The Kansas volleyball team dropped a critical match in Morgantown, W.V., on Friday, falling to West Virginia for the second day in a row, 29-27, 13-25, 20-25, 15-25.
The Jayhawks entered the match ranked 32nd in the national RPI rankings. West Virginia sat at No. 42. By Monday, when the new rankings come out, the two programs could flip-flop spots.
For the second straight day, the Mountaineers bullied the Jayhawks, out-hitting them on offense and out-scoring them in bunches on the scoreboard.
Outside of the two sets that required extra points to be decided, WVU (16-7 overall, 6-6 Big 12) outscored Kansas (12-11, 4-8) 125-81.
After hitting .302 and showing signs of life in Friday’s first set, the Jayhawks followed that up with efficiency numbers of .000, .104 and .156 to finish the match with a hitting percentage of .145 overall.
That was slightly better than Thursday’s .018 total, which included the Jayhawks dipping into negative numbers in the opening set of the 25-18, 30-28, 25-15 sweep in that one.
Freshman outside hitter Caroline Bien led the Jayhawks with 19 kills in the two matches and senior Rachel Langs added 14 combined kills.
With just two weekends remaining in the regular season — vs. TCU Nov. 19-20 and at Kansas State Nov. 26-27 — and their goal of making a trip to the NCAA Tournament still very much in the picture, the Jayhawks need to win as many matches as possible down the stretch to put themselves in position to earn an at-large berth.
After winning nine matches in a row earlier this season, the Jayhawks now have lost eight of their last nine, with the lone win coming last weekend over Oklahoma at home.