Kansas volleyball began the Jayhawk Classic with a bang Thursday night, defeating Kansas City 3-1.
Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena welcomed back Christi Posey, a Kansas alumna, softball standout and Jayhawk volleyball assistant. Posey now serves as the Roos’ head coach.
Kansas City took the momentum from the start and broke out to a 19-14 advantage. Seven attack errors ultimately cost the Jayhawks the first set, falling 25-22.
“After the first set, we can’t get to a slow first contact,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “[Our] serving wasn’t very aggressive and [our] passing was very substandard. We’re going to see a similar team [Missouri State] tomorrow that will create the same type of issues for us and we need to take care of that.”
Roos’ sophomore outside hitter Odyssey Warren led both teams in kills with six after the first set and a hitting percentage of .333.
In the second set, Kansas found ways to make minor adjustments which forced the Roos to find different ways to score. And thanks in part to outside hitters freshman Caroline Bien and super-senior Jenny Mosser, the Jayhawks dominated in the kills category -- helping KU to a 25-18 win in set two.
Kansas’ front row brought the heat into the third set, starting with seven kills against the Roos. KU forced Kansas City into a timeout leading 17-12, which could be attributed to their lack of back row defense.
Mosser sent the ball right down the line to give KU one final chance in closing out the set. Then, Roos’ senior right side Melanie Brecka committed a hitting error that gave the win to Kansas, 25-21.
Back and forth action initiated the fourth and eventual final set as Mosser and Kansas took victory single handedly. Multiple kills from Bien and freshman outside hitter London Davis brought the Jayhawks to a 19-15 lead over the Roos.
After an attack error by Kansas City’s junior outside hitter Raina Smith, Kansas took the fourth set 25-18 and the match, 3-1.
“When we take care of that first contact, I think we see a Jayhawk team that can compete at a very high level,” Bechard said.
Kansas continues the Jayhawk Classic Friday as they host Missouri State at 7 p.m.