- No. 8 Kansas (14-5, 2-1 Big 12) defeats Baylor (13-2, 2-1 Big 12) in four (22-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-23)
The Jayhawks improved to 6-0 at home this season with the win over Baylor. Madison Rigdon led Kansas with a double-double on 20 kills and 13 digs. Kelsie Payne was close behind with 17 kills and five blocks. Middle blocker Tayler Soucie added nine kills and six blocks.
For Baylor Camryn Freiberg recorded a career-best 14 kills on a .542 hitting percentage. Tara Wulf picked up 13 digs
Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Eighth-ranked Kansas ended Baylor’s 10-match winning streak with a four-set victory (22-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-23) on Saturday afternoon at Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The Jayhawks improve to 6-0 at home this season.
Junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon shined once again with her second-straight 20-kill, double-double match, finishing with 20 kills and 13 digs. Senior middle blocker Tayler Soucie and junior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne combined for 11 blocks as Kansas’ unflinching defense proved yet again to be a hard obstacle to overcome.
After Baylor started the match with a .457 hitting percentage in the first set, Kansas (13-2, 2-1 Big 12) slowed down the Bears’ offense to a combined .106 hitting clip in the last three sets.
“We thought we needed perimeter defense than physicality at the net because of the opponent we were playing,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “That helped us turn the corner a little bit. We just needed to get in the mindset of making plays in the back row after their attacks cleared our block.”
Despite the marked improvement after the first set, Kansas had to dig out of a 6-3 deficit in the second set. A timeout called by Kansas head coach Ray Bechard proved to be the turning point in the match, as the Jayhawks returned to the court on fire. Kansas rattled off a 6-1 run, punctuated by an ace from Rigdon to grab a 12-11 lead, KU’s first lead since the leading 1-0 in the first set. A kill by freshman middle blocker Zoe Hill that left the ball spinning on top of the net for a few moments clinched set point for Kansas. Rigdon brought the match to a 1-1 draw with an emphatic kill, one of her team-leading 20 kills on the day.
Kansas’ momentum bled into the third set, with the Jayhawks jumping to a 10-2 lead. KU’s defense stifled Baylor, holding the team to a .000 attack percentage. Senior libero Cassie Wait and junior setter Ainise Havili combined for 11 digs in the third set to fortify the defense. Kansas’ lead reached double-digits on a kill from Soucie that kissed the far corner just in front of the boundary line. A block by Soucie and Payne capped off a dominant 25-15 set win by the Jayhawks.
The fourth set did not come as easily for Kansas on the way to a close 25-23 match-clinching win over Baylor which included 11 ties. The teams traded two- and three-point runs but it was Kansas’ closing 3-0 run and a Soucie kill that sealed the match. Rigdon’s impact was felt on defense in this set, leading the team with five digs. Her efforts were buoyed by Payne’s efficient seven kills on 13 attempts.
“The Bears are for real,” Bechard said after the match. “Of all the teams we played this season, Baylor plays more for each other and plays as hard as anybody. They are legit. They beat (No. 17) Washington State a couple weeks ago at home. Baylor will be an NCAA tournament team — I don’t think there is a question.”
Kansas returns to action on Wednesday at Iowa State. The 6:30 p.m. Central first-serve from Ames will be televised nationally on FOX Sports Network.
Courtesy of Baylor Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Baylor volleyball (14-5, 2-1 Big 12) had its 10-match winning streak snapped on the road by the No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks (13-2, 2-1 Big 12), 25-22, 19-25, 13-25, 23-25, Saturday afternoon at the Horejsi Center.
Baylor benefitted from several Bears posting season and career highs in the match, but BU couldn’t fight off the explosive KU offense in front of a packed home arena.
In the first set, the two sides trades points through most of the set, with BU carrying an 86% sideout percentage in the frame. With a narrow 22-21 lead, the Bears closed the set on a 3-1 run, with kills from Morgan Reed and Katie Staiger, and a block from Nicole Thomas, Ashley Fritcher, and Katie Staiger.
The Bears took a 17-16 lead in the second frame, seemingly poised to build a lead in the business half of the set. At 17-17, a challenge on a Baylor kill reversed the point, forcing a replay that would swing the advantage back to KU.
BU was unable to recover, allowing a 9-2 run from the Jayhawks, tying the match at 1-1.
In the third, the Jayhawks pounded away at the Baylor defense, outhitting the Bears .222 to .000 to take the 2-1 match lead.
In the fourth, the Bears clawed out to a 14-8 lead, looking to tie the match and force the fifth.
The Jayhawks used a 9-3 run to tie the set back at 17-17. The two squads traded points late into the set, with BU clinging to a 23-22 advantage.
KU forced an attack error and logged two kills, closing the set and match on a 3-0 run to seal off the Bears’ upset hopes in four sets.
• Camryn Freiberg had the most effective attacking effort of her BU career, notching a career-high 14 kills with a .542 attacking mark.
• Nicole Thomas dropped in a career-high six kills on just 10 swings, good for a .400 hitting rate for BU.
• Tara Wulf recorded 13 digs, a season-high for the freshman defensive specialist.
STAT OF THE DAY
.457 – the attack percentage for the Bears in the first set, the match-high mark for either squad.
QUOTE OF THE MATCH
“I thought the sets we were competing, we were holding or own offensively. We didn’t do a good enough job limiting them and slowing the attack. Kansas did a good job of staying in system and attacking the way they wanted. We would slow their attack at times, but not enough.” – Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre
Baylor returns home to the Ferrell Center for a midweek match with TCU on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Ferrell Center, televised nationally on ESPNU.
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