Volleyball Welcomes No. 3 Texas Wednesday

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Nov. 6, 2007


Fresh off its first win in six matches, the Kansas volleyball team (11-14, 4-11 Big 12) welcomes the No. 3 Texas Longhorns (18-3, 13-1 Big 12) to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center Wednesday night in a 7 p.m. match up.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Wednesday’s match will mark KU’s second straight contest against a top-25 team. <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas notched its first victory over a ranked team this season with a 3-2 win over then-No. 18 Oklahoma last Saturday.

Texas is riding a 14-match winning streak and has won its last 24 games dating back to Oct. 6 including a 3-0 win over then-No. 1 Nebraska on Oct. 24. Texas spoiled NU’s 29-match win streak and handed the Husker’s their first sweep since the Longhorns accomplished the feat in 1997.

Jayhawks At A Glance

Five players currently chip in two kills per game or more for a balanced KU offense. Jenna Kaiser leads the team with 2.98 kills per game followed by Natalie Uhart at 2.71 kpg. In the past three matches, the pair has tallied double-digit kills and have contributed 3.43 and 3.14 kpg, respectivley. Uhart has also been a huge presence on defense racking up 22 total blocks in the last three contests including six solo and adds a team-best 1.17 blocks per game in league play. The 6-2 middle blocker is ranked ninth among Big 12 players with 0.30 service aces per game as well. As a team, KU ranks fifth in the league averaging 1.44 aces per game.

Melissa Manda paces the Jayhawks with 3.93 digs per game in conference play but has averaged 4.50 dpg in the team’s last three matches. Also putting in strong efforts on defense are Emily Brown -2.82 kpg- and Katie Martincich – 2.75 kpg. Martincich and Brown serve equally as important roles on offense averaging 6.61 and 5.39 assists per game, respectively.

Scouting Texas

During conference play, Texas leads the Big 12 in hitting percentage (.359), assists (16.93), kills (18.11) and blocks (3.44) and boasts the conference’s leading player in each of those categories except blocks.

Teammates Brandy Magee, a 6-2 middle blocker, and Lauren Paolini, a 6-5 hitter, lead league players with a .435 hitting efficiency while outside hitter Juliann Faucette averages a conference-high 5.18 kills per game. Six-foot-four Destinee Hooker adds 4.67 kpg, third-best in the Big 12. Michelle Moriarty runs the UT offense setting up 15.18 assists per game. Defensively, Ashley Engle paces the team with 2.67 digs per game and a team-high 1.00 blocks per game along with Hooker.

The Series

Texas leads the all-time series against the Jayhawks 22-4 and has won the last seven meetings including a 3-0 sweep earlier this year on Oct. 13. The last time Kansas recorded a win versus the Longhorns was on Nov. 8, 2003.

Last Meeting With the Longhorns

Texas notched a 3-0 sweep over Kansas on its home court Oct. 13 to extend an eight match winning streak.

Senior Emily Brown and Freshman Karina Garlington led the Jayhawks with seven kills a piece. Brown also chipped in a team-high 17 assists and eight digs in the effort. Freshman Melissa Manda matched Brown with eight digs of her own. Junior Natalie Uhart and Freshman Jenna Kaiser each added six kills. Uhart also provided three block assists and a service ace on the night for a team-high 8.5 points.

KU’s Last Time Out

Kansas volleyball used a balanced attack of four players with double-figure kills to upset No. 18 Oklahoma and stop a six-match losing skid in last Saturday’s volleyball action. KU hung on to defeat the Sooners in five, 30-26, 28-30, 20-30 and 15-10.

Against the Ranks

Not only did Kansas’ win over #18 Oklahoma Saturday night stop a six-match losing streak, but it also marked the Jayhawks’ first win over a top-25 team since Sept. 7, 2006 in a 3-0 sweep of then-No.16 BYU. Saturday’s win was also KU’s first victory over a ranked Big 12 opponent since defeating Kansas State on Nov. 5, 2005 when the Wildcats were ranked 24th in the country.

Seeing Doubles

Three Jayhawks notched double-doubles in Saturday’s win over #18 Oklahoma. Katie Martinchich tallied her team-leading 12th DD and third straight with 16 digs and 23 assists. Emily Brown added a career-high 38 assists to go along with 15 digs. Freshman Karina Garlington recorded her first collegiate double-double on 12 kills and a career-best 15 digs.

Wednesday’s Promotion

All fans in attendance will receive a free Jayhawk flag.

Player Notables:

– Jenna Kaiser’s 18 kills Saturday night entered her into the KU rookie record books as she is tied for the fourth-most kills in a rookie season at Kansas with 256. Kaiser is tied with former Jayhawk Jana Correa (2003-06).

Follow the Jayhawks

Can’t watch the game? Fans can follow live stats for all of KU’s volleyball matches at KUathletics.com. Live video is also available during home matches through Kansas’ All-Access subscription service. Fans can sign up for the service on KUathletics.com.

Up Next

The Jayhawks travel to Boulder, Colo., Saturday for their final conference weekend road trip of 2007. KU will take on the University of Colorado at 7:30 p.m. CST.