No. 21 Kansas to Host TCU and Jayhawks for a Cure
Oct. 18, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following a midweek victory over rival and top-25 foe Kansas State, the 21st-ranked Kansas volleyball team prepares to welcome TCU to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center for the first time as members of the Big 12 Conference. The match will serve as the team’s annual “Jayhawks for a Cure” event on Saturday, Oct. 20, with the first serve moved to 1 p.m.
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
As with all home matches, KU vs. TCU will stream live – video and audio – on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. The live audio stream will be available free of charge, while the audio and video combination requires a subscription fee. Fans can always track the Jayhawks on GameTracker or by following JayhawkVball on Twitter.
AROUND THE GYM
-Jayhawks for a Cure: Fans wearing pink will receive $3 admission
-Pink sleeve giveaway
The Jayhawks and Horned Frogs have met only once previously. KU lost the match 3-2 at home on Sept. 10, 1999.
AT A GLANCE
-Kansas is keeping pace with the 1986 team that currently holds the program record for season winning percentage (26-9, .743). During the record-setting season, those Jayhawks were also 18-3 through the first 21 matches.
-After knocking off Kansas State on Wednesday, KU is 5-1 this season against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll (Wins: RV Tulsa, RV Creighton, No. 19 Iowa State, RV Oklahoma, No. 14 Kansas State; Loss: No. 9 Texas).
-KU is No. 21 on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches Poll for the second-straight week, tying the highest ranking ever for the Jayhawks (9/20/04). Four Big 12 members hold spots in the nation’s top-25: No. 8 Texas, No. 14 Kansas State, No. 21 Kansas, No. 22 Iowa State, while Oklahoma continues to receive votes.
-The Jayhawks improved to No. 13 on the NCAA RPI projections this week. Kansas debuted at No. 9 on the first NCAA RPI release of the season (Oct. 1) – the highest RPI mark in program history. In 2012, Kansas is 4-3 against top-50 RPI teams and 9-3 against the top-100 with the Jayhawks’ only losses coming at Arkansas (No. 26), at Notre Dame (No. 38) and at Texas (No. 4).
-If the season ended today, KU’s Caroline Jarmoc would break KU’s career (.320) and single-season attack percentage (.384) records. Junior libero Brianne Riley would do the same, only breaking the single-season record (5.35) in digs per set.
-After a career and Big 12-best 43 digs at Oklahoma, Riley was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. That marked the fourth weekly honor for the Jayhawks this season, a program record.
-For the first time this season, someone other than redshirt junior Caroline Jarmoc (.384) leads the Big 12 in attack percentage. Oklahoma’s Sallie McLaurin (.385) took over by a single point. Junior setter Erin McNorton continues to lead the league in assists per set (11.94, 7th NCAA), while Riley keeps her season-long reign as the leader digs per set (5.35, 19th NCAA).
NO. 21 KANSAS (18-3, 6-1 Big 12)
Fifteen-year Kansas veteran, head coach Ray Bechard, is looking for the highly-charged win against Kansas State on Wednesday to provide the fuel needed to finish the first half of the Big 12 Conference season as strongly as it started. Still reeling off a program-best start to league action, the Jayhawks are a game ahead of Oklahoma for second place in the Big 12 standings.
Against Kansas State, the Jayhawks rediscovered their blocking dominance. Prior to Wednesday night, KU had been out-blocked for three-straight matches – something that never happened in 2011. Facing their rival, however, the Jayhawks roared back at the net, posting a season-high 18 blocks to KSU’s five. Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc led the way with a career-high 12 blocks en route to her first collegiate double-double (11 kills/12 blocks).
Jarmoc leads the offense with 3.51 kills per set and the defense with 1.35 blocks per set, and for the first time in 2012, the redshirt junior fell to second in the Big 12 in attack percentage (.384). Her 12 blocks against KSU made her the fifth Jayhawk in school history to eclipse the 200-kill, 100-block mark in three different seasons. Behind her, junior libero Brianne Riley is setting program records as well. She became the first Jayhawk to chalk up 400-plus digs in three seasons, and with 10 regular-season matches remaining she needs just 149 digs to break KU’s all-time digs leader as a junior.
As a team, Kansas leads the league in digs per set (16.19) and is second in kills (14.25) and assists (13.42), paced by junior setter Erin McNorton’s Big 12-best 11.94 assists per set mark.
In conference play, redshirt junior outside hitter Catherine Carmichael leads the Jayhawks with 3.24 kills per set, good for fifth in the league. She, too, is becoming a force at the net both offensively and defensively after rejecting a career-high eight blocks on Wednesday.
Additionally, Jarmoc and senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree are the only duo in the league to land in the conference’s top-10 in both attack percentage (.384, .294) and blocks per set (1.35, 1.03).
TCU (13-7, 2-5 Big 12)
TCU is led by 11th-year head coach Prentice Lewis, who led the Horned Frogs to a 25-7 record, the second-most successful season in school history, in their final year with the Mountain West. This season, TCU is adjusting to its new home in the Big 12. Following an 11-2 mark in non-conference play, the Horned Frogs kicked off their first Big 12 season with wins over West Virginia and Texas Tech.
Heading into the weekend, TCU is on a five-match losing skid – three of which came against ranked opponents Iowa State, Texas and Kansas State. In their last time out, the Horned Frogs pushed Baylor to five sets, but couldn’t pull off the win.
As a unit, TCU sits right behind Kansas at fourth in the league in hitting percentage (.236), but leads the Big 12 in service aces per set (1.59) – the only category in which Kansas ranks last (0.94 per set).
Junior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan is the only member of the TCU starting lineup averaging more than three kills per set (3.40) and higher than a .300 attack percentage (.327). Senior outside hitter Sloane Sunstrum comes in second with 2.46 kills per set, the only other Horned Frog aside from Igodan putting up more than two kills per set.
Redshirt senior setter Megan Munce not only dishes out the offense, averaging 8.96 assists per set, but also sets the tone at the service line with a Big 12-best 0.51 aces per set.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
On the team’s mindset following an emotional win over Kansas State:
“We enjoyed the match Wednesday and then we talked about our ability to move on. The most important match of the year right now is the next one – at 1 p.m. against TCU on Saturday. If you can’t make that shift in this league then you’ll pay the price. Yeah, it was an in-state rivalry and a big win, but let’s close the book on that and get to know TCU. I know that they’re playing well and are excited to be in our league. They’ve got great coaches who train very well and they’ll be another quality Big 12 opponent.”
On TCU being dangerous as a newcomer in the league:
“I think TCU has had more experience in our area than West Virginia. They’re in our area, so they’ve played Big 12 teams. For West Virginia, it was a whole new ballgame (playing in our area). For TCU, it’s a new league, but it’s a level and a region that they’re accustomed to. I think they have the same energy and enthusiasm as West Virginia did for joining our league, but TCU is a perennial 20-plus match win per season team. They’re on the track this year and I have a lot of respect for what they’re doing.”
No. 21 Kansas hits the road again to start the second half of the conference season, traveling to Ames, Iowa to face No. 22 Iowa State. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.
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