KU To Host Pizza Hut Jayhawk Invitational

Sept. 7, 2005


Kansas continues a six-match home stand Friday and Saturday when it hosts the Pizza Hut Jayhawk Invitational at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. KU will take on Virginia Commonwealth (5-1) at noon and Michigan State (4-0) at 7 p.m. Friday and Temple (3-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Friday, September 9
10 a.m. – Michigan State vs. Temple
Noon – KU vs. VCU
5 p.m. – Temple vs. VCU
7 p.m. – Michigan State vs. KU

Saturday, September 10
11 a.m. – VCU vs. Michigan State
1 p.m. – KU vs. Temple

KU Preview
The Jayhawks, 5-1 overall, return nine letterwinners and five starters in 2005. KU won its first four matches of the season before falling at BYU, 3-1, on Sept. 2. KU is 60-31 overall at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center since its opening in 1999.

KU is an impressive 65-8 in regular-season non-league matches under head coach Ray Bechard. Senior middle blocker Josi Lima, a three-time All-Big 12 selection, is the top KU returner, with postseason awards candidates Paula Caten (senior), Jana Correa (junior) and Emily Brown (sophomore) also back in the starting six.

Correa, a 6-0 outside hitter, leads the KU hitters with 3.95 kills per game on a .320 attack percentage. Lima is close behind with 3.81 kills to go with a team-best 1.19 blocks per game while freshman Savannah Noyes, a 6-3 middle blocker, adds 2.29 kills per game on an impressive .398 hitting efficiency.

Caten, a 6-3 outside hitter, adds 3.05 kills per game and Brown, a 6-2 right side hitter, chips in 2.76 per game. Junior Jamie Mathewson paces the defense with 3.19 digs per game.

Virginia Commonwealth Preview
The VCU Rams (5-1) are riding a four-match win streak dating back to Aug. 27 and will visit Wichita State Thursday before taking on KU in Lawrence Friday. Freshman Ana Luiza De Borja, the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week, provided 2.64 kills per game as the Rams went 3-0 at the VCU/Third Degree Sportswear Invitational over the weekend.

Junior Ludmila Francescatto leads the Rams with 3.76 kills and 3.05 digs per game while junior Renata Salvatori adds 3.00 kills per game. VCU returns just four letterwinner from the 2004 season, including three starters.

The KU/VCU Series
Kansas leads the all-time series against the Rams, 1-0. KU defeated VCU, 3-0, on Sept. 1, 2001 at the Charlotte Invitational.

Michigan State Preview
Michigan State (4-0) captured its fifth straight Spartan Invitational title Saturday, sweeping Ball State, 3-0, in the final match of the weekend. The Spartans posted their fourth sweep of the 2005 season, while head coach Cathy George is the first MSU head coach to open her career with a 4-0 record since the 1974 season.

MSU is led by tournament MVP Katie Johnson, who tallied 21 kills in the winning effort, and is averaging 7.00 kills per game on a .331 attack percentage. Senior Megan Wallin chips in 3.33 kills per game on a .372 attack percentage. The Spartans began their season with sweeps of Kent State, Wichita State and South Florida.

The KU/MSU Series
Michigan State leads the all-time series against KU, 2-0. The Spartans’ last victory was on Sept. 18, 1987, by a score of 3-2.

Temple Preview
The Owls are 3-3 on the season with wins over Lehigh, Towson and Rutgers. Temple is trying to snap a three-match losing streak and will face Michigan State at 10 a.m. Friday to begin the Pizza Hut Jayhawk Invitational.

Senior Zhen Jia Liu leads the Owls with 5.04 kills and adds 2.65 digs per game. Sophomore Yue Liu adds 4.35 kills per game while junior Ying Sun Ling paces the defense with 5.48 digs per game. Lawrence Free State High product Linsey Morningstar is a backup setter for the Owls.

The KU/Temple Series
Saturday’s meeting is the first between the Jayhawks and Owls.

KU Probable Starters
MB – #10 Josi Lima (6-0, Sr., Sao Paulo, Brazil) Three-time All-Big 12 selection … Attacks from any spot on the court and is an aggressive blocker … KU’s top returning hitter and blocker … Averaging 3.81 kills and 1.19 blocks per game.
MB – #18 Savannah Noyes (6-3, Fr., Indianola, Neb.) True freshman who earned an immediate starting spot … Averaging 2.29 kills per game on a team-best .398 attack percentage.
S – #9 Andi Rozum (5-10, Sr., Loveland, Colo.) A four-year starter for the Jayhawks … Also an aggressive blocker … Averages 14.05 assists and 1.05 blocks per game.
OPP – #7 Emily Brown (6-2, So., Baldwin City, Kan.) Can play anywhere in the lineup … Has improved both hitting and blocking skills … Averages 2.76 kills, 2.33 digs and 1.10 blocks per game.
OH – #8 Paula Caten (6-3, Sr., Canarana, Brazil) Powerful hitter with great energy and length … Averaging 3.05 kills and 1.90 digs per game this season.
OH – #4 Jana Correa (6-0, Jr., Macapa, Brazil) Powerful hitter who has recovered fully from past injuries … Also has a dangerous jump serve … Leads the team with 3.95 kills per game.
L – #3 Jamie Mathewson (5-8, Jr., Kansas City, Mo.) Athletic, quick defender who leads KU with 3.19 digs per game … Supported by junior Dani Wittman and freshman Liz Ingram.

Lima Kills Countdown — 108 To Go
Josi Lima will leave KU as one of the most prolific players in the program’s history — regardless of what records she takes with her. A four-year starter and Big 12 standout, Lima ranks third on the all-time kills list with 1,198 and is just 108 away from the career record (1,306) set by Sarah Rome (2000-03). In addition, Lima could finish her career on top of many blocking charts and in the top five for attack percentage, kills per game and digs.

Rozum Closing In On Assists Record
Senior Andi Rozum has been running the Jayhawks’ offense for the past four seasons and as a result, will leave KU as one of the most successful setters in program history. The 5-10 native of Loveland, Colo., has 3,790 career assists and is just 419 away from the all-time mark set by Julie Woodruff (1988-91). Despite missing 11 matches to start the 2003 season, Rozum could become just the second Jayhawk ever to eclipse the 4,000-assist mark.

In addition, Rozum is averaging just under 12.00 assists per game, which currently tops the all-time career chart.

Bechard at the Helm
Kansas head coach Ray Bechard is in his eighth season with the Jayhawks. Bechard has led KU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances (2003, 2004) and its best-ever conference finish in 2003. In 2003, Bechard earned his 800th career victory as a head coach as well as his 100th win at Kansas.

After 13 years at Barton County Community College and seven at KU, Bechard entered the 2005 season with a remarkable all-time coaching record of 839-153 (.846) including a 123-93 (.569) mark with the Jayhawks.

Pizza Hut Jayhawk Invitational Notes in PDF Format
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