Kansas was on a short turnaround from last night, but considering they made short work of Utah Valley, I wouldn’t have thought that Kansas would show any ill effects. The Jayhawks got off to a slow start against Long Beach State, but ultimately found their groove and pulled out the victory. As usual, our recap is greatly aided by the efforts of the KU Volleyball Twitter account (@KUVolleyball).
Starters vs. Long Beach State:— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
L Allie pic.twitter.com/DVr8RMkLMJ
Kansas couldn’t seem to get anything going on offense, with early errors by Madison Rigdon, Zoe Hill, Ainise Havili and Kelsie Payne pushed LBSU out to an early 9-1 lead. At that point, the errors finally stopped, but the defense couldn’t do much to allow the offense to come all the way back.
Long Beach takes the first set, 25-17 #KUvball— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
Trying to get back on track, the Jayhawk offense couldn’t seem to stop the misfires. This time, Long Beach State made a few of their own, and couldn’t finish off enough points to build a large lead. All 7 of KU’s errors in the set happened in the first half, with the last coming during a 4-1 run to bring Kansas to within one point.
Jayhawks on a 4-1 run and pull within one on a Rigdon/Alexander block— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
S2 | 12-13
From there, the defense picked up, with Kansas getting multiple blocks to flip the score. Kansas scored 8 of the last 9 points in the set.
Kansas wins the second set over Long Beach, 25-19, led by five team blocks and six kills from Madison Rigdon #KUvball— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
Kelsie Payne came into the 3rd set on fire, and Kansas rode her offensive prowess to a big lead
Since an 18-18 tie in the second set, Kelsie Payne has SEVEN kills— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
S3 | 7-2
The entire team took off from there, as the lead never shrank below 4 for the rest of the set, and Madison Rigdon had 2 service aces in a 3 point span.
Burse has four of KU's last five kills, including a set-point kill to give the Jayhawks a 25-14 third-set win!#KUvball leads the match 2-1— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
Kansas hit a lull after scoring the first point of the 4th set, dropping 5 straight points and 6 of 7. A quick run of 5 kills (all assisted by Ainise Havili), 2 by Payne and 3 by Rigdon, gave Kansas back the lead.
Madison Rigdon has her third double-double of the season with 12 kills and 11 digs #KUvball— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
S4 | 6-6
The teams traded points back and forth, with Payne and Rigdon taking control of the attack and Ainise Havili facilitating most of the action for the Jayhawks.
Kelsie Payne reached 20 kills for the third time this season, currently with 20 vs. Long Beach— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
S4 | 19-19 #KUvball
With score tied at 22 in the 4th set, a Jada Burse kill gave Kansas the lead and a Long Beach State attacking error gave the Jayhawks a 2 match points. LBSU was able to survive the first, but Madison Rigdon sealed the win.
KANSAS WINS!!! Madison Rigdon seals KU's 5-0 start with a kill on match point! #KUvball #RockChalk pic.twitter.com/NJCgfaxdzW— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) September 1, 2017
There were some serious concerns to come out of this match, with Kansas having trouble finding any consistency on the offensive end. The defense was not its usual consistent self either, and that caused many long stretches of seemingly poor play. But that was balanced out by short bursts of explosiveness, and those flashes make it easy to see why Kansas is still a Top 10 squad. It’s still early in the season, and there is plenty of time to iron out the issues they are seeing now.
Kansas finishes up at the Wolverine Invitational tomorrow with a match against Montana at 10:30am. TV coverage can be had on FloVolleyball, or you can listen online or select local Jayhawk Radio affiliates.