WEST POINT, N.Y. – The No. 20 Kansas volleyball team extended their five-match winning streak after going 2-0 on the first day of the Black Knights Invitational on September 2 at the Gillis Field House. The Jayhawks defeated host Army 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-20).
“The Jayhawks had a good day,” stated head coach Ray Bechard. “We had two quality opponents. We had to find different ways to win. Sometimes our serve reception wasn’t up to standard, but we had some other people step up and do some good things and we are happy to get out of here with two good victories.”
Kansas took a big lead to start off the set. Super-senior Anezka Szabo put down a kill to force a timeout by Army 8-3. The Black Knights caught up 10-8, but the Jayhawks moved to 11-9 after a service error by Army. The score was tied at 15-15, but after a kill by super-senior Rachel Langs and an attack error by Army, the Jayhawks were back on top 17-15. The Black Knights attempted to close the gap, but KU kept pushing to take set one 25-21.
Army came out first in set two, but Szabo’s tipped kill tied up the set 1-1. Kills by sophomore Caroline Bien and Langs tied up the set at three before Army was able to take a one-point lead. Redshirt freshman Ayah Elnady came out swinging to take the lead 7-5. The Cairo, Egypt native helped KU to a three-point advantage, 9-6. It was back and forth between the Black Knights and Jayhawks. Army was able to tie up the set 23-23 before Kansas was victorious 25-23.
Bien kicked off set three with a kill to advance Kansas 3-1. Army made a comeback with back-to-back service aces to take the lead 9-5. Elnady collected a kill and a block assist with graduate transfer Lauren Dooley to reclaim the lead for Kansas 13-12. Sophomore London Davis entered the set and earned back-to-back kills for herself. Army tried to call a late timeout to find their groove, but the Jayhawks already took flight and were ahead 20-17. A few attack errors by the Black Knights and a kill by Elnady ended the third set 25-20.
- Redshirt freshman Ayah Elnady recorded 16 kills with zero errors, hitting .471.
- Sophomore Camryn Turner earned a double-double, 34 assists and 14 digs.
- Graduate transfer Lauren Dooley and Elnady had three block assists each.
“I think tonight Army was trying to take away from Lauren Dooley and Rachel Langs, so that is where their initial focus was,” said Bechard. “When came started finding Ayah Elnady, it was one of our better nights.”
No. 20 Kansas moves to a record of 5-0 (0-0 Big 12) while Army drops to 1-4 (0-0 Patriot League). KU will play their third and final match of the tournament on September 3 at 10:00 a.m. CT against UConn in the Gillis Field House.