In their second game of the Jayhawk Invitational on Friday, Kansas came up with a big win against the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Jayhawks were coming into this game after beating the College of Charleston earlier that day as the Sun Devils were coming off of their first loss of the season against Wyoming. Arizona State might have won the first set 25-20, but Kansas came back strong winning the next three sets to take the match, 25-19, 26-24, 25-23.
The biggest story of the night for the Jayhawks was defense. The Jayhawks tied another season-high with 16 blocks in the match which was led by senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree, who tied a Horejsi Family Athletics Center (HFAC) record with four solo blocks.
On top of her four solo blocks, Tolefree also recorded six block assists and earned her second block/kill double-double of her career. However, Tolefree was not the only Kansas player to join the “block party.” Redshirt junior Caroline Jarmoc and sophomore outside hitter Chelsea Albers also racked up six blocks apiece in the late Friday match. Kansas out blocked Arizona State 16-8.5.
Those were not the only Jayhawks to come up big defensively in this match. Junior libero Brianne Riley had an amazing night defensively with 23 digs in the match while junior Eric McNorton had 49 assists and 11 digs for her first career double-double.
The Arizona State Sun Devils were not an opponent to take to lightly. Before the Jayhawk Invitational, they had a record of 6-0 and where looking to stay undefeated. However, after losing their first two games to Wyoming and Kansas, the Sun Devils are now 6-2 on the season.
According to kuathletics.com, head coach Ray Bechard had this to say when asked about playing ASU and how it helps the Jayhawks moving forward:
“It’s helpful, I’m not sure how Texas did against Minnesota tonight, but anytime you have big-time conferences going against each other, it’s big for us. The Pac-12 is a big volleyball conference and the Big 12 is too. So you make some comparisons and the Jayhawks held up their end tonight.”
Texas defeated Minnesota on Friday to advance to 6-2 overall. The Jayhawks and the Longhorns will meet for the first time this season on October 12th at Texas.
Kansas will take on Wyoming at 6:30 p.m. (EST) on Saturday to end the Jayhawk Invitational.
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