Kansas volleyball cruised past the Kent State Golden Eagles Saturday in three close sets, but ultimately pulled through to win, 3-0.
Freshman outside hitter Caroline Bien executed a show-stopping 14 kills, thanks in part to her unmatched power at the net -- power that seemed to be impossible to stop all afternoon for Kent State’s back row.
“[She is] pretty fearless,” said Kansas head coach Ray Bechard. “She takes some pretty aggressive swings in some big moments. Right now she is playing free of mind and we hope she will continue to do that. She does a lot of other things for us as well. She was our best back row defender today,” Bechard said.
Bien tallied a .467 kill percentage, putting her right behind freshman right side London Davis who recorded a remarkable hitting percentage of .600. The Overland Park, Kansas native also had the second most total kills and digs of the team, with 69 kills and 75 digs this weekend respectively.
Not only did Bien pose as a strong suit at the net, but she also found her role in the back row with 18 digs for the Jayhawks.
After being on the road and finally back in Lawrence for the Jayhawk Invitational, Bien shared her thoughts on being a freshman and being in Horejsi for the first time.
“I love it,” Bien said. “It feels so at home even though I’ve grown up coming to games in the old Horejsi. The vibes and feelings are amazing.”
Bien continued with why these past three wins at home were huge for the team.
“It’s a big step in the right direction,” Bien added. “Especially after coming off of a few losses. It was awesome to get that done.”
Bechard was impressed with the leadership that Bien showed in Saturday's match.
“She led us in kills and digs and that’s a unique stat -- she served well too,” Bechard said. “Her and Mosser [Jenny], we are really fortunate to have those two that can do that [get digs] at a high level. We are excited about Caroline and what she’s doing, and what the future is for her.”
The Jayhawks are back in action next weekend as they welcome Kansas City, Missouri State and Albany for the Jayhawk Classic. Kansas plays Kansas City first on Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m.