Jayhawks Head to Columbia for Tough Road Test

Oct. 3, 2006


Kansas volleyball (8-7, 1-5 Big 12) will begin a short road stint against two ranked teams Wednesday at No. 17 Missouri (11-4, 5-1). The Jayhawks are trying to stop a three-match skid while the Tigers will look to extend their win streak to six in the rivals’ first Border Showdown of 2006-07. First serve at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo., is set for 6:30 p.m. Live Gametracker, a recap and box score for the match can be found here.

About Kansas
The Jayhawks (8-7, 1-5) are looking to stop a Big 12 skid that included road losses at Colorado (3-2) and Texas Tech (3-1) and a home defeat at the hands of Iowa State (3-0). KU is averaging 16.11 kills and 14.76 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the Big 12. Senior outside hitter Jana Correa paces a balanced KU offense with 4.09 kills per game — good for eighth in the league — and has recorded 14 or more kills in 12 matches. Junior right side hitter Emily Brown (3.51 kpg), a threat in all six rotations, and sophomore middle blocker Savannah Noyes (3.36 kpg) round out the top KU hitters. Redshirt freshman setter Katie Martincich averages 11.36 assists per game and ranks ninth in the league. KU’s defense features senior libero Jamie Mathewson (3.60 dpg) and four Jayhawks who average 2.32 or more digs per game. KU also gets a boost from rookies Melissa Grieb (defensive specialist) and Brittany Williams (middle blocker), who replaced injured Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Natalie Uhart in the lineup.

Scouting the Tigers
The 17th-nationally ranked Missouri volleyball squad (11-4, 5-1) has won five-straight matches dating back to Sept. 16. Included in the five-match streak was a sweep of then-ranked No. 5 Texas on Sept. 23 in Columbia. The Tigers, unbeaten (4-0) at home this season, are coming off a sweep at Texas Tech Saturday and currently second in the Big 12 standings. Senior outside hitter Jessica Vander Kooi, named Big 12 and Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Sept. 25, ranks fourth in the league with 4.40 kills per game to go with 3.31 digs and a team-best 1.13 blocks per game. Freshman setter Lei Wang averages 11.78 assists per game (seventh in the Big 12) and junior libero Tatum Ailes leads the squad with 4.85 digs per game. The Tigers rank seventh in the league in hitting percentage (.240), assists (13.96), blocks (2.75) and service aces (1.56) per game among their Big 12 foes.

Kansas vs. Missouri
The Tigers lead the all-time series against the Jayhawks, 42-31, and have won the last four match-ups with KU. The Jayhawks’ last win in Columbia was Nov. 3, 2001 (3-1).

Border Showdown Facts
Wednesday’s match in Columbia marks the first athletic meeting of 2006-07 between KU and Missouri. The Jayhawks claimed the 2005-06 Border Showdown, 23-17.

Super Senior
Senior outside hitter Jana Correa has been providing an offensive spark for the Jayhawks in her final season at KU. Known for her thunderous, hard hits and solid serving, 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 100 percent this year. The Macapa, Brazil, native leads KU with 4.09 kills per game (eighth in the Big 12) and ranks eighth in the league with 0.35 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. She is also just 30 kills away from becoming the ninth Jayhawk in school history with 1,000 career kills.

Up Next
The Jayhawks face their second ranked team this week when they travel to No. 25 Oklahoma on Saturday. The Sooners (12-3, 4-1) are currently third in the league standings.

Match Notes in PDF Format
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