As Kansas volleyball travels to Waco, Texas, to take on the No. 1 Baylor Bears, the Jayhawks will be hoping to keep the match interesting with their recent play.
Although Kansas’ record is 1-1 in the last two matches, the team’s play has been much better in comparison to its season-long performance. In terms of both errors and hitting percentage — two areas that have plagued the team throughout this season — Kansas has been showing off its talent as of late.
In the Jayhawks' last home game against Texas Tech, they showed their conference foe that they could still play at a high level. With its tournament hopes essentially gone based on its record, Kansas got to prove the doubters wrong as the team bested the Red Raiders in a three-set sweep last Wednesday.
With their home court advantage, the Jayhawks had a spectacular night at the net, crushing the Red Raiders with a .344 hitting percentage thanks to freshman outside hitter Morgan Christon’s 11 kills, followed by senior middle blocker Zoe Hill’s 10 kills.
Hill had a night to remember, finishing with a .714 hitting percentage as every attack she threw at Texas Tech was ended in a kill. Christon added to the team’s stellar performance on its attacks, as she contributed with an impressive .269 percentage at the net.
Kansas was also able to play calm and collected, committing minimal turnovers and making Texas Tech work for every point. The Jayhawks ended the match with 11 errors at the net and only two service errors, keeping the ball in their hands and allowing them to capitalize off more touches and longer volleys.
In its last matchup against TCU Saturday, Kansas couldn’t seem to quite keep that momentum rolling. While Hill and Christon nearly matched their kill totals from the Texas Tech game, the team's hitting percentages went downhill. The team still outperformed its season average of a .171 hitting percentage with a .183 percentage against the Horned Frogs, but it was drastically lower than the previous match's .344 percentage.
Even in a heartbreaking loss on the road, the Jayhawks still showed they can improve on their season woes and grow as a team. With their young core of Christon and sophomore outside hitter Camryn Ennis, the Jayhawks are showing improvements in their play.
With its hitting percentage slowly rising and errors dwindling, Kansas is going to give No. 1 Baylor all it has Wednesday.
However, the Bears are coming in hot. Their only loss is a sweep at the hands of the No. 2 Texas Longhorns. While the Jayhawks are coming in as a massive underdog on the road against the top-ranked team in the country, they will be looking to ride their upward momentum into Waco after falling victim to a 3-0 sweep in their previous match with the Bears.
Kansas will try to upset Baylor Wednesday at 7 p.m.