Kansas volleyball traveled to Orlando, Florida, to compete in the UCF Challenge. The Jayhawks opened the weekend with a win over Albany on Friday before losing to South Carolina and UCF.
After a back-and-forth first set where neither team led by more than three points, Kansas picked up the set 27-25 over the Gamecocks.
Freshman blocker Gracie Van Driel, senior blocker Zoe Hill and senior hitter Ashley Smith all picked up four kills in the set.
The Jayhawks jumped out to an early 6-1 lead in the second set, before eventually falling 27-25. South Carolina took the last two sets 25-18 and 25-13.
Although Kansas stayed offensively competitive throughout the match, the defense routinely committed numerous service errors and the offense struggled to convert. Kansas attacked the net more than the Gamecocks, yet only achieved a .124 hitting percentage.
Although the offense was the silver lining against South Carolina, the same could not be said against UCF. Even though the team hitting percentage improved to .134, the Jayhawks converted on just 27 of their 97 attacks.
The Knights dominated the first set, leading the whole way and winning 25-15.
Smith and Van Driel failed to translate their success against South Carolina to Sunday. Van Driel converted just one kill in the match as Smith put up one dig after collecting 11 the day before.
Kansas came back to lead most of the second set, before UCF went on a 15-6 run to close it out and take a two set lead.
The third set saw the Jayhawks jump out to another early lead. As the set progressed, it started to look much like the first, highlighted by the six errors committed compared to just nine kills.
UCF picked up three aces and nearly doubled the amount of attacks from the Jayhawks with 51. The Knights also had three players above 10 kills and 20 attacks.
Kansas will return home this weekend to host the Kansas Invitational at the newly renovated Horejsi Family Arena. The tournament kicks off with a matchup against Morehead State, followed by matchups versus Arizona and Syracuse.
The home opener versus Morehead State is set for Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.