Volleyball Border Showdown Comes To Lawrence Wednesday

Oct. 27, 2008


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Just one win separates Kansas from its next opponent in the Big 12 Conference volleyball standings as the annual Border Showdown comes to Lawrence Wednesday, Oct. 29. The Jayhawks (9-11, 3-8 Big 12) play host to Missouri (10-11, 4-7 Big 12) at 7 p.m. at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Free live stats for the contest is available on the Kansas Athletics’ official website at www.kuathletics.com. In addition, fans can access live video streaming on the website for a subscription fee.

About Kansas

Kansas suffered back-to-back three-set setbacks on the road last week (at Baylor, 10/22 and at Texas A&M, 10/25) to take a 9-11 overall mark and 3-8 Big 12 record heading into Wednesday’s Border Showdown contest. Prior to Saturday’s match at A&M, the Jayhawks were averaging a respectable .224 hitting percentage led by senior Savannah Noyes with a .423 clip. Noyes is sixth in Big 12 Conference matches hitting a .349 attack percentage. Sophomore Karina Garlington is fifth in league contests averaging 3.61 kps. Noyes and sophomore Jenna Kaiser add over two kills per set. Running the KU offense is freshman setter Nicole Tate who ranks fifth with 10.04 aps and is one of just five conference players averaging over 10 assists per set in Big 12 play. Defensively, sophomore libero Melissa Manda averages 3.28 dps, which is 10th in the Big 12.

Head coach Ray Bechard is in his 11th season as head coach of the Jayhawks with a 170-155 overall record.

Scouting Missouri

Coming off a three-set loss to Iowa State on Saturday, Missouri comes into the match with a 4-7 record in the Big 12 conference and 9-11 overall mark. The Tigers have won just one conference match on the road this season as they are 1-5 away from Columbia. Junior Julianna Klein leads the team in kills, averaging 3.46 kps, which ranks eighth best in the Big 12. Sophomore Caitlin Vann leads the conference in digs with 216, averaging 5.27 in league play. As a team, the Tigers pace the Big 12 with 17.59 dps.

Missouri is coached by Wayne Kreklow, who is 69-42 in his fourth year as head coach of the Tigers.

Series History

Kansas trails the all-time series with the Tigers 46-32, but holds a 16-15 advantage in matches played in Lawrence. However, KU has lost its last four home matches with Missouri. Since the start of Big 12 play, MU leads 16-9, including 4-8 on the Jayhawks’ home court.

Last Meeting With the Tigers

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For the sixth time this season the Kansas volleyball team battled back from a two-set deficit to force an extended match, but not even a career-high 20 digs from junior Melissa Grieb could help KU overcome Missouri as the Jayhawks fell 3-1.

Four Jayhawks finished with double figure kills led by Garlington, who notched 17 along with 12 digs for her third double-double of the season. Uhart and sophomore Jenna Kaiser each added 12, while junior Brittany Williams chipped in 10. Freshman setter Nicole Tate also picked up a double-double during the match with 51 assists and 10 digs.

Three Sets

Kansas’ three-set match at Baylor on Oct. 22 was the Jayhawks’ first three-set contest in Big 12 action this season and first since Sept. 13, a span of 18 matches. KU has played just six three-set matches so far this year. The current program record for fewest three-set matches during the Big 12 era is 15 in both 2005 and 2007.

Attendance Leaders

Once again, Kansas volleyball continues to be among the nation’s leaders in average home attendance. The Jayhawks are currently 37th in the country averaging 923 fans per contest at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Noyes In the Career Charts

Senior Savannah Noyes picked up a solo block at Texas A&M to crack KU’s top 10 career solo blocks list. Noyes has 49 solo rejections for her career, tying 2007 senior Emily Brown at No. 10 on the list.

The 6-3 Indianola, Neb., native is currently fifth on KU’s attack percentage list with a .254 career hitting percentage. She is also just five sets shy of getting her name on the career sets played list.

Player Notables

» KU libero Melissa Manda recorded her second 20-dig performance of the year at Missouri. Manda has a team-high 12 matches with double-digit digs.

» Melissa Grieb tied a personal best digging up 20 balls at Missouri. Grieb has five contests with 10 or more digs this season.

» Outside hitter Karina Garlington has notched 10 or more kills 16 times this year, including six of her last seven outings. Garlington also has four double-doubles on the season.

» Since returning to the Kansas lineup during conference play, outside hitter Jenna Kaiser has recorded double-digit kills in five of her 10 matches played.

» Setter Nicole Tate leads the team with seven double-doubles. Tate also notched the league’s second most single match assists this season with 64 at Wyoming on Sept. 12.

» Savannah Noyes leads the team with a .349 attack percentage in Big 12 matches. She has hit .500 or better in two of her last three outings.

» Kansas middle blocker Natalie Uhart has blocked at least three balls in 14 straight matches.

» Middle blocker Brittany Williams, a junior, recorded a career-high .500 hitting percentage at Baylor on Oct. 22 connecting for six kills on 12 attempts while committing no errors.

Game Tickets

Fans can purchase season and single-game tickets to KU home matches by phone at 800-34-HAWKS, online at KUAthletics.com or at the doors of the Horejsi Center prior to match time.

Up Next

KU’s rivalry week continues as it next travels to in-state foe Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 1. Match time with the Wildcats is slated for 7 p.m.