In the season opener, Kansas volleyball played in a nerve-racking match against the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos in Kansas City, Missouri. UMKC fought all throughout, trying to seek its second victory all-time against the Jayhawks but the Kansas effort was too much as the Jayhawks won three sets to two.
Kansas was trailing 2-1 one heading into the fourth set. The Jayhawks continued to struggle in the early portion of the first three sets, but the fourth was where Kansas finally got the momentum it needed.
The Jayhawks consistently held a lead in the fourth set and seemed to master their serving, racking up aces throughout the set, including three in a row at one point.
Kansas took the fourth set and tied up the game heading into set five, but the final set did not start the way the Jayhawks had hoped it would.
The two squads started the set back-and-forth but then the Kangaroos began to pull away, taking a 9-6 lead. However, the Jayhawks began to string off some clutch plays, especially from senior middle blocker Zoe Hill.
Hill had an enormous kill late in the set, giving the Jayhawks a 13-11 lead and shifted all the energy towards Kansas.
In fact, the kill was so important that one almost knew the Jayhawks were going to walk away victorious by how energized the players became.
Kansas won the set 15-12 and vaulted itself 1-0 on the season.
The game started off slow for the Jayhawks, struggling throughout the first set and never finding any sort of energy or momentum. The Kangaroos took the first set 25-13 in a dominant fashion and seemed to have all the power in the game.
Once again struggling in the early section of the set, Kansas finally found the momentum it needed and started to go back-and-forth with Kansas City. The back-and-forth efforts continued, but it was the service errors which continued to hold back the Kangaroos.
All in all, Kansas City had 15 service errors to the Jayhawks’ four.
The Jayhawks took set number two in a close effort, winning 25-23.
The third set was similar to the first, with Kansas struggling early and the Kangaroos taking advantage. Kansas City took all the momentum and put the Jayhawks at a disadvantage heading into the fourth set.
Kansas City took the third set 25-18 and had the momentum in the match, at least until the Jayhawks found their spark in the fourth set.
Kansas now sits at 1-0 on the season, thanks in part to huge plays from Hill, sophomore middle blocker Rachel Langs and senior libero Allie Nelson.
The Jayhawks’ next game will be at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska when Kansas takes on the Omaha Mavericks. The matchup will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3.