Jayhawks to Battle Buffs in Boulder

Sept. 21, 2006


Kansas volleyball begins a short road stint Saturday night when it battles Colorado at 8 p.m. at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colo., The Jayhawks (8-4, 1-2 Big 12) are coming off their first league win of the season, a five-game thriller over Texas A&M, while the Buffs are 6-4 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 action after a 3-0 loss to No. 5 Texas on Wednesday. Live stats, a recap and box score for the match can be found here.

About the Jayhawks
After two home matches last week, Kansas is looking for its first Big 12 road victory in Boulder. The Jayhawks (8-4, 1-2) are averaging 16.60 kills and 15.12 assists per game, good for third and fourth in the Big 12, respectively. Senior outside hitter Jana Correa paces a balanced KU offense with 4.00 kills per game and double-digit kills in nine of the Jayhawks’ 12 matches. Junior right side hitter/setter Emily Brown (3.81 kpg), a threat in all six rotations, and sophomore Savannah Noyes (3.42 kpg) round out the top KU hitters. Redshirt freshman setter Katie Martincich averages 11.33 assists per game — good for ninth in the league. KU’s deep defense features senior libero Jamie Mathewson (3.65 dpg/ninth in the Big 12) and four Jayhawks who average 2.27 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 Colorado
Colorado (6-4, 2-1) started the league season with a 3-2 win over 17th-ranked Missouri and a 3-0 victory over Texas Tech to extend its win streak to five. The Buffs, who return 10 letterwinners, fell to No. 5 Texas, 3-0, Wednesday night for their first Big 12 loss of the season. CU averages 16.41 kills per game this season, which ranks fourth behind Nebraska, Texas and Kansas, respectively. Junior outside hitter Amber Sutherland, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, leads CU with 4.22 kills per game, which is good for seventh in the league. Sophomore outside hitter Mallori Gibson adds 3.34 kpg and is averaging a team best 0.41 aces per game (eighth in the league). Senior setter Ashley Nu’u dishes 12.06 assists per game, which ranks sixth in the Big 12. The Buffs are hitting .247 on the season (sixth in the league), just ahead of KU’s .245. Junior libero Kristen Karlik leads the Buffs’ defense with 4.19 digs per game (sixth in the league).

Kansas vs. Colorado
The Buffs lead the all-times series against KU, 31-9, but the Jayhawks won the last meeting in Boulder, 3-2, on Oct. 1, 2005. Seven of KU’s nine wins over Colorado have come in the Ray Bechard era (1998-present), dating back to the 2000 season.

Crimson and Blue Bits
-Senior Jana Correa has tallied 14 or more kills in nine of KU’s 12 matches this season. In fact, she has had exactly 14 kills in four matches and 10 or more digs on six occasions. Correa notched a season-best 24 kills and career-high 20 digs against Texas A&M on Sept. 20.
~Junior Emily Brown has notched 20 or more kills on five occasions and has five 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 .336 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 Correa (Macapa, Brazil) both hail from the Sao Paulo club team Pinheiros.

Jayhawk to Watch
Senior outside hitter Jana Correa has been providing an offensive spark for the Jayhawks as of late. Known for her thunderous, hard hits and deceptive jump serves, Correa has emerged as a leader in her senior year despite having her freshman and junior seasons cut in half by injuries. Correa sat out 16 of KU’s 33 matches in 2003 and 14 of 30 in 2005 due to season-ending injuries, but is back at nearly 100 percent this year. The Macapa, Brazil, native leads KU with 4.00 kills per game and ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 0.42 aces per game. Correa is on track to leave Kansas among the all-time program leaders in kills, kills per game, attempts, aces and aces per game.

Match Notes in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader