Volleyball vs. West Virginia

Junior setter Sara Nielsen celebrates after winning a point against West Virginia. Kansas defeated West Virginia 3-2 Thursday, Oct. 10.

Kansas volleyball is struggling as it approaches the end of the season. One key matchup in its last seven games will be Wednesday at home against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

In the last matchup between these conference foes, the Red Raiders were able to hold off the Jayhawks 3-2 in a point-for-point fight. Kansas had the game through the first three sets, before the team took its foot off the gas pedal and got dominated 13-25 in the fourth. The Jayhawks then lost their momentum in the fifth, losing 11-15.

This matchup Wednesday between the Big 12 opponents will be a fun one to watch, as both teams managed to match each other in their first contest. In terms of errors, an area that has hindered the Jayhawks this season, Kansas actually was able to beat Texas Tech 30-27.

In terms of hitting percentage, another concerning stat category for Kansas, the Jayhawks were close to equaling the Red Raiders but ended up losing the fight, with a percentage of .160 compared to Texas Tech's .216.

Coming off of back-to-back sweep losses, Kansas is hoping to bounce back and snag a win before the season ends. One game the team has its eyes on is this matchup against Texas Tech. Key players all to look forward to include sophomore outside hitter Camryn Ennis, senior middle blocker Zoe Hill and redshirt senior outside hitter Ashley Smith.

Hill and Ennis were the Jayhawks' leaders their last game against the Oklahoma Sooners. Hill finished with eight kills, and Ennis trailed right behind her with seven. Both hope to have repeat performances in their upcoming game, as they have been near unstoppable in recent games.

Smith, however, is looking for a comeback game against the Red Raiders. She only managed to tally five kills against Oklahoma, compared to her 10 in the last game against Texas Tech. She seems to have the Red Raiders’ number and will hope to bounce back after the team’s last game.

Kansas is definitely able to keep this game competitive and show it can still fight, even though the season may be winding down. Texas Tech may be entering this game thinking the Jayhawks will be an easy addition to the team's 14-win record.

However, Texas Tech is coming off three straight losses to now-No. 1 Texas, No. 3 Baylor, and unranked Oklahoma. The Red Raiders have been struggling as of late, committing 22 errors in their last game against Texas.

If Kansas is able to play at the Texas Tech’s pace, play clean volleyball, attack the net and improve its percentage, then this rematch favors the Jayhawks. The Jayhawks need to improve their .076 hitting percentage they recorded against Oklahoma if they want to steal a game against Texas Tech. Having already played a strong, competitive match against the Red Raiders, the Jayhawks should have no problem winning their game Wednesday.

The game is slated for 6:30 p.m. in Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.