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No. 15 Kansas Vball Sweeps Cincinnati in Straight Sets

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CINCINNATI, Ohio (KUAthletics.com) – The 15th-ranked Kansas Volleyball team swept Cincinnati (25-23, 25-14, 25-23) on Wednesday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena to extend its winning streak to four matches.

With the win, the Jayhawks, who have won 10 of their last 11 matches, are now 22-5 on the season and 13-4 in the Big 12. The Bearcats are now 12-15, (5-12 Big 12).

We competed well at the end of the first and third sets which was keyed by our block, “said Kansas Head Coach Ray Bechard. “Even though we weren’t sharp in all phases, this is the time of the year you need to find ways to win, and we did that.”

The Jayhawks had a comfortable lead for the majority of the first set, running it up as far as 12-7 at one point. The Bearcats would end up going on a three-point scoring run midway through, however, closing in at 17-16 and pushing Kansas to take a timeout and tying it up at 17’s right after. Cincinnati was able to get its first lead of the set at 17-18, but a successful challenge from Bechard flipped the score back in Kansas’ favor. It was still a scrappy flow of play after that, but the Jayhawks were able to stay out in front for the remainder of the set. At match point, Cincinnati called a timeout, and was able to make it 24-22, then 24-23, but a clutch kill from Reagan Cooper ended the set at 25-23.

The second set started similarly, with the Jayhawks getting a comfortable lead with ease this time, running up the score as far as 13-5. The Bearcats tried on multiple occasions to get closer on the scoreboard but were only able to get within five points at both 17-12 and 18-13, but a strong well-rounded effort from the Jayhawks got them back up at 20-13 and got Cincinnati to use its second timeout. KU’s largest lead of the set came at 23-14 when the Bearcats were in the net, and a kill from London Davis made it 24-14 to extend that lead even further. The Jayhawks 5-0 scoring run ended with a Cooper kill, making it a 25-14 victory.

The Bearcats took the lead first in set three, but the Jayhawks were able to tie it up three different times from 4-4 to 6-6, applying the pressure early. A kill from Mykayla Myers followed by an ace from Camryn Turner put the Jayhawks up 9-7, but the game would tie once again at 11-11, making for a much more even flow of play in the third set. Two more ties came right after until the Bearcats caught a wave of momentum to pull out to a narrow 13-15 lead. After more back-and-forth flow, the match would be all tied up once again at 20’s, but when Cincinnati took a one-point lead right after, Kansas called a timeout. The Bearcats were able to get another kill of the KU block, but Ayah Elnady added a kill to make it 21-22. A 4-0 scoring run ended the match on a high note for Kansas, winning 25-23 to execute the sweep.

Cooper and Elnady both led the team with 15 kills a piece, with Cooper hitting .300 and Elnady hitting .314. Davis had eight total kills and three total blocks, being dominant on both sides of the ball.

Turner, Myers and Toyosi Onabanjo each contributed seven blocks apiece to lead the way for the Jayhawks, while Cooper added four as well. KU posted 16 total team blocks as opposed to Cincinnati’s five.

Raegan Burns led the way with 15 total digs, while Turner was the other Jayhawk in double figures with 11 total.

The Jayhawks will now enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, before returning to the court on Saturday at home against UCF in the final regular season match of the year. The match is set for a 1 p.m., start on ESPN+.

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