Courtesy: Kansas Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 10 Kansas Volleyball swept Texas Tech, 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-20), on Wednesday night at United Supermarkets Arena to reach a program-record 16th consecutive victory.
With an undefeated record through 16 matches, Kansas (16-0, 4-0 Big 12) continues its best start to a season in program history and sets a program record for longest overall winning streak. The previous best start was 10-0 in 2001 and the previous longest winning streak was 15 matches in 1991.
“I’m proud of this team, but we know it is early October and there are a lot of matches to play still,” KU head coach Ray Bechard said. “This team has high expectations and high goals for this season, and we know that there will be many upcoming opportunities to take our game to another level.”
Sophomore right-side hitter Kelsie Payne led Kansas on Wednesday with 17 kills on a .483 hitting percentage – topping her career high in kills for a three-set match. Sophomore setter Ainise Havili posted 41 assists to quarterback KU’s offense to 50 team kills on a .371 hitting percentage. KU middle blockers Tayler Soucie (6k-0e-16a) and Janae Hall (8k-0e-17a) did not record an attacking error on the night.
Texas Tech (12-6, 1-3) jumped out to leads of 7-3 in the first set and 5-1 in the third set, but the Jayhawks kept to their strengths of a high-octane offense and an aggressive service game to prevail with their fourth road win of the season. KU ended the match holding the Lady Raiders to a .149 hitting percentage – the 15th of 16 opponents to hit under .200.
“What impressed me the most about tonight was that we showed confidence in what we are trying to do when things weren’t working out as planned — as it did in the start of the first and third sets,” Bechard said after the match.
In a dominant 25-14 second-set victory, KU converted a perfect 14 of 14 side-out rate – not allowing Texas Tech to score consecutive points. It is the first 100-percent side-out clip in a set during Bechard’s 18-year tenure at Kansas. The Jayhawks also held the Lady Raiders to a .053 hitting percentage in the second set.
The 10th-ranked Jayhawks return home to face Iowa State on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT. Saturday’s match begins a month-long run of facing Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma, and No. 2 Texas twice over the next eight matches.
At 16-0, Kansas continues its best start in program history and sets a program record for longest overall winning streak. The previous best start was 10-0 in 2001 and the previous longest winning streak was 15 matches in 1991.
12 of KU’s 16 victories have been sweeps (three sets), including Wednesday’s victory over Texas Tech. The Jayhawks have yet to play a five-set match this season. KU’s set record improves to 48-4.
Kansas leads the all-time series with Texas Tech, 24-16. The Jayhawks have won the last 10 matches against the Lady Raiders.
Kansas is one of three undefeated teams in NCAA Division I (USC, Arizona State).
KU posted a perfect 14 of 14 side-out rate in the second set – not allowing Texas Tech to score consecutive points. It is the first 100-percent side-out clip in a set during head coach Ray Bechard’s 18-year tenure at Kansas.
Wednesday marked KU’s first match as a top-10 team in the AVCA Coaches Poll (No. 10).
With 16 digs on Wednesday, junior libero Cassie Wait now has 1,050 career digs and moves into 8th-place on KU’s career digs list, passing Emily Brown (2004-07; 1,037) and Cyndee Kanabel (1990-93; 1,045).
Head coach Ray Bechard won his 310th match at Kansas (310-226; .578).