Kansas Volleyball started off the season strong with yesterday’s 3-1 win over North Carolina State in Raleigh, NC. Today, they had two games scheduled: a morning match against Missouri State and the nightcap against NC State once again. Just like last year, we’ll be recapping multiple games thanks to our friends over at the KU Volleyball twitter feed (@KUVolleyball)
In the morning game, Kansas faced a Missouri State squad that was picked to win the Missouri Valley conference this year.
The match was back and forth until about halfway through the first set, then Kansas went on a big run to take control.
#KUvball on a 4-0 run after 10 ties early in the first. Alexander leads with three kills.— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 26, 2017
S1 | 15-11
The defense really clamped down as the Jayhawks built a large lead.
#KUvball holding MSU to a .075 hitting clip. Payne/Havili/Nelson all have 5+ digs— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 26, 2017
S1 | 22-15
Missouri State went on a bit of a run to get close, but Kansas was able to finish out the first set.
The second set again stayed close early, but the Kansas defense led the way.
#KUvball has 8 blocks already, led by Zoe Hill's 3 block-assists— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 26, 2017
S2 | 15-13
Kelsie Payne continued to show why she is one of the bigger stars in college volleyball right now, with a fantastic performance to help close out the second set.
Kansas got down big in the third set, trailing by as many as six points. The Jayhawks refused to go quietly though, pulling within two points late in the third set. The defense continued to be a story despite the Jayhawks dropping the third set.
Set three goes to Missouri State, 25-21. #KUvball leads the match, 2-1. KU is out-blocking MSU, 14-5.— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 26, 2017
Once again, the set was extremely close throughout, with the team defense refusing to break and keeping the Jayhawks moving forward.
Kelsie Payne is up to 19 kills and #KUvball has 18 team blocks, including eight block-assists from Zoe Hill— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 26, 2017
S4 | 15-13
The defense helped finish off the match, as Kansas went on a late run to grab the final set of the match.
The win was rather impressive, especially on the defensive end, but the offense seemed unable to dominate as we saw them do last year in stretches. I know it’s early in the season, but seeing the offense struggle had me really worried at times against a solid but clearly lesser team in Missouri State.
But enough of that match, let’s move on to the North Carolina State rematch.
Zoe Hill was one of the defensive stars of the first match of the day, and it earned her a start in the nightcap. The first set was back and forth, with multiple ties. Kansas led at the media timeout, and Hill continued her dominant defensive performance.
Zoe's block party today is off the hook! She has two so far in the first set... total of 10 today.— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 26, 2017
S1 | 19-17
NC State took a late lead, getting to set point, but Kansas fought back valiantly, tying it late. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough as NC State took the first set.
The Jayhawks jumped out to an early lead with an efficient attack.
#KUvball jumps out to a 7-2 lead in the 2nd set, forcing an NC State timeout. So far, KU as 5 attacks -- 4 have been kills.— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 26, 2017
And it just wasn’t the attack that got going in the second set. The defense continued to be stellar for the Jayhawks as they built a large lead late in the set.
Payne and Rigdon both have 9 kills tonight. #KUvball out-blocking NC State, 6-2.— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 27, 2017
S2 | 19-13
NC State wasn’t able to put a run together, and Kansas tied up the match.
This second set did a lot to assuage the concerns I had with that first match. The offense really got going against a quality opponent without compromising the deadly defense.
NC State showed that they weren’t going to lie down, playing Kansas closely in the third set. But once again, Kelsie Payne dominated in the third set.
Kelsie Payne has 13 kills on a .458 hitting clip #PayneTrain— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 27, 2017
S3 | 15-12
NC State was able to overcome the Kansas lineup and take the third set, setting themselves up for a win against a Top 10 team.
With their undefeated record on the line, Kansas came out with a vengeance in the fourth set.
Taylor Alexander terminates an overpass to give #KUvball a 6-3 lead early in the 4th— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 27, 2017
Hill continued her phenomenal performance in the 4th set, with 9 kills and 4 blocks as KU went up 15-10 in set 4. Once again, the Jayhawks built a large lead and cruised to a set win.
#KUvball wins the 4th set, 25-17. We're playin' five here in Raleigh!— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 27, 2017
Going into the 5th set, we got a reminder of just how dominant Ainise Havili has been in this early season.
In 3 matches this season, Ainise Havili has 3 double-doubles. She enters the 5th set with 54 assists and 10 digs #KUvball— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 27, 2017
And Kansas was still sparked by their 2-1 set deficit, coming out strong with the momentum they built late in the 4th set. The defense clamped down early.
Block from Alexander and Rigdon gives #KUvball a 4-1 lead in the 5th— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 27, 2017
NC State called a timeout as Kansas went up 6-2 in the final set, but it didn’t seem to make a difference.
Jacqui Mostrom subs in to serve and makes a huge dig to setup a kill by Rigdon!— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 27, 2017
S5 | 9-5
Kansas went on a huge run at the end of the 5th, including a powerful serve by Tori Miller.
TORI MILLER ACE!!! 14-7— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) August 27, 2017
NC State got one point back facing 8 Kansas match points, but this final point sealed the win.
Kansas moves to 3-0 on the season with the win against NC State. They are in action next at 8 PM on Thursday, August 31st in Orem, Utah at the Wolverine Invitational. They will play 3 matches over 3 days, also facing Long Beach State on Friday at 3PM and Montana on Saturday at 10:30AM.