Before the season even began, the Kansas volleyball team knew the upcoming season was going to be special. They dubbed it "unprecedented."
And they were right. Record after record was broken throughout the season.
Getting coach Ray Bechard to 300 wins as a Jayhawk? Check.
Best start in program history? Check.
Highest ranking in program history? Check.
And with the win over Texas Tech (25-19, 25-9, 25-23) to close out the regular season on Saturday, No. 9 Kansas etched in another school record at 26-2 — the best regular season in program history.
"Today was pretty uneven," Bechard said. "It looked like a typical senior day, a lot going on. And you're trying different combinations and peoples' minds drift a little bit. I thought we played as well as we had all year in the middle of the second set."
It was only fitting that, on senior day, senior outside hitter Tiana Dockery led the Jayhawks in kills with 15. Sophomore right side hitter Kelsie Payne also posted 15 to Kansas' effort. Sophomore setter Ainise Havili ended the day with 40 assists and junior libero Cassie Wait racked up 23 digs.
The Red Raiders (14-16, 3-13) came out swinging and held steady with the Jayhawks well into the the first set, leading 16-14.
Kansas charged back with back to back kills from Dockery and Payne and a Texas Tech attack error. Kansas went on an 11-3 run to close out the set.
The Jayhawks were feeling it as they came back on the floor dancing to Silento's "Watch Me" before the second set. The energy carried over to what was one of the longest rallies of the of the match.
Texas Tech took an early lead in the second frame, dominating Kansas 1-4 early. The Jayhawks had a run of their own, pulling the set even at five apiece. Kansas took its first lead of the set three points later at 8-7 and flourished the rest of the way on a 17-2 run.
The third set was off to a hotter start for the Jayhawks, even though they didn't take home the first point.
Senior outside hitter Ashlyn Driskill floated an ace serve at 4-3 to give Kansas the first lead of the set; her first ace since the nonconference season. The Red Raiders hung around for the entire third set, even coming back within one point at 20-19 after being down 18-10 earlier in the set. Despite the late run by the Red Raiders, Kansas proved to be too powerful down the stretch and Texas Tech went home empty handed.
With the regular season now over, Selection Sunday comes next. The selections will be released for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
"We're going to see some really good teams," Bechard said. "We have the opportunity to host here. Horejsi is good but you still have to play and beat teams, high level teams, that will come in here. We just want to go 2-0 next week and advance."