Sophomore right side hitter Kelsie Payne registered 13 kills, sophomore setter Ainise Havili added 34 assists and the No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Furman Paladins in three sets (25-14, 25-21, 25-17) to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament to face the Missouri Tigers.
Set 1: Kansas wins 25-14
At the first timeout of the first set, the score remained close at 15-10. But that was slightly misleading, as half of Furman's points came off of Kansas service errors.
The Jayhawks only allowed the Paladins to post a .037 attack percentage, the lowest they've allowed in a single set all season.
A kill from Payne retired the side.
Set 2: Kansas wins 25-21
Furman came out firing on all cylinders to start the second set and quickly hopped out to a 7-3 lead.
Senior outside hitter Tiana Dockery slammed down one of the hardest kills of the season to give Kansas some momentum. Kills from Payne and junior middle blocker Janae Hall helped the Jayhawks storm back to tie it up at 13 apiece.
After a timeout, Furman took back the lead after a miscommunication on the back row had Dockery and senior defensive specialist Anna Church run into each other.
A short time later, Kansas gained the lead for the first time in the set after sophomore outside hitter Madison Rigdon threw down the kill. But it didn't last long. Furman battled back to take the lead at 19-18.
Furman was the first to 20, but Kansas wasn't far behind, as the Jayhawks hit 20 on the next play.
Sophomore defensive specialist Tori Miller came in to serve when Kansas was down 19-20, and almost everything went Kansas' way to close out the set. A kill from Payne put the exclamation point on Kansas' 2-0 lead.
Set 3: Kansas wins 25-17
Furman came out of the locker room jazzed and stole the first point. Early in set three, the Jayhawks and the Paladins were neck and neck.
Kansas and Furman traded points back and forth until the Jayhawks took a two-point lead off an attack error from Furman freshman outside hitter Jamila Johnson. And then Kansas went streaking and coasted to the finish.