In the opening weekend, volleyball no. 23 Kansas beat Utah Valley, No. 22 Utah and Loyola Marymount in the Utah Classic in Salt Lake City at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Super senior Anezka Szabo was named to the Utah Classic All-Tournament Team, and sophomore setter Camryn Turner was named Utah Classic MVP.
The 2022-23 season started with a bang. Sophomore libero Molly McCarthy’s five early service aces and Szabo’s early kills forced Utah Valley into the break at 10-4.
After the break, KU continued to dominate as Utah Valley’s attacking errors, kills and well-placed blocks led the Jayhawks to win the first set. 25-10.
After Utah Valley took the first point of the second set, the Jayhawks went on a 6-0 scoring run. Kills from senior middle blocker Lauren Dooley, sophomore outside hitter Caroline Bien and Szabo sealed the run to make it 6-1.
The Jayhawks continued the momentum as they went on a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 20-9. Sophomore outside hitter Karli Schmidt swept the second set, 25-14.
As KU took an early 3-1 lead in the third set, excitement surrounded the 2-0 Jayhawks. Utah Valley tried to mount a comeback, but Red Blue freshman outside hitter Ayah Elnady stopped their momentum to make it 13-8.
Utah Valley tried to stop the Kansas heat, but KU closed out the match in three sets to win, 25-18.
Six hours later, the Jayhawks returned to the field for game two against No. 22 Utah. Kansas took the first two points of the first set. The Jayhawks extended their lead to 7-3 with kills by Szabo, Bien and super-senior middle blocker Rachel Langs.
Utah rallied to tie the score at 14-14, but after a back and forth, Kansas stayed calm and Elnady’s kill made it 23-22. The Jayhawks continued to be aggressive and won the set, 25-22.
Kansas fell behind quickly in the second, trailing 4-1. Utah continued its momentum, going on a 6-0 run. The Jayhawks never recovered and lost the second set, 25-16.
Kansas was ready to bounce back as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead to start the third set. Utah tried to mount a comeback, but the Jayhawks remained aggressive and won the set, 25-20.
Kansas continued their momentum in the fourth set with an early 4-0 lead. Utah tied the score at 9-9 due to offensive errors. Utah and the Jayhawks continued to go back and forth until Szabo, and Elnady got kills to take the lead over Utah. Kansas ended the match with a kill by Bien.
On Saturday, the Jayhawks hit the court at 2:00 pm to face Loyola Marymount. The first set was back and forth until the Lions secured a 5-0 run.
Kansas recovered by going on a 4-0 run to tie the score at 21. The set went back and forth until Bien had back-to-back kills to secure the first set, 28-26.
The second set began with Loyola Marymount taking an early lead at 10-6. The aggressive Lion play continued until the Jayhawks went on a 3-0 run, making it 19-6. Loyola Marymount called a timeout and Kansas began to take the lead.
Aggressive play by the Jayhawks forced a 6-1 run that tied the game 25-25. More back-and-forth ensued until a service error and attack by LMU gave the Jayhawks the second set, 30-28.
Continuing their streak, the Jayhawks started the third set 5-1. KU dominated with kills and blocks to go on a 10-3 run. Freshman outside hitter Rhian Swanson delivered the final hit of the tournament, winning 25-12.
Turner had 40 assists and 10 digs for a double-double in Game 3. Over the weekend, Dooly recorded 23 kills and 12 blocks.
Then, the Jayhawks No. 23 face Temple University in the Black Knights Invitational in West Point, New York at Gillis Field House on September 2 at 12:30 p.m.