KU Travels To #24 K-State For Sunflower Showdown

Nov. 4, 2005


Kansas volleyball looks to improve its Big 12 Conference record Saturday when it travels 85 miles west to take on #24 Kansas State in the 92nd Sunflower Showdown. The Wildcats (16-7, 7-6 Big 12) are coming off a 3-2 win at Iowa State while the Jayhawks (12-11, 4-10) are trying to stop an eight-match skid.

First serve is set for 7 p.m. at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan. 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 3.45 kills (.225 hitting efficiency) and 0.96 blocks per game. Freshman Savannah Noyes, at 6-3, adds 1.63 kills and 0.74 blocks per game in the other middle blocker spot.

Caten, a 6-3 outside hitter, contributes 3.24 kills per game and Brown, a 6-2 right side hitter, chips in 2.89 kills, 2.35 digs and 0.39 aces per game. Junior Megan Hill has started six matches this season at outside hitter and adds 1.36 kills per game.

Junior libero Jamie Mathewson paces the defense and ranks ninth in the league with 3.32 digs per game.

The Jayhawks are without junior outside hitter Jana Correa, who suffered a season-ending injury against then-ranked #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.

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

K-State leads the all-time series against the Jayhawks, 52-32, and has won the last 21 meetings. KU’s last victory over the Wildcats (3-2 in Lawrence) was on Nov. 16, 1994, under head coach Karen Schonewise. The Jayhawks were just 7-19 overall and 4-8 in Big Eight play that season.

KU head coach Ray Bechard is 0-15 against the Wildcats while KSU’s Suzie Fritz is 9-0 against the Jayhawks. K-State has won nine of the last 11 matches in three games.

No. 24 Kansas State returned to its winning ways on Wednesday night, rallying to defeat Iowa State, 3-2. The Wildcats ended a three-match slide, but extended their win streak over the Cyclones to 20 straight matches.

K-State saw four players in double-figure kills, led by junior outside hitter Sandy Werner’s career-high 22. Joining Werner in double digits were senior Agata Rezende with 21, sophomore Rita Liliom with 13 and junior Joy Hamlin with 11. It was the fifth time this season Rezende recorded 20 or more kills. Lilliom tallied her second straight double-double and fourth of the season with 13 kills and 14 digs. Hamlin led the Wildcats in hitting percentage (.391) and blocks (seven).

Sophomore setter Stacey Spiegelberg tied her career-high in assists with 67. The Overland Park, Kan., product reached the mark the first time at Arkansas on Sept. 2.

Under head coach Suzie Fritz, Kansas State is 30-8 (.789) in the month of November.

Kansas volleyball’s 14-match home winning streak ended Oct. 5 with a 30-25, 30-24, 30-23, loss to #20 Kansas State at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

KU was without Jana Correa for most of the match after coming down hard after a kill in game one. (It was later determined a season-ending injury.)

Paula Caten and Josi Lima led KU with nine kills apiece. Caten also led the defense with 11 digs and Lima added seven digs and two aces. Savannah Noyes chipped in eight kills on a team-best .400 hitting efficiency and senior Andi Rozum tied a match-high with 36 assists.

Emily Brown added nine digs, six kills and tied a career high with three solo blocks. Megan Hill, playing for the injured Correa, had four kills.

KSU was led by Agata Rezende, who paced all hitters with 14 kills. Wildcat libero Angie Lastra was impressive, posting a match-high 14 digs. Stacey Speigelberg had 36 assists and 10 kills on an .833 attack percentage. The Wildcats outblocked KU 17.0 to 7.0 and hit .246 to the Jayhawks’ .098.

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 59 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.

Match Notes in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader