the Mountaineers hit .419 to take the second set. An early 5-0 run pushed WVU ahead 5-1 on a Caffrey kill. Levak added a pair of kills and teamed with Caffrey on a block to make it a 14-6 Mountaineer advantage. A KU serve hit the net before Caffrey and Swanegan each found the court, giving West Virginia a 23-16 lead. The two scored again to close the set with a 25-18 win to tie the match 1-1.
The momentum swung back to the Jayhawks in the third set. Kansas capitalized on several Mountaineer miscues, taking an 8-4 lead. Three straight kills pushed the advantage to 17-10 before a late 4-0 run put KU on top 23-15. The Mountaineers extended the set with a pair of kills, but the Jayhawks claimed the 25-18 win for a 2-1 lead.
Trailing 5-3 early in the fourth, West Virginia rattled off four in a row for a 10-8 lead. From there, the Mountaineers never look back. A block from Caffrey and Slinde pushed the WVU advantage to five at 17-12 before a late 3-0 run brought the Jayhawks within three, down 22-19. A kill from Montgomery brought up set point before a KU attack went long to force a fifth set as WVU earned the 25-20 win.
Hitting .500 in the set, Kansas struck early for a 3-0 lead that forced WVU into a timeout. Kills from Caffrey and Montgomery got the Mountaineers back on track, but the Jayhawks took four in a row for a 12-5 lead. Kansas scored two of the final three points to claim the 15-8 triumph and win the match, 3-2.
Madison Rigdon had a team-high 15 kills for the Jayhawks, who hit .201 with 51 kills and 16 team blocks.
West Virginia heads to Texas next week to close out the regular season. The Mountaineers travel to Fort Worth on Wednesday, Nov. 23, for an 8 p.m. ET match at TCU. They will then trek to Austin on Saturday, Nov. 26, for a 2 p.m. tilt with No. 7 Texas.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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