Jayhawks Return Home To Host #14 Longhorns

Oct. 27, 2005


Kansas volleyball returns to the friendly confines of the Horejsi Family Athletics Center Saturday to host #14 Texas. The Longhorns (15-3, 10-2 Big 12) have won three straight while the Jayhawks (12-9, 4-8 Big 12) are looking to stop a six-match skid but are an impressive 9-3 at home this season.

First serve for the Homecoming match is set for 7 p.m. The first 500 fans will receive a Jayhawk rally waver. Live video streaming, Gametracker and post-match results will be available on Kansas Athletics’ official website, kuathletics.com.

The Jayhawks 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 averages a team-best 3.55 kills (.234 hitting efficiency) and 0.99 blocks per game. Freshman Savannah Noyes, at 6-3, adds 1.64 kills and 0.71 blocks per game in the other middle blocker spot.

Caten, a 6-3 outside hitter, adds 3.21 kills per game and Brown, a 6-2 right side hitter, chips in 2.81 kills, 2.39 digs and 0.41 aces per game. Junior Megan Hill has started five matches this season at outside hitter and adds 1.35 kills per game.

Junior libero Jamie Mathewson paces the defense and ranks ninth in the league with 3.38 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.

Kansas is trying to halt a six-match losing streak that included three ranked teams — #7 Missouri (Oct. 15), #1 Nebraska (Oct. 8 & 26) and #20 Kansas State (Oct. 5).

Texas (15-3, 10-2 Big 12) currently sits at third in the Big 12 standings and is riding a three-match win streak. All three of the Longhorns’ losses have come on the road this season — at Notre Dame (Sept. 3), Iowa State (Sept. 17) and #1 Nebraska (Oct. 15).

Four Longhorns recorded double figure kills as 14th-ranked Texas swept Texas A&M Wednesday night to earn a season sweep of the Aggies for the first time since 1996.

Texas was led by outside hitter Dariam Acevedo’s 13 kills. Outside hitter Jen Christian added 12 to go with her eight aces with a career-best four block solos while middle blocker and reigning co-Big 12 Player of the Week Leticia Armstrong had 12 kills to go with her match-high six blocks.

Texas dominated at the net, out-blocking TAMU 13.0 to 3.0. UT also out-hit the Aggies, .313 to .168. At the service line, Texas had 10 aces to A&M’s one, paced by Christian’s eight, which tied the second-best single-match mark in UT history.

The Longhorns top the Big 12 with 1.77 aces per game and rank third in the league in hitting percentage (.272), opponent hitting percentage (.175), assists (14.95) and kills per game (16.06).

The Longhorns lead the all-time series against the Jayhawks, 18-4. Texas has claimed the last three meetings against KU, dating back to a Jayhawk win on Nov. 8, 2003. In the teams’ last meeting, KU came back from an 0-2 deficit to take the `Horns to five games in Austin on Sept. 21 and fell 26-30, 24-30, 30-27, 30-27, 13-15.

Despite coming back from an 0-2 deficit to force a deciding game five, the 24th-ranked Jayhawks had their six-match win streak snapped Sept. 21 with a 3-2 loss at #23 Texas in Gregory Gym.

Paula Caten had 21 kills on a .375 hitting percentage to lead the Jayhawks and added 10 digs in the effort. Emily Brown set a new career high with 19 kills while Jana Correa also had 19 kills and 11 digs.

Josi Lima totaled 13 kills and added seven digs while Jamie Mathewson totaled 18 digs to lead the KU defense. Andi Rozum also set a new career high with 73 assists in the effort.

KU managed just 6.0 blocks to Texas’ solid 17.5 stuffs on the night, but outdug the Longhorns 65-60 and totaled 84 kills to UT’s 77.

Senior middle blocker Josi Lima has been dubbed one of the most prolific volleyball players in KU history since her first season as a Jayhawk in 2002. Lima is already the all-time kills leader at KU (1,384) and is just 60 digs away from becoming just the third Jayhawk in school history to record both 1,000 kills and digs in a career. Sarah Rome (2000-03) and Cyndee Kanabel (1990-93) are the only two Jayhawks to accomplish the feat.

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.

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