No. 20 Kansas Thanks Fans with Free Admission to Saint Louis Match
Nov. 19, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In appreciation for the fan base that has backed the 20th-ranked Kansas volleyball team throughout the season, Kansas Athletics announced Wednesday’s special Thanksgiving-Eve match inside Allen Fieldhouse will be free of charge. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.
AROUND THE GYM
-The Hawk Zone will be set up next to the northeast tunnel of Allen Fieldhouse.
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
As with all home matches, KU vs. Saint Louis will stream live – video and audio – on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. Kyle West will call the action. 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.
Kansas leads the all-time record against Saint Louis, 13-3, in a series that dates back to 1975. KU and SLU met last season at Northern Iowa Invitational, where the Jayhawks took the match in three sets. Prior to that, the Billikens and Jayhawks had met only twice more in the Ray Bechard era (1998, 2005).
AT A GLANCE
-The Jayhawks will return to their roots for Wednesday’s match. From 1975-98, Allen Fieldhouse served as the home for Jayhawk volleyball. The 1998 season, head coach Ray Bechard’s first at KU, marked the final year the Jayhawks played in the Fieldhouse. Kansas moved to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center in 1999 and have not played in AFH since Oct. 15, 1999.
-For the second-straight week, the Jayhawks broke their program-best RPI mark as they jumped to No. 6 in this week’s projections (Nov. 19). KU has now been in the RPI’s top-10 six of eight weekly projections. In 2012, Kansas is 6-5 against top-50 RPI teams and 11-6 against the top-100.
-KU improved to No. 20 on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches poll (Nov. 19). Four Big 12 members hold spots in the nation’s top-25: No. 3 Texas, No. 18 Iowa State, No. 20 Kansas and No. 25 Kansas State. KU has been in the top-25 for eight-straight weeks. KU is 6-3 against teams in the top-25 or receiving votes.
-Kansas broke program’s best win total in the Big 12 era with its 23rd victory Saturday at TCU, marking the most Jayhawk victories since 1991 when they Jayhawks went 25-10.
-Texas clinched the Big 12 title last Wednesday by sweeping Texas Tech. With one conference match remaining, Kansas trails Iowa State by half a match for second place in the standings. The Cyclones still have two Big 12 matches to play, Wednesday at West Virginia and at home against Texas Saturday. The Longhorns are still undefeated in league.
-Kansas can add to its program-best home win total after breaking the record at 14 in its last home match (Nov. 14 vs. Oklahoma).
-KU ranks second in the Big 12 in kills (14.27, 31st NCAA), blocks (2.60, 36th NCAA), digs (16.04, 93rd) and assists (13.36, 24th NCAA) per set.
-Kansas (23-6, .793) is on pace to break the program record for winning percentage. A win on Wednesday would clinch the best winning percentage in a regular season in program history. The 1986 team currently holds KU’s best (26-9, .743).
-If the season ended today, redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc would soundly break KU’s career (.331) and single-season attack percentage (.394) records. Fellow junior Brianne Riley would break the single-season digs per set record as well (5.19).
NO. 20 KANSAS (23-6, 11-4 Big 12)
Wednesday will serve as a day of firsts for the Jayhawks. Led by 15-year head coach Ray Bechard, the Jayhawks will play its first non-conference match in more than two months and its first match in Allen Fieldhouse since the 1999 season. All while fighting for a second or third-place finish, which would be the first time KU finished higher than fifth in Big 12 history.
In their first trip to TCU, the Jayhawks put a game plan in place and despite one of the louder venues in the conference, KU executed that to a tee. For the sixth time in 2012, the Jayhawks hit over .300 as a unit. Additionally, nine different Jayhawks recorded kills against the Horned Frogs – the third time this season KU has received kills from nine or more players. Redshirt junior middle blocker led the offense with 11 kills, while freshman outside hitter Tiana Dockery logged 10.
Jarmoc, who is currently in consideration for Academic All-America, is top-five in the Big 12 in hitting percentage (.394, 1st), kills per set (3.61, 3rd), blocks per set (1.28, 4th) and points per set (4.60, 2nd). In conference play only, Jarmoc ranks seventh in aces per set (0.31). Junior Erin McNorton sits four assists away from 1,300 for the season and holds the conference lead for assists per set (11.89). Fellow junior Brianne Riley is one of two Big 12 liberos averaging more than five digs per set (5.19). Riley will very likely break KU’s single-season digs record (549) on Wednesday, as she is only five short heading into the match (545).
SAINT LOUIS (10-19, 4-10 Atlantic 10)
The Billikens are led by second-year head coach Kent Miller, and are looking to close their season on a strong note as they meet up with Kansas for the second time in as many years. Heading into their final match of the season, SLU comes in losing three of its last five and sit 10th in the A-10.
As a team, Saint Louis is averaging 12.4 kills per set with a .161 attack percentage, but the Billikens hold the advantage over Kansas – and the rest of the Big 12 squads – with 17.18 digs per set, good for 46th in the country. They block at a 1.80 per set rate, while their opponents average 2.34 blocks per set.
Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Lauren Baumet leads the team with 2.49 kills per set, while senior middle blocker Carly Marcum sets the tone with 245 total kills. Seven players on this year’s roster played in last year’s meeting between the two teams. With both of SLU’s kills leaders from that match both graduated, Marcum led the returners with six kills against the Jayhawks on Sept. 10, 2011.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
On non-conference matchup with Saint Louis:
“This is something we scheduled six to eight months out. We have a lot of respect for their staff and their program. We thought this would be an opportunity to get something going between the two programs to start seeing each other each year since we are close enough to play. I’m sure that there season hasn’t gone quite like they hoped. This is still a great opportunity for them to finish their season on a really high note and it’s a great opportunity for us to continue to get better as we look forward to a possible post season.”
On playing in Allen Fieldhouse:
“Our home is Horejsi (Family Athletics Center). Obviously, that is where we are most comfortable and that is where we have built our following, but this is a special opportunity to increase the number of people who can come and see us play and possibly branch out into another venue. There is also potential that we might play in there again. But if not, and this is our only opportunity, we will take full advantage of it.”
On victory against TCU:
“We thought we would see a lot of different looks from TCU and a lot of different personnel, and we did. You just have to stay true to what our releases should look like and we felt we could have some success offensively. When they had some success early in the match we kept pressuring them and eventually we pulled it out. For us to get over 300 I think teams are going to have a hard time with you.”
On his whole team’s effort:
“It was great to see a stat sheet where nine different girls got kills. If there was anything I wish we could do more, it (would be) playing people who deserve to play more. Unfortunately, in our sport with limited substitutions and the way the momentum goes, we aren’t always able to do that. We’ve got kids who are practicing at a high level that deserve more time, but the nature of our sport is you can’t create as many opportunities as you would like. So any time those players get to play, they deserve to play. We appreciate the effort they all make each and every day in practice.”
No. 20 Kansas will host Senior Day on Saturday, Nov. 24 against Texas Tech. First serve is set for 1 p.m. in the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
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