Jayhawks Host Buffs Wednesday

Nov. 1, 2005


Kansas volleyball looks to improve its Big 12 Conference record Wednesday when it hosts Colorado in the friendly confines of the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The Buffaloes (11-7, 7-6 Big 12) have won five straight while the Jayhawks (12-10, 4-9) are an impressive 9-4 at home this season but looking to stop a seven-match skid that dates back to Oct. 5.

First serve is set for 7 p.m. 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 3.47 kills (.227 hitting efficiency) and 0.99 blocks per game. Freshman Savannah Noyes, at 6-3, adds 1.64 kills and 0.72 blocks per game in the other middle blocker spot.

Caten, a 6-3 outside hitter, contributes 3.19 kills per game and Brown, a 6-2 right side hitter, chips in 2.83 kills, 2.35 digs and 0.40 aces per game. Junior Megan Hill has started six matches this season at outside hitter and adds 1.33 kills per game.

Junior libero Jamie Mathewson paces the defense and ranks ninth in the league with 3.31 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 a team-best 3.60 kills to go with 2.29 digs per game in 16 starts this season.

Kansas is trying to halt a seven-match losing streak that included four ranked teams — #14 Texas (Oct. 29), #7 Missouri (Oct. 15), #1 Nebraska (Oct. 8 & 26) and #20 Kansas State (Oct. 5).

Colorado is receiving votes for the third straight week in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Buffaloes are 11-7 overall, 7-6 in the Big 12 and currently fourth in the league standings. The Buffs have won their last five contests and are 7-3 in their last 10 matches.

CU has defeated three ranked teams in its last five games, taking two consecutive matches against ranked opponents for the first time since 1996. Colorado’s most recent victory against a ranked team came on Oct. 29 as the Buffs shocked then-eighth-ranked Missouri 3-2 in Columbia.

Senior right side hitter Allie Griffin is averaging 4.99 kills per game while hitting .308 on the year. She ranks second in the Big 12 and 13th nationally in kills and 13th in hitting percentage. Griffin has hit more than 20 kills in eight matches this season, including a career-high 29 against Kansas State on Oct. 12.

Sophomore Amber Sutherland is averaging 3.59 kills per game (10th in the league) and owns a .218 attack percentage. Colorado’s 15.69 kills per game ranks fourth in the Big 12.

Junior setter Ashley Nu’u, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, has passed out 951 assists this season to average 13.21 per game, which ranks 14th in the NCAA. She currently ranks third in the Big 12 and leads Colorado to a .251 attack percentage, which ranks fourth in the league.

Colorado leads the all-time series against Kansas, 30-9. The teams have split the series the last two seasons, winning on their respective home courts. The Jayhawks broke that trend when they came back from an 0-2 deficit to win the last meeting in Boulder, 3-2, on Oct. 1.

Kansas had much to celebrate Oct. 1 as it defeated Colorado in five games – 30-32, 31-29, 17-30, 34-32 and 15-6 — at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. With her 65 assists, Andi Rozum became the Jayhawks’ all-time assists leader.

Rozum, who also had seven kills on a .472 attack percentage, broke Julie Woodruff’s career mark of 4,209 assists, set during the 1991 season. With their first Big 12 road win, the Jayhawks improved to 12-3 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play while the Buffaloes moved to 5-6 and 1-5 in league action.

Paula Caten led KU with 19 kills on a .342 hitting efficiency and added seven digs and five blocks. Josi Lima (14 digs, seven blocks), Jana Correa and (nine digs, four aces) and Emily Brown (15 digs, three aces) each added 15 kills in the win.

Jamie Mathewson added 15 digs and three assists. KU hit .251 as a team, recorded 11.0 blocks and 62 digs on the night.

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 (1,389) 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.

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