Payne leads KU volleyball to sweep over UNI

Saturday, September 10, 2016

With a dominant night from junior Kelsie Payne, the fourth-ranked Kansas volleyball team swept Northern Iowa on Saturday, 26-24, 25-17, 25-23, at Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

The All-American right-side hitter Payne drilled a match-high 25 kills on a .487 hitting percentage, one kill from tying her career high. It helped the Jayhawks improve their record to 9-0 — the fourth time they've won their first nine matches of season in program history.

"Kelsie Payne was phenomenal tonight from an attacking standpoint," KU coach Ray Bechard said. "I thought we had as much fun as we've had all year."

KU senior libero Cassie Wait recorded 20 digs, her fifth-straight 20-dig performance, and redshirt freshman Patricia Montero added seven kills and nine digs.

Junior All-American setter Ainise Havili had 40 assists.

"I thought the key was in the middle of the second set when we evoked that culture of hard work, scrap and win the longer rallies," Bechard said. KU's side-out rate was 88 percent in the second set, only allowing UNI (5-4) consecutive serves once.

The Jayhawks will travel to Indiana and play Xavier and Purdue on Friday.