Kansas volleyball began its quest for a Big 12 title with a pretty convincing win over the Oklahoma Sooners Wednesday night in Lawrence.
In a nationally televised match on ESPNU, the Jayhawks swept the Sooners in straight sets, 25-17, 25-13, 29-27.
KU got out to an early 10-6 lead in the first set, held the Sooners at arm’s length, and then put OU away late. The second set was all KU all the time, as the Jayhawks jumped out to a 9-3 lead and cruised to an easy set victory.
The third set is when it got more interesting. Kansas won the first three points but OU fought back, and the rest of the match was neck-and-neck all the way. Oklahoma got the first chance at set point at 24-23 but a kill by Tayler Soucie tied it back up. Oklahoma had two shots at set point, but Kansas finally converted it’s third set point to take the match at 3-0.
Kansas looked dominant for the first two sets. OU made a game of it in the third set, but that is to be expected in Big 12 play. What’s even more encouraging is that the Jayhawks won the way they did with arguably their best player, Kelsie Payne, having an off night. The 2015 first team All-American collected 9 kills and 2 aces but was also credited with 8 attack errors and two service errors. She also had a couple of mishit balls that found their way over the net.
But that’s the great thing about this Kansas team. If one player is having an off night, others will step up. Tonight it was Tayler Soucie and Jada Burse.
It was also good to see Kansas display some of that killer instinct that we saw so often from last year. When the Jayhawks got up on OU in the first two sets, they put them away and didn’t allow even the thought of a comeback.
The first matchup with Big 12 bully Texas comes up this Saturday evening from Austin. The contest begins at 7 PM and will be televised on the Longhorn Network.