No. 22 Kansas Stays Home for Sooners
Nov. 12, 2012
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – After suffering their first loss at home, the 22nd-ranked Jayhawks have the opportunity to set the program record for home victories in a season when they welcome Oklahoma to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center, Wednesday at 6 p.m.
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
Wednesday’s match will be televised by Metro Sports (Knology, channel 37). Nick McCabe and former Jayhawk volleyball player, Jill (Dorsey) Hall, will provide the talent.
As with all home matches, KU vs. OU will stream live – video and audio – on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access with Kyle West on the call. The live audio stream will be available free of charge, while the audio and video combination requires a subscription fee. Fans can always track the Jayhawks on GameTracker or by following JayhawkVball on Twitter.
AROUND THE GYM
-Just Food Drive
-Volleyball/Women’s Basketball Doubleheader – KU women’s basketball vs. Southeast Missouri State, 8 p.m.
Oklahoma leads the all-time series, dating back to 1976, 44-31. At home, the Jayhawks are even with the Sooners at 15-15, but Oklahoma holds the advantage in Norman, Okla., 23-12, as well as on a neutral court, 7-3. The Jayhawks have won five of the last 10 meetings, including a 3-2 victory in Norman, Okla., on Oct. 10.
AT A GLANCE
-KU’s loss to Texas combined with Iowa State’s sweep of Oklahoma moved Kansas to third place in the Big 12 standings by half a match. With three regular-season matches remaining, Texas clinched at least a share of the conference title in its win over KU.
-Kansas snapped a 13-match home win streak on Saturday, but a win against Oklahoma would set the program record for most home wins in a season (current record, 13 – 1978, 1991).
-The Jayhawks need one win to tie and two to break the program’s best win total in the Big 12 era (22, 2003). A win on Saturday would tie for KU’s second-most Big 12 victories with the most being 13 in 2003.
-Kansas is 6-3 against teams in the top-25 or receiving votes this season – and 6-1 at home.
-Kansas ranks second in the Big 12 in blocks (2.67) and digs (15.92) per set and third in both assists (13.18) and kills (14.07) per set. The Sooners check in right behind the Jayhawks in blocks and digs, but both agree on serving as the duo makes up the last two spots in service aces among the Big 12 teams.
-KU improved to No. 22 on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches poll (Nov. 12). Four Big 12 members hold spots in the nation’s top-25: No. 3 Texas, No. 20 Kansas State, No. 21 Iowa State and No. 22 Kansas. KU has been in the top-25 for seven-straight weeks.
-The Jayhawks jumped to No. 7 on the NCAA RPI projections (Nov. 12) – a new program-best (previous was No. 8, Oct. 22, 2012) putting KU in the RPI’s top-10 five of seven weekly projections. In 2012, Kansas is 6-5 against top-50 RPI teams and 11-6 against the top-100.
-Kansas (21-6, .778) is on pace to break the program record for winning percentage. The 1986 team currently holds KU’s best (26-9, .743).
-If the season ended today, redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc would break KU’s career (.326) and single-season attack percentage (.386) records. Fellow junior Brianne Riley would break the single-season digs per set record as well (5.17).
NO. 22 KANSAS (21-6, 9-4 Big 12)
After fighting the No. 3 Texas Longhorns to a mere three-point loss in the fifth set, the Jayhawks postgame reaction immediately revolved around what could’ve been better. Though head coach Ray Bechard, in his 15th season at Kansas, was pleased with team’s fight, moral victories didn’t mean anything to a Jayhawk squad that had the country’s No. 2 RPI team down, 2-1.
With conference play down to three matches for everyone but Iowa State, TCU and Texas Tech, the standings race in full sprint. Kansas holds a full match lead over Kansas State for third place and trails Iowa State by half a match for second place heading into the most meaningful midweek matches of the season – No. 2 Iowa State and No. 4 Kansas State square off the same night at No. 3 Kansas faces No. 5 Oklahoma.
In front of one of the loudest sold-out crowds in HFAC history, the Jayhawks and Longhorns combined for 354 swings in Saturday’s match. Though Texas logged more kills (67-56) on those swings, Kansas notched more digs (80-73) to set the tone for the epic first-place, second-place match up. Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc led the floor with 18 kills and was joined on the Jayhawk leaderboard by sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton’s 11. The duo each ranks in the Big 12’s top-10 in kills per set.
Jarmoc, who is currently in consideration for Academic All-America, is top-five in hitting percentage (.386, 1st), kills per set (3.55, 4th), blocks per set (1.32, 4th) and points per set (4.55, 3rd). Meanwhile, juniors Erin McNorton and Brianne Riley are second the league in assists (11.78 per set) and digs (5.17 per set), respectively.
Wednesday will pair Jarmoc against another of the Big 12’s elite middle blockers in Oklahoma’s Sallie McLaurin. McLaurin is right behind Jarmoc in the league’s attack percentage (.362), while McLaurin (1.38) has the slight blocking edge.
OKLAHOMA (19-9, 8-5 Big 12)
Led by Santiago Restrepo in his ninth season as head coach, Oklahoma was voted to finish fourth in the Big 12 Preseason Poll and currently sits at fifth. The Sooners handed a nationally-ranked Kansas State squad its first loss of the season to open Big 12 play and lost to Iowa State in their most recent outing. Prior to the loss, Oklahoma had won three-straight.
While Kansas holds a sizable advantage in attack percentage, assists and kills per set, the Sooners and Jayhawks have been on each other’s backs defensively. Kansas and Oklahoma rank second and third, respectively, in the Big 12 in blocks per set (2.67/2.57) and digs per set (15.92/15.67).
Much like Kansas, Oklahoma is led by a dominant junior middle blocker as KU’s Jarmoc and OU’s McLaurin go No. 1, No. 2 at the top of the Big 12 in attack percentage, and fourth and second, respectively, in the league’s blocks per set mark. The 2011 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and AVCA All-America honorable mention honoree, McLaurin is the only other player besides Jarmoc hitting above .350 in the Big 12. Unlike Kansas, no one on OU’s roster is averaging three or more kills per set.
Freshman setter Julia Doyle continues to learn the position vacated by former Sooner standout Brianne Barker. She averages 9.84 assists per set and has 83 kills on the year.
Senior libero and OU’s all-time digs leader, Maria Fernanda, leads the team with 4.72 digs per set.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
On the importance of quickly recovering from the Texas loss:
“It’s very important. People are jockeying to move up in the conference race and that takes focus on the next match. We have an opportunity to face a very good Oklahoma team at home and that will require our full focus and attention.”
On the fight the team showed against Texas:
“Everybody that saw the match knows that we battled. I was very proud of this team’s fight, but we were able to identify a few things we can do better. Energy doesn’t always equal execution, but having both sure helps. We have a ton of respect for Texas and how they played – as we should. But we have a number of goals in front of us, too, and that’s what we’re working toward right now.”
On the tight conference race:
“Texas has pretty much wrapped up its situation, but for teams two through five, there’s still a lot of volleyball left. Oklahoma sees that. Kansas is one of the teams in front of them that they have an opportunity against. On Wednesday, we’ve got the No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 teams all playing each other. This is a huge opportunity for teams in the race.”
Kansas will travel to Fort Worth, Texas for its final away match of the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 17 at TCU. First serve is set for 1 p.m.
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