KU And Oklahoma "Dig For the Cure" Saturday Night

Nov. 2, 2007


After a brief road stint to Waco, Texas Wednesday, the Kansas volleyball team (10-14, 3-11 Big 12) returns home to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center Saturday night for a 7 p.m. match up with the 18th ranked Oklahoma Sooners (18-6, 10-4 Big 12).

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Dig For the Cure

Saturday is <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas’ second annual “Dig For the Cure.” Volunteers will be on hand to collect donations and a running total of KU digs will be announced after each game. The Jayhawks have been collecting pledges for digs and helping raise awareness and recognition for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation throughout October — National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year’s “Dig For the Cure” match raised over $2,500. Fans can download a pledge sheet by visiting www.kuathletics.com and clicking on the volleyball homepage.

Jayhawks At A Glance
Kansas has hit a rough spot in the season dropping its last six matches, four of which were on the road and three of which went more than three games. The team is hitting just .172 during conference play despite an impressive, team-leading .303 clip from junior Natalie Uhart. Uhart also boasts a team-best 1.19 blocks per game, 10th best in the Big 12.

Senior Emily Brown adds 2.78 kpg and has proven to be KU’s most versatile player also adding a team-high 6.51 assists per game, while chipping in 2.80 digs per game. Freshman Melissa Manda continues to be a constant on defense digging up 4.00 balls per contest.

Scouting Oklahoma
Oklahoma has won three of its last four matches, but is coming off a 3-0 loss at No. 3 Texas. The Sooners, ranked third in the Big 12 standings, have suffered just four sweeps this year.

Not far in front of KU, Oklahoma has recorded a .190 hitting percentage in Big 12 matches. Francie Ekwerekwu leads the team with a .315 clip while Mariana Blum averages a team-high 3.12 kills per game. Four more Sooners add over two kills a game. Defensively, Hannah Sharp and Laplante lead the team with 3.98 and 3.12 digs per game, respectively.

The Series
Oklahoma leads the all-time series against the Jayhawks 40-25 and has won the last three meetings. Prior to 2006, KU held a nine match winning streak against the Sooners and own a 14-13 record in Lawrence with OU since the creation of the Big 12 Conference.

Last Meeting With the Sooners
Oklahoma handed KU its second loss of the 2007 conference season nearly two months ago on Sept. 15 earlier in the year. OU topped the Jayhawks in four by scores of 30-24, 30-20, 27-30 and 30-17. Freshman Jenna Kaiser led the Jayhawks offensively with 16 kills. Senior Emily Brown added a triple-double with 10 kills, 12 digs and a team-high 34 assists and sophomore Katie Martincich chipped in a double-double of 17 assists and 10 digs.

KU’s Last Time Out
Despite three players with double-digit kills and a triple-double from Emily Brown, the Jayhawks could not overcome Baylor as KU fell in four in Waco. KU fell 19-30, 30-20, 24-30 and 22-30. Freshman Jenna Kaiser led the Kansas offense hitting at a career-best .538 clip on 16 kills. Brown followed with 13 kills to go along with 12 digs and her team-high 25 assists. Junior Natalie Uhart also had double-figures with 11 kills. Freshman libero Melissa Manda led all players with 17 digs. Katie Martincich pitched in 13 digs of her own as well as 23 assists.

Player Notables:
– Emily Brown has continued to have a stellar senior campaign recording her seventh triple-double of the season, and third consecutive, at BU on Oct. 31 with 13 kills and 12 digs to go along with 25 assists. Brown is also the only Jayhawk to have played and started all 24 matches so far this season.
– Katie Martincich notched her team-leading 11th double-double of the year Wednesday digging up a career-high 18 digs to go along with 32 assists as she topped her number of DDs from 2006.
– Against Baylor Wednesday, Jenna Kaiser recorded a career-best and new team individual four-game high .538 hitting percentage successfully hitting 16 of her 26 attempts with just two errors.
– Freshman libero Melissa Manda set a career mark 30 digs last Saturday, the first 30-dig performance by a Jayhawk this season. It was also the third most digs recorded in a match by any Big 12 player this season.
– The team tied a Big 12 match-high with its 102 digs Oct. 27 versus Missouri.

Up Next
KU volleyball will hold its fi nal Wednesday night match of the season Nov. 7 when the No. 7 Texas Longhorns come to Lawrence. Match time is set for 7 p.m.