The Kansas volleyball team opened its season in thrilling fashion with a 3-2 victory over Baylor at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena on Friday night.
Kansas (1-0) dropped the first set 25-19 and rallied to win sets 2 and 3, 25-13 and 25-22 to move within one set of the victory.
But the Bears, who reached the Final Four in 2019 and finished ranked third in the national polls, pushed the match to a decisive fifth set with a 25-19 victory in the fourth.
The Jayhawks responded by scoring the first four points of the fifth set and built an 11-5 lead en route to a 15-9 victory in the finale.
Match point came on a smash from junior middle blocker Rachel Langs, whose shot to the back right corner off of the set of Sara Nielsen (44 assists) overpowered the BU defender.
The game winner was one of four kills from Langs during the match.
As a team, the Jayhawks hit .365 on the night (compared to just .278 by Baylor) and were led by four players reaching double digits in kills. The Jayhawks were credited with just 14 attack errors while Baylor (0-1) tallied 26.
Freshman outside hitter Ayah Elnady led the way for the Kansas offense with 16 kills. UCLA transfer Jenny Mosser chipped in with 14. And freshman Caroline Crawford and junior transfer Anezka Szabo added 10 apiece.
As part of the Big 12’s pandemic-inspired doubleheader schedule for the 2020 season, the Bears and Jayhawks will return to Horejsi at 4 p.m. Saturday for their second match of the season.