Volleyball to Play at Missouri Wednesday in Conference Opener

Sept. 14, 2009

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LAWRENCE, Kan. –

After three weekends of tournament play, the Kansas volleyball team (7-2) will open its 2009 Big 12 Conference schedule Wednesday, Sept. 16 at rival Missouri (7-3) for the first M&I Bank Border Showdown meeting of the 2009-10 season. First serve is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The match is also MU’s ‘Dig For a Cure’ contest and one dollar from each ticket sold will go to benefit breast cancer research.

Free live stats via Gametracker will be available at www.KUAthletics.com, as well as video webstreaming (for a fee).

Quick Hits

» KU is entering Big 12 Conference play with its best record since 2006 when the Jayhawks also took a 7-2 (.778 percent) record into conference action.

» The Jayhawks are 4-9 in Big 12 season openers.

» Kansas’ .371 team attack percentage versus Arkansas on Sept. 12 was its highest hitting efficiency since Sept. 7, 2007 when KU hit at a .456 clip versus St. Peter’s College.

» KU is second in the conference averaging 1.59 aces per set.

About Kansas

The Jayhawks are riding a four-match winning streak following a 3-0 undefeated weekend at the Arkansas Tournament last Friday and Saturday. Kansas has two players averaging over three kills per set in junior Karina Garlington (3.62 kps), who is seventh in the Big 12, and sophomore Allison Mayfield (3.16 kps). Senior Paige Mazour’s team-high .383 attack percentage ranks seventh among Big 12 players, while her 0.38 aces per set is fourth. On defense, junior libero Melissa Manda is averaging 3.75 dps, eighth in the conference, and freshman Tayler Tolefree ranks seventh with 1.18 bps.

Scouting Missouri

Missouri dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 7 Michigan on Saturday to halt a three-match win streak and drop the Tigers to 7-3 overall. Weiwen Wang is fourth in the Big 12 hitting a .400 attack percentage. Overall, Missouri has the conference’s fourth-best hitting efficiency with a .243 attack percentage. Julianna Klein leads the team averaging 3.21 kps. Caitlyn Vann steadies the defense with 3.94 dps, seventh in the conference. She is also ranked second among Big 12 players averaging 0.44 aces per set. The Tigers are guided by fifth-year head coach Wayne Kreklow, who is 80-51 at Missouri.

Series Info: Missouri leads the all-time series with Kansas, 46-33, including a 20-10 advantage in Columbia. KU has won just four times on the Tigers’ home court (2007, 2001, 1999 & 1996)since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996.

Last Week

Kansas went 3-0 in the Arkansas Tournament last weekend to claim the tournament title and conclude its non-conference season with a 7-2 record. Karina Garlington led the Jayhawks for the third straight weekend with 3.67 kps, while Paige Mazour hit at a .474 clip. Melissa Manda held down the defense digging up 4.22 dps. Tayler Tolefree also had an outstanding weekend blocking 1.44 balls per set.

M&I Bank Border Showdown

Wednesday’s volleyball match kicks off the 2009-10 M&I Bank Border Showdown Series, which consists of a year-long battle between KU and Missouri on the sports field- or court, or track, etc. The schools are awarded points for each contest won against the other. This season marks the eighth year of the contest’s existence.

All-Tourney Team

Paige Mazour led Kansas with a .474 attack percentage and 0.78 aces per set as she was named tournament MVP at the Arkansas Tournament last weekend. Joining her on the team were Karina Garlington and Nicole Tate. Garlington averaged a team-best 3.67 kps, while Tate recorded 11.22 aps and helped KU to a .328 attack percentage in three matches.

It marked the second all-tournament selection for both Mazour and Garlington. Melissa Manda and Allison Mayfield have also been selected to an all-tournament team this season.

Kansas Sweeping the Competition

For the first time in four years, Kansas has recorded back-to-back-to-back 3-0 sweeps. The Jayhawks quickly dismissed all three of its opponents last weekend for their most consecutive sweeps since KU had five-straight sweeps in September 2005.

Bechard Approaching Milestone

Kansas head coach Ray Bechard is just three wins shy of hitting 900 career victories. Bechard, who is in his 12th season at KU, is 897-222 (.802 percent) in his 25th season as a head coach. He spent 13 seasons at Barton County Community College prior to coming to Kansas, where he accumulated a 716-60 mark at the school.

Up Next

KU has the weekend off due to a bye in the schedule but returns to action Wednesday, Sept. 23 when its hosts Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. in the Jayhawks’ Big 12 Conference home opener.