The 23rd-ranked Kansas volleyball team opened the Jayhawk Classic with a three-set sweep of visiting Lipscomb on Thursday night at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.
Behind strong defensive play in the first two sets, the Jayhawks jumped all over the Bison and never let up, winning 25-19, 25-16 and 25-23.
KU coach Ray Bechard said the win was significant because of the way in which it came against a tough opponent.
“Our initial line of defense was very good," Bechard said after the match. "And I think that's kind of what changed the complexion of the match."
KU rolled in each of the first two sets, but had to scrap a little in the third. Lipscomb took a 7-5 lead and had things tied at 13-all before pushing the Jayhawks to a down-to-the-wire finish.
“Lipscomb plays an extremely tough schedule and will represent their league really really well, so to get out of here 3-0, certainly there is some merit to that," Bechard said after the match. "To let them come back in the third set was a little disappointing, but we will learn from that.”
Redshirt freshman Ayah Elnady led the Jayhawks with eight kills and a service ace. Sophomore Caroline Bien added seven kills and seven digs. And sophomore setter Camryn Turner posted a double-double with 19 assists and 10 digs
“Bien has been on a pretty good roll," Bechard said of the 2021 All-American. "I think tonight wasn't her best night, but she (does so many) other things for you and Ayah was consistent."
Thursday's victory was the seventh sweep of the season for the Jayhawks, who improved to 9-1. KU will return to action Friday night at 6:30 p.m. against future-Big 12 foe Central Florida. KU will wrap up play in its second consecutive home tournament on Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. match against Omaha.
Following Saturday's match, former KU All-Americans Ainise Havili and Kelsie Payne will have their jerseys retired by the program in a ceremony featuring the two former KU greats.