Riding the wave of its first victory in conference play, Kansas volleyball was quickly brought back down to earth Wednesday when it paid a visit to Lubbock, Texas, to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas Tech defeated the Jayhawks 3-2 to push the Jayhawks’ record to 5-10 on the season.
The Red Raiders jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first set, but Kansas kept it close, tying it back at 3-3. However, Texas Tech quickly turned the table and eventually found itself in an 11-5 lead.
Getting out to quick starts is something coach Ray Bechard said he would like to see out of the Jayhawks, and that is what he got when they turned the table and scored 13 of the next 16 points to take an 18-14 lead midway through the set.
The momentum held by Kansas was then halted after a couple of kills from the Red Raiders. The Jayhawks found themselves tied at 20-20, but then Texas Tech closed out the set, winning 25-22.
The next set was quite similar. The Red Raiders jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but then the momentum swung in favor of Kansas. This time, however, the Jayhawks refused to let Texas Tech find any momentum to regain the lead, and Kansas closed out the set, winning 25-16.
Kansas jumped out to a 13-6 lead in set three, but then a battle back from the Red Raiders began. The Jayhawks led the majority of the way, but Texas Tech continued to keep itself relevant in the set.
Eventually, the scored was tied at 20, but then once one side scored, the opposite side responded. Kansas managed to once again finish off strong, however, and won the set 27-25.
Set four was where the tide turned, as the Red Raiders raced out to an 11-1 lead. At that point, Kansas had little fight left, and the closest it ever got was nine.
Texas Tech eventually won the set 25-13 and carried that momentum into set five, getting out to a 3-1 lead. The Red Raiders were able to take that lead and move it to a 7-3 lead, but Kansas was not done yet.
The Jayhawks continued to fight, tying it at seven. The two teams continued to go back and forth with each other, but the Red Raiders consistently held a comfortable two-point lead.
Texas Tech was able to hold that comfortable lead until the end and closed it out 15-11 to defeat the Jayhawks.
Despite the loss, Kansas had some bright spots, having four different players record 10 or more kills. The Jayhawks also had fewer errors than Texas Tech.
Junior setter Sara Nielsen did a little bit of everything, finishing with two kills, two aces, four blocks and 39 assists.
Kansas will return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, when the TCU Horned Frogs come to Lawrence.