Volleyball Drops Four-Setter at No. 15 Kansas

by Meghan Kalenborn

LAWRENCE, Kan.- The UCF volleyball team was defeated in their final regular season game against the Kansas Jayhawks in four sets (25-21, 25-21, 25-22, 28-26 ) on Saturday afternoon at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena in Lawrence, Kansas.

The Jayhawks (23-5, 14-4) won the statistical battle against UCF (17-11, 8-9) with a .310 attacking percentage, seven service aces and 11 blocks. The Knights put up 67 kills and Emily Wilson led the team with 18 kills and recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 15 digs. Joining Wilson in double digits were Lauren Clark (17) and Britt Carlson with a career-high 12 kills. 

Set one started out back-and-forth for the Black and Gold. Until Kansas took the first two-point lead of the set, 10-8, forcing UCF to take its first timeout of the match. The Knights ended up scoring seven of the next 11 points coming out of the timeout with three straight kills, including two consecutive from Emily Wilson, taking a 16-14 lead. A 4-0 run put the Jayhawks up two, 18-16 following a Kansas timeout. Another three straight kills including two from Clark helped UCF regain a 21-20 lead. The Jayhawks went on to score four out of the next five points, including two straight kills to take the first set, 25-21.

Another back-and-forth matchup ensued to begin the second set between the Knights and Jayhawks. Two more kills from Wilson gave UCF a three-point edge to make the score 13-10. Kansas rallied yet again, to even the score up 14-14. The Knights took the lead again, 16-15 aided by another Clark kill. UCF would continue the momentum throughout the rest of the set to win by a score of 25-21.

The Black and Gold took the momentum into the third set taking an 11-6 lead on Kansas. Following a timeout by the Jayhawks, UCF continued to steadily dominate the set and led by three for the majority of the way. Kansas started making its comeback, coming within one of the Black and Gold, 21-20. The Jayhawks quickly picked up momentum following a UCF timeout, ending the set on a 5-0 run, capped by three straight kills to win 25-22. 

Trying to turn things around in the fourth set, Kansas and UCF continued to trade points. The Knights then took an 11-8 lead following a service ace by Chloe Scheer. But, nonetheless Kansas rallied behind a 5-2 run to tie the set back up, 13-13. After UCF took a timeout, the set continued in a back-and-forth manner once again. The Jayhawks took a 19-17 lead following an attacking error which the Knights then responded, knotting up the contest, 20-20. Kansas went up by two following two straight kills, to bring them within one, 24-22. The Black and Gold continued to power through to even the set back up at 25-25 aided by a kill from Abby Hansen, then went up by one to take a 26-25 lead. The Jayhawks responded by going on a 3-0 run to end the set, 28-26. 

The Knights end their inaugural Big 12 regular season with a 17-11 record, going 8-9 in conference play.