No. 23 Kansas Pushes Through Set Two to Sweep Texas Tech
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc hammered three-straight kills to cap the Jayhawks’ 7-0 run to end the second set, preserving No. 23 Kansas’ sweep at Texas Tech Wednesday night inside the United Spirit Arena, 25-16, 25-23, 25-16.
After winning the opening set in convincing fashion, Kansas (15-4, 5-1) found itself trailing nearly all of set number two. Texas Tech (8-13, 1-5) built an 8-2 lead early in the frame, stretched it to 19-12 later and nearly put it away with a 23-18 lead in the final stretch.
Kansas wouldn’t have it.
Junior outside hitter Chelsea Albers kicked off the 7-0 rally, connecting on a kill before she and Jarmoc went up for a block to cut the TTU lead to three. Two-straight attack errors left the door open for Kansas, who ran through it on the heels of Jarmoc’s three-straight kills. Scoring the last seven points, Kansas stole set two, 25-23.
With the second set behind them, the Jayhawks rolled out to a 25-16 win in the third and final frame to seal the sweep.
“We celebrated that comeback during the break and how we played at the end of the game, but we also reflected on what got us in that position in the first place,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “We had a really slow start in that second set, but showed signs of being competitive in a situation where being tied at a game apiece would really have changed the outlook of the match. That comeback was key.”
Jarmoc finished the night with nine kills, while junior outside hitter Sara McClinton led the floor with 13 kills. She committed just one error to post a .462 attack percentage. Albers collected eight kills on the evening, but led the team with 12 kills – including eight in the final set. Freshman middle blocker Tayler Soucie connected on six kills with no errors to pace the offense with a .500 hitting efficiency. Senior setter Erin McNorton dished out 35 assists.
Defensively, Albers led the way with six blocks while Soucie and Jarmoc were right behind her with five apiece on an evening when the Jayhawks controlled the blocking advantage, 11.5-4.5. Senior libero Brianne Riley tallied 11 digs, her 45th-straight match with double-digit dig numbers.
On the opposite side, senior middle blocker Aubree Piper led the Red Raiders with 11 kills and no errors. The Jayhawks held her team to a .131 hitting percentage.
Four-straight points, capped by an ace from Riley, kick-started the Jayhawks in the opening set. After the Red Raiders came back to knot the score at 7-7, McClinton rattled off a 3-0 run of her own to force the first timeout of the match. With McClinton and Albers finding their groove, the Jayhawks didn’t need much time to pull away, upping the lead to 17-11.
Keeping their foot on the gas, McClinton bounced a shot off the Tech blockers for a kill and Soucie turned an overpass into another point. The two of them then joined Albers for a block, prompting another Tech timeout as Kansas took control, 21-14. Sophomore outside hitter Tiana Dockery’s first kill of the frame brought KU to set point and a Tech error handed Kansas the win, 25-16.
Kansas came out hitting an abysmal -.333 to start the second set, falling behind 8-2 before calling the first timeout. Ignoring the bad stretch, the Jayhawks went to work. Kills from McClinton, Soucie and Albers cut into the deficit. By the time McNorton and Soucie joined forces for a block, the Jayhawks found themselves behind by two, 11-9.
Tech had no interest in caving, however, and kept working to keep its distance. After climbing back in front, 14-9, redshirt senior outside hitter Catherine Carmichael made her first appearance of the night. Although she connected on a pair of heads-up kills to provide impact, KU’s attack errors began taking their toll. Trailing 19-12, Bechard called for KU’s second timeout. This stoppage had more of an effect, sparking a 5-2 KU run off of kills from Jarmoc, McClinton and Albers.
Despite the Red Raiders winning the race to 20 points, the Jayhawks kept coming. Facing a 20-15 deficit, McClinton and Albers drilled back-to-back kills to prompt a timeout from the home team with its lead now cut to 21-17. TTU came out to all but seal the set, leading 23-18. The 7-0 Kansas run commenced – ending the Red Raiders’ hope of extending the match.
Carmichael, who finished the night with six kills, made her mark early in the third set, coming up for a block assist, a solo block and a kill to push Kansas out to a 6-1 lead. As predicted, Tech pushed back, trimming KU’s lead to a single point, 9-8. While Albers contributed a pair of points to put KU back in front, 12-9, her defense was ultimately more important. The junior was a digging machine, recording eight in the final set.
With that, the Jayhawks had the momentum they needed to close it out. McClinton threw down her 11th kill of the night and Jarmoc recorded her first ace to take a 19-14 advantage. Tech called one last timeout following an Albers/Soucie block, but it had little effect. Carmichael, Soucie and Albers rapped out three-straight kills to seal the set – and the match – 25-16.
- Senior libero Brianne Riley's 11 digs moved her closer to sixth all-time on the Big 12 Conference's career digs list (1,835), chasing former Missouri standout Tatum Ailes (1,997; 2004-07).
- Riley now has double-digit digs in 45-consecutive matches.
- Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc’s 1,186 kills rank sixth all-time for career kills at Kansas. That number is second-most among current Big 12 players. She trails fellow senior Kaitlynn Pelger from Kansas State (1,376).
- Jarmoc's five total blocks pulled her closer to becoming KU's all-time blocks leader. Sitting at 505 career blocks, Jarmoc needs just 10 more to become the new Kansas leader (currently Amanda Reves with 514; 1996-99).
No. 23 Kansas stays on the road, travelling to West Virginia for a 5:30 p.m. CT meeting against the Mountaineers on Saturday, Oct. 19.