KU Begins Border Showdown Saturday at #7 Missouri

Oct. 14, 2005


Kansas volleyball faces another Top 10 opponent Saturday night when it travels to #7 Missouri to start the 2005-06 Border Showdown. The Jayhawks (12-5, 4-4 Big 12) enjoyed a Wednesday bye while the Tigers (12-2, 6-2) are coming off a 3-0 loss at #18 Texas. Both KU and MU are trying to halt a two-match losing streak.

First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Hearnes Center. Gametracker and post-match results will be available on Kansas Athletics’ official website, kuathletics.com.

MU claimed the 2004-05 Border Showdown, 22.5-17.5.

The Jayhawks, 12-5 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 action, return nine letterwinners including four starters in 2005. KU is led by senior middle blocker Josi Lima, a three-time All-Big 12 First Team selection who was named Sports Imports/AVCA National and Big 12 Player of the Week on Sept. 19. Postseason award candidates Paula Caten (senior) and Emily Brown (sophomore) are also in the starting six.

Lima leads the Jayhawks with 3.66 kills and adds 2.39 digs and 0.97 blocks per game. Freshman Savannah Noyes, a 6-3 middle blocker, adds 1.69 kills per game at a team-best .262 hitting efficiency.

Caten, a 6-3 outside hitter, adds 3.23 kills per game and Brown, a 6-2 right side hitter, chips in 2.82 kills and 2.38 digs per game. Junior libero Jamie Mathewson paces the defense with 3.26 digs per game.

The Jayhawks are without junior outside hitter Jana Correa, who suffered a season-ending injury against #20 Kansas State on Oct. 5. Before the injury, Correa averaged 3.60 kills and 2.29 digs per game in 16 starts this season.

Mizzou leads the all-time series, 40-31, and has claimed the last two Border Showdown meetings. The last time KU defeated the Tigers was on Nov. 5, 2003, in Lawrence (3-2). The Jayhawks have not won in Columbia since Nov. 3, 2001 (3-1) and the Tigers are 19-9 at home all-time against KU.

The Tigers (12-2, 6-2 Big 12) had a five-match road win streak snapped Wednesday night and succumbed to their first sweep of the year, losing 28-30, 27-30, and 22-30 at No. 17 Texas. Shen Danru became Mizzou’s all-time kills leader to take her to 1,484 overall in her career.

Sophomore Na Yang led the Tigers with 14 kills and junior Nicole Wilson added 13. Tatum Ailes and Danru led the team with 10 digs. Mizzou recorded a hitting percentage of .211 in the match, its lowest of the season.

Yang, a 6-3 outside hitter, leads the Tigers with 4.15 kills per game on a .312 hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Jessica Vander Kooi adds 3.61 kills and 1.17 blocks per game while junior middle blocker Nicole Wilson averages 3.51 kills and a team-best 1.42 blocks per game. As a team, MU hits .300, which ranks second in the league behind Nebraska.

Libero Tatum Ailes leads the defense with 4.13 digs per game and All-Big 12 selection Lindsey hunter runs the Tiger offense with a league-high 14.74 assists per game.

Despite 17 kills by Jana Correa, Kansas lost a tough match to Border Showdown rival Missouri, 3-0, Nov. 3, 2004, at the Hearnes Center. The Tigers prevailed 30-23, 30-26 and 30-25.

Correa led the Jayhawks with a .371 attack percentage in 35 attempts. Caten and Lima added seven kills while Ashley Michaels and Emily Brown added four and five kills, respectively.

Brown led the KU defense with 10 digs while Jill Dorsey added nine in the loss. Lima notched eight digs while four other Jayhawks (Correa, Caten, Rozum and Dani Wittman) added at least three digs each. Rozum dished 35 assists as the offense hit .183, including .250 in game three.

Mizzou was led by Jessica Vander Kooi, who had 18 kills (.389) and 13 digs.

The Big 12 is celebrating its 10th anniversary of athletic competition during the 2005-06 season. In an effort to recognize this milestone, the conference and its member schools are selecting special 10th anniversary teams for all sports. In certain sports, including volleyball, the Big 12 is asking its fans to vote via the league web site for student-athletes they feel should be honored on anniversary teams as part of the celebration.

Online voting is available until Nov. 1.

Junior outside hitter Jana Correa will be out of the lineup indefinetly due to an injury sustained in game one of the K-State game on Oct. 5. Junior Megan Hill (0.91 kills per game) has replaced Correa in the starting lineup.

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