Kansas volleyball got to enjoy the home court advantage of Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena as it kicked off a three-match homestand with a matchup against the No. 4 Texas Longhorns. The Jayhawks, however, were swept 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-15) Saturday afternoon.
The first set brought up a key struggle for the young Jayhawks squad: errors. As the youth of Kansas continues to develop, the Jayhawks have times where they just don’t seem locked in.
Whenever Kansas seemed to gain momentum and get a couple points rallied off, a service error or untimely attack would give the Longhorns a free point, as the Jayhawks tried to break away.
The Jayhawks were outhitting the Longhorns and also beating them in total kills in the first set, but errors riddled Kansas and the team could not battle back from them. The Jayhawks finished the set with three service errors and nine attack errors, which ended up being the difference between the teams, as Texas won the first set 25-19.
However, the second set started exactly the way Kansas wanted after losing the first.
Kansas came out hungry after realizing it was its own worst enemy. The Jayhawks started with a 5-1 lead, but quickly started to lose control of the set — another problem the team has faced the entire season. The Jayhawks can’t seem to control their leads, as they get frazzled and start spiraling out of control from there.
Although the set was tight throughout, Texas clearly seemed to have the power and dominance over Kansas. Kansas tried to snag a set from a very powerful Texas team, but the Jayhawks could not come back after totaling 10 attack errors and a lowly hitting percentage of .054.
The Jayhawks lost the second set 25-18, and it was on the third set where they looked to keep the match interesting.
The third set was just the Longhorns showing why they are ranked No. 4 in the nation. For every attack Kansas threw at Texas, the Longhorns had an answer, blocking almost everything that came their way. Texas made Kansas look tired and sluggish in comparison to the Longhorns' explosive hitting and thunderous spikes.
The Jayhawks simply stood no match against Texas in the final set, as they ended on the wrong side of a sweep, dropping the third set 25-15.
It was a series of errors for the Jayhawks, and those errors really were the difference between winning and losing this match. Finishing with 25 errors, the Jayhawks simply could not get past these untimely miscues. Sloppy and untimely mistakes for Kansas — coupled with a .087 hitting percentage — won't get the job done against a top-five team.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Ashley Smith was a bright spot for the Jayhawks. Finishing with a team-high 10 kills and .227 hitting percentage, she was the driving force for Kansas throughout the contest, keeping the Jayhawks in the game for most of the first two sets.
Kansas will look to improve upon its current 3-4 home record in its next match against the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, Nov. 2 at 11 a.m.