The Jayhawks traveled to Morgantown, West Virginia, Saturday to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in their final match of the season. The Mountaineers completed a comeback, winning the match 3-2.
The first set for the Jayhawks was everything they could have asked for, coming off a 3-2 comeback win off of Iowa State this past Wednesday. The team came into Saturday’s game firing on all cylinders — totaling 12 kills and only committing two errors through the entire set.
As for the Mountaineers, the story was the complete opposite. Though totaling 17 kills in their 20 total points, they managed to commit eight attack errors in the set, as well as two service errors, proving costly in the final score. The Jayhawks managed to capitalize off a strong hitting performance off West Virginia’s errors as they went on to take the first set 25-20.
The second set proved much of the same for West Virginia. The team simply couldn’t get over its turnover woes and kept giving Kansas free points. The Mountaineers finished with 12 attack errors as well as another two service errors, all proving to be the difference in the end. While the Jayhawks didn’t have as much success hitting the ball in the second set, their hitting percentage and turnover count was just low enough to keep them in the set.
They finished with a .114 hitting percentage compared to .286 in the first set and also managed to commit six errors and four service errors in the set. Because of West Virginia’s -.079 hitting percentage, Kansas was able to hold on and steal the second set 25-19.
The third set was a tale of who could play the set out the longest. The box score was roughly the same for both sides, as both sides recorded five attack errors, and the Mountaineers finished with just one more kill than the Jayhawks with 17.
It all came down to who hit better in the end, as West Virginia finished with a .293 percentage, and Kansas finished with .262. West Virginia stole the third set with a score of 25-22 as the team looked to make the match interesting.
The fourth set was much of the same as the third. With a .256 hitting percentage for Kansas and a .298 hitting percentage for West Virginia, the Mountaineers were able to get a fighting chance in the fifth set, as they won the fourth set 25-22 once again.
The fifth and final set was a showcase of West Virginia’s resiliency. While down 2-0, the Mountaineers had managed to win back-to-back sets 25-22. Kansas struggled to find the rhythm in the final set. Committing five errors with one service error, the Jayhawks fell to the Mountaineers 15-8 as West Virginia managed to complete the comeback 3-2.
Kansas' record falls to 9-17 to finish the 2019 campaign. The team will look to improve on its hitting at the net and keeping the ball in play and committing fewer turnovers, as these problems have been key to the team’s under .500 record.