Jayhawks Open Big 12 Play at Top-Ranked Nebraska

Sept. 12, 2006


Kansas volleyball (7-2, 0-0 Big 12) makes it first national television appearance of the season Wednesday night when it opens Big 12 Conference play at No. 1 Nebraska (7-0, 0-0). The match at Nebraska Coliseum in Lincoln, Neb., will air live on CSTV at 7 p.m. Live Gametracker, recaps and box scores for the match can also be found on kuathletics.com, the official website of Kansas Athletics.

About the Jayhawks
After a sweep of then 16th-ranked BYU on Sept. 7, Kansas had a five-match win streak snapped by Arkansas in a five-game thriller Sept. 9 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks (7-2) are averaging 17.25 kills per game, which ranks second in the Big 12 behind the top-ranked Huskers (18.23 kpg). Junior right side hitter/setter Emily Brown paces a balanced KU offense with 4.00 kills per game while senior outside hitter Jana Correa (3.75 kpg) and sophomore Savannah Noyes (3.47 kpg) round out the top hitters. Redshirt freshman setter Katie Martincich averages 11.59 assists per game for a Jayhawk offense that posts 15.78 apg — good for third in the league. KU’s deep defense features senior libero Jamie Mathewson (3.84 dpg) and four Jayhawks who average 2.20 or more digs per game. KU also gets a boost from freshmen Melissa Grieb (defensive specialist) and Brittany Williams (middle blocker), who replaced injured Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Natalie Uhart in the starting lineup.

Scouting the #1 Huskers
Behind double-doubles from junior right side hitter Sarah Pavan and sophomore outside hitter Jordan Larson, top-ranked Nebraska (7-0) remained unbeaten with a 3-1 win over Minnesota Sunday in Lincoln. The Huskers took their own tournament title for the second consecutive weekend, as Pavan totaled a match-high 23 kills on .407 hitting and 11 digs, earning tournament MVP honors. Pavan, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, leads the conference with 6.53 kills per game for a Husker offense that paces the league in hitting percentage (.339), assists (17.00) and kills per game (18.23). Larson joined Pavan on the all-tournament team after posting her fifth double-double of the year and records 4.18 kills and a Big 12-best 0.89 service aces per game. Freshman setter Rachel Holloway and senior defensive specialist Dani Busboom also lead the conference with 14.74 assists and 5.53 digs per game, respectively.

Kansas vs. Nebraska – Depends on who you Ask!
According to Kansas records, Nebraska leads the all-time series against the Jayhawks, 75-1-1. If you ask the Huskers, they are a perfect 76-0 against KU. Jayhawk records indicate a 2-1 KU win on Oct. 17, 1975, at Graceland College and a 1-1 tie on Nov. 5, 1977, in Lawrence.

Jayhawk to Watch
Junior Emily Brown led Kansas with 5.25 kills per game as the Jayhawks swept 16th-ranked BYU and claimed the 2006 Jayhawk Classic title, improving their overall record to 7-2 on the season. Brown also averaged 2.75 digs, 1.00 assists and 0.25 aces per game on the week. Against the No. 16 Cougars, Brown paced the Jayhawks with 20 kills on a .371 attack percentage (7e/35a) for a team-leading 22.5 points. In five games versus Arkansas, Brown totaled 22 kills and 18 digs for match-best 25.0 points. On the season, Brown has four 20-kill performances and has notched double-digit digs in five matches. The Baldwin City, Kan., native leads a balanced KU offense with 4.00 kills per game and ranks second on the squad with 2.72 digs per game.

Crimson and Blue Bits
~Junior Emily Brown has notched 20 or more kills on four occasions and has four double-doubles (kills/digs) this season.
~Brown recorded a rare triple-double against UMKC on Aug. 29 — 12 kills, 10 assists and 10 digs.
~Sophomore Savannah Noyes, who compiled a .203 hitting percentage as a rookie, leads the Jayhawks with a .362 clip in 2006. The KU single-season record for hitting percentage is .363, which former Jayhawk Ashley Michaels posted in 2002.
~Freshman Isadora Rangel (Sao Paulo, Brazil) carried on the tradition of the KU-Brazil volleyball pipeline when she became a member of the Jayhawk squad this Fall. Rangel and fellow teammate Jana Correa (Macapa, Brazil) both hail from the Sao Paulo club team Pinheiros.

Up Next
Kansas’ Big 12 schedule doesn’t get any easier as the Jayhawks host No. 5 Texas at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Jayhawk `rally towels’ will be handed out to all fans upon entry. The Jayhawks are 2-1 at home this season with wins over then-No. 16 BYU and UMKC.

Match Notes in PDF Format
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