Volleyball finished with a clean sweep against the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Tuesday evening, ending the night with a final score of 3-0 in the Convocation Center.
The team moves to a 7-3 overall record with this win against UAB Blazers, which is the second-best non-conference record in school history.
The Owls’ first recorded double-double of the season was accomplished by junior McKinley Ferguson. Ferguson reached a team-high of 22 assists and tied her career-high with 14 digs. Furthermore, Ferguson collected one ace, one block, and four kills with only eight attempts.
The game was dominated by KSU’s defense as the Owls contained the Blazers to a hitting percentage under .100 in both the first and second sets.
Although the Owls dominated defensively, the Blazers still continued to put up a fight throughout set one. UAB tried taking advantage of an attack error from the Owls and closed in 16-15 on KSU while holding the serve, however, after a service error, the Blazers merely gave the point right back. As a result, this kickstarted KSU’s lead of 22-15 while heading to their six-point victory.
In set two, the Blazers were close to typing the contest 1-1 while holding a 19-14 advantage, but the Owls battled back scoring four straight points which included two consecutive kills. UAB went up two points due to an attack error, but KSU put up six points on the scoreboard bringing the score to 24-21. Emma Schurfranz successfully gained a kill for KSU which handed the Owls the set with a score of 25-23.
In the final set, KSU had an early run of 7-3. UAB powered through scoring 12 points out of the following 17 points bringing the score tally to 15-13. This was the largest lead that UAB maintained. Schufranz put a stop to any chance that the Blazers had of overthrowing the Owls by igniting a 6-0 run, putting the Owls ahead 19-16. For the remainder of the match, KSU led the UAB Blazers by two.
“We showed some nice moments of resilience tonight,” KSU head coach Keith Schunzel said, “We had some smooth stretches of play when we were really clicking, and then we dealt with some rough patches when UAB’s serve really got us out of our rhythm.”
This year’s team is just slightly behind the 2015 squad’s 8-3 record. KSU also extended their set winning streak at home to 13. This is also the second-longest ever set win streak at home, just trailing behind a 20-set streak during the 2015 season as well.
This match was the final non-conference game on KSU’s schedule. The Owls will pick back up on Sept. 23 against North Alabama at 7 p.m. in their ASUN opener at home.