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#7 Kansas Volleyball mauls #13 Kentucky Wildcats: A Twitter Recap

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The Jayhawks sweep the Wildcats in their 2017 home debut.

KU Volleyball Final Four Omaha
KU Volleyball Final Four Omaha

It was a much-hyped Top 15 matchup, as #9 Kansas was scheduled to face off against #13 Kentucky in the first home match for the Jayhawks. Right after the first set, the new poll was released, and Kansas moved up.

This match ended with a Kansas sweep, but it never felt like that was a forgone conclusion, with Kentucky playing well and keeping it close in each set until the end.

Once again, a big thanks to our friends over at the Kansas Volleyball Twitter account (@KUVolleyball) for the highlights.

First Set:

Madison Rigdon appeared to be the only who came to play early, as she was the only one avoiding making errors early in the first set.

Kansas got down as much by 8-4 before the rest of the team woke up and started to contribute to a comeback. The teams traded points, with Kansas getting the occasional extra point to get closer to even.

Kansas finally put together a mini-run, getting 3 straight points from a 17-all tie.

They eventually pushed the lead to 24-20, and Kansas needed all 4 of those set points to finish out the set.

Ultimately, the attacking from Madison Rigdon, Kelsie Payne and Kayla Cheadle is what pushed the set in the Jayhawk’s favor.

Second Set:

Once again Kansas started out slow, with Kentucky jumping out to a 7-3 lead. This time, the Jayhawks didn’t waste any time coming back.

The Jayhawk offense came alive, keeping the Wildcats at arms length.

With a lead that large, Kansas was able to trade points with Kentucky to them in position to take the second set.

Kansas once again had 4 set points, but this time they only needed the first to close out the set.

Third Set:

The third set started pretty evenly, with Ainise Havili continuing her stellar play.

Kansas finally started to put some space between them and the Wildcats, as Payne and Rigdon continued to assert their will on the match.

A big run by the Jayhawks pushed the lead out to 6 and forced Kentucky to call a timeout.

Down 22-15, Kentucky tried to make a final push, but they were only able to get back within 3, at 23-20, before Kansas finished it out with straight kills by Kelsie Payne and Madison Rigdon.

Getting a sweep in this matchup is pretty impressive, regardless of the fact that the match was at home and how close each set was. But since I didn’t actually get to watch the match, I’ll let our very own Mike Plank describe what he saw in today’s action.

Rigdon had a great game. Havili played at an All-American level. She had a joust to win set 1. She is so good at those, she wins almost every one. Payne seemed to be quiet all night, but if you look at the box score you see how productive she was. Nelson (sophomore Libero) was impressive, having maybe her best game of 2017.

Once KU figured out Kentucky’s attack and began to get blocks late in the first set then the Jayhawks just rolled. The best part is KU can still play better. They had their fair share of mental mistakes - missed serves, bad passes, miscommunication - and they still rolled a Top 15 squad.

Oh, and David Beaty was in attendance.

That really only leaves one thing to say: #VolleyballSchool