In the final match of the Kansas Invitational on Sept. 15, Kansas volleyball was unable to regroup and fell 3-0 at the hands of the Syracuse Orange.
The Jayhawks held the lead late in the first set. However, Syracuse quickly turned the tide and rallied off five straight points to claim the set.
This inability to consistently finish sets has been a recurring problem for Kansas this season. The Jayhawks have had many back-and-forth sets, but have held their lead for the most part. The lack of execution toward the end is the main problem that needs to be addressed.
The second set was similar to the first — a give-and-take between both squads. The set ended up going into extra points as neither team could manage to break away from the other.
In the end, Kansas struggled to close out, and the Orange won the set 31-29. Syracuse ended up taking a 2-0 lead over the Jayhawks.
Kansas was unable to find its footing during the third and final set. The Jayhawks lost their final set 25-12 with a hitting percentage of .000.
Hitting percentage has been another issue looming over the Jayhawks this season. This poor hitting percentage has been a cause for Kansas’ inability to close out during its sets.
Overall, the Jayhawks ended with a hitting percentage of .120, seven blocks and 28 digs. Leading Kansas was senior middle blocker Zoe Hill with eight kills.
As for Syracuse, two players, Marina Markova and Polina Shemanova, combined for 32 kills, one more than the entire Jayhawk roster. The Orange finished with a total of 42 kills, and Elena Karakasi finished with 34 assists, five more than all of Kansas combined.
Falling to 4-4 this season, the Jayhawks look to bounce back in the first match of the Rebel Challenge Friday, Sept. 20. Kansas will play Arizona State at 5:30 p.m. at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.