Bechard Earns Spot In History Books With 3-1 Win Over Missouri State

Sept. 1, 2007


Head Kansas volleyball coach Ray Bechard, became the winningest coach in KU volleyball history Saturday night after a thrilling 3-1 victory (30-22, 30-21, 22-30, 32-30) over the Missouri State Bears at the Jenison Field House. Bechard surpassed former KU coach Frankie Albitz with 151 career wins. A balanced KU attack handed the Bears their second loss of the season as they dropped to 5-2 on the season, while the Jayhawks improved to 3-3 and finished the Spartan Invitational 1-2.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where a team has gone through so much adversity in one weekend,” said Bechard. “We were really disappointed this morning after our loss [to <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>FloridaState], but we fought hard to come back and beat a quality team at the end. I’m very proud of our girls for coming back the way they did.”

Three Jayhawks posted double-digit kills. Jenna Kaiser led with 13 followed by Flavia Lino and Savannah Noyes who posted 12 and 11, respectively.

Sophomore Katie Martincich recorded her first double-double of the season with 23 assists and 15 digs. Freshman libero Melissa Manda tallied a game-high 16 digs, her fifth contest in double-digit digs. Senior Caitlin Mahoney contributed with a huge defensive showing going up for a career six block assists.

After trailing for the first half of game one, Kansas caught up and tied the score at 17, and then took over the lead thanks to two service aces from Melissa Grieb. Mahoney extended KU’s lead to five with a pair of kills to make it 23-18. Finally, a block shared by Noyes and Brittany Williams gave the Jayhawks game point, 30-22.

In game two, KU took a 14-11 lead, its biggest lead up until that point, when the Bears called timeout. The break did little to phase the Jayhawks as they proceeded to tally four unanswered points against a disorganized MissouriState. KU’s offense continued to put MSU out of reach, paced by Kaiser with six kills, en route to a 30-21 victory. MissouriState’s 21 points were the second fewest points by the Bears in a game during the weekend’s Spartan Invitational.

In the third game, Kansas found themselves down 20-14. Though they tried to chip away at the deficit, they couldn’t reach the Bears in time as they fell 30-22.

In a thrilling game four, both teams battled for control taking turns with the lead. After tied scores at 21 and 22, KU went on a three point run for a 25-22 lead. MSU countered bringing the score even again at 28. After ties at 29 and 30, back-to-back kills by Savannah Noyes and Flavia Lino put the game away 32-30 in KU’s favor for the victory.

Kansas returns to the court this Tuesday in its home opener versus the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (CST) start time in the HorejsiFamilyAthleticsCenter. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 800-34-HAWKS, online at or prior to the match at the doors of the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.