LAWRENCE, Kan. - Junior Natalie Uhart and freshman Jenna Kaiser recorded career highs in kills, combining for 33, while freshman Melissa Manda added 24 digs as the Kansas volleyball team knocked off Colorado, 3-1, Wednesday evening at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
The Jayhawks earned the win by scores of 30-23, 30-26, 22-30 and 30-27 to improve to 10-8 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12. The Buffaloes fall to 5-11 and 0-8 in conference play.
Three different Jayhawks enjoyed career nights to help the team earn its third conference victory of the season, and second at home. Kaiser collected 19 kills, the most by a KU athlete this year, while Uhart's 14 kills and six block assists were also career highs. Sophomore Katie Martincich chipped in a season-high 34 assists to go along with 26 assists from senior Emily Brown.
"I am extremely excited with the win," said head Kansas coach Ray Bechard. "We didn't always play clean but we fought hard and never gave up."
In the first game, three different Jayhawks recorded four kills as Kansas pulled away in the latter stages. Colorado erased a five-point deficit to tie the game at 18, before KU scored 12 of the final 15 points to claim a 30-23 triumph. The Jayhawks recorded a season-high .548 hitting percentage in the opening contest.
KU made another late stand in the second game of the night as well. Junior Natalie Uhart recorded a kill, a block and two block assists in the final four points as Kansas scored the final six points for a 30-26 come-from-behind victory. Freshman Jenna Kaiser tallied six kills in the game, while Uhart chipped in five.
Game two was a wild affair as the lead changed hands seven different times with 11 ties.
Colorado came back in the third game, 30-22. The Buffaloes jumped out to a 6-1 lead early and never looked back. KU closed to within 11-10, but CU responded with a 5-1 run of its own. Kaiser and Uhart collected a pair of kills in the game, while Emily Brown chipped in four digs.
Kansas used another stirring rally in game four to close out the match. After trailing by as many as six at 21-15, the Jayhawks surged to the finish with a 15-6 run. KU took its first lead since the early stages of the game at 26-25 and scored five of the final six points. Kaiser led the team with seven kills in the game, while Uhart chipped in three block assists.
"We were finally able to make a strong run at the end of game four," said Bechard. "I feel like we played at our highest level all year tonight in game four. We played with a great competitive fire and spirit."
"It was great to bounce back with a win tonight," added Bechard.
As a team, KU recorded season-bests for a four-game match in kills (68), assists (64), digs (81) and blocks (18).
The Jayhawks will travel to Austin, Texas for a showdown with seventh-ranked Texas on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.