Redshirt senior outside hitter Ashley Smith’s quality performance was not enough as Kansas volleyball lost to the No. 1 ranked Texas Longhorns Saturday in Austin, Texas. Smith finished the game with 16 kills against the Longhorns and had an additional block in the Jayhawks’ 3-1 loss to Texas.
Texas struggled in the beginning, committing nine errors in the first set. The struggling Longhorns gave Kansas the opportunity it needed to take an advantage.
The Longhorns jumped out to an 8-3 lead early on, but from there, Kansas took the advantage. The Jayhawks managed to score eight of the next 11 points to tie the set at 11.
The two teams continued to battle back and forth throughout the set, but Kansas held a comfortable lead. The Longhorns had a chance to find their way back into it, but an attack error ended the set, giving Kansas the 25-22 victory.
The second set was not so friendly to Kansas as the Longhorns cleaned up their game and dominated. Texas jumped out to an early lead, to which the Jayhawks once again came back, but from there, the domination began.
The Longhorns took over the remainder of the set and never looked down, finishing with a hitting percentage 11 percentage points better than their hitting percentage in the first set. Texas eventually won the second set 25-17, and the momentum held by Kansas seemingly ended.
Texas dominated all throughout the third set, ending it with its best hitting percentage of the contest of 37.5%. The Longhorns totaled 17 kills in the set, the most of any set in the match and had only two errors, the fewest of any set in the match.
Kansas put up a late fight in the set, but it was all but over by the time it had gained any momentum, and eventually the Longhorns took the set 25-18.
The fourth set was Kansas’ best opportunity to regain its momentum and potentially pull off a miraculous upset over the best team in the country on its home turf.
The two squads were going back and forth with each other throughout the beginning of the set. The score was tied at 12, but from there, Texas ran away. The Longhorns scored 13 of the next 19 points to take the set 25-18 and went on its way to the victory over Kansas.
Junior setter Sara Nielsen finished with 34 assists and 11 digs in the contest.
This is Kansas' second loss to Texas this season. In the first match against Texas this season, the Jayhawks did not win a single set, leading to the sweep in Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.
Kansas will play its final home game Wednesday, Nov. 27, when it hosts Iowa State on senior night.