Kansas volleyball went on the road to take on the toughest team left in its path, the No. 1 Texas Longhorns. The Jayhawks were able to grab a hard-fought first set against the top-ranked team in the nation even though Kansas’ hitting percentage was dismal.
Fueled by freshman outside hitter Morgan Christon’s 6-for-6 attacking performance in the first set, the Jayhawks took the first set 25-22 as the momentum seemed to be in their favor. After being down 3-8 to Texas early, the Jayhawks surged back to tie it up at 11 before Texas took its first timeout of the set. After tying it up, it was a point-for-point battle. Kansas was able to stick in there and finish off the set, taking just the fourth lost set for Texas at home this season.
Although Kansas was able to pull off a first set upset, the team’s hitting percentage was surely not the reason for this victory. The team finished with a .188 hitting percentage in the first, but that number was heightened by some late-set magic from Christon and redshirt senior outside hitter Ashley Smith, who finished with three kills in the first.
For players like Smith and sophomore outside hitter Camryn Ennis, hitting was not a highlight they wanted to remember from what was a valiant performance all around. Smith had a team-high 16 kills, but on 47 attempts, bringing her percentage down to a mere .149 percent. As for Ennis, she finished with six kills off 18 attempts, bringing her percentage down to .111 percent.
Even though the team’s overall hitting percentage was higher than its season average, finishing with a .189 percentage, some key players on the team did not enjoy the same success at the net as others did.
As for Texas, its hitting percentage was lower than its stellar .323 season-long percentage at the net. The team finished the match with a percentage of .274, which was able to beat out Kansas’ percentage, but was much the reason why the Longhorns lost the first set to the Jayhawks.
Senior outside hitter Micaya White finished the game with a team-high 16 kills for Texas, although off 45 attempts, bringing her percentage to .200.
Even with the Longhorns No. 1 ranking, the Jayhawks lived up to their “fighting Jayhawk” name and fought against the top team in the country.
With some very lackluster hitting percentages from both sides, the Longhorns were able to finish off the Jayhawks 3-1 at home. Catch Kansas at home in its next game against the Iowa State Cyclones this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.