Five Seniors Honored As KU Falls to #1 Nebraska, 3-0
Nov. 22, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Five Jayhawks played the final home match of their careers Wednesday night as Kansas volleyball was swept by No. 1 Nebraska, 16-30, 16-30 and 20-30, in front of a sellout crowd of 1,300 at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Led by Jana Correa’s match-high 13 kills, seniors Megan Hill, Jamie Mathewson, Linsey Morningstar and Dani Wittman each contributed in the Jayhawks’ effort.
“Correa battled really hard tonight and gave it all she had,” KU head coach Ray Bechard said. “All of our seniors were able to contribute to the match in some way — hitting, blocking, serving, digging — and it was an emotional night for them.”
With the victory, the Huskers (26-1, 18-1 Big 12) claimed the 2006 Big 12 Championship outright. KU moved to 10-18 on the season and 3-16 in league action with one match remaining on the schedule.
Correa’s 13 kills came on a match-high 36 attempts. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native also added five digs and two blocks. Junior Emily Brown and sophomore Savannah Noyes each added seven kills and Hill rounded out the hitters with five kills and a team-best three blocks.
Mathewson totaled 12 digs and two assists and redshirt freshman Katie Martincich dished 26 assists to go with nine digs and three kills. The Jayhawks outblocked the Huskers, but posted a .127 hitting efficiency (36 kills and 21 errors on 118 attempts) to Nebraska’s impressive .476 (59 kills and 10 errors on 103 swings).
“Even though we had eight blocks to their seven, that doesn’t tell the story,” Bechard added. “Nebraska had a lot of clean swings with nobody in front of them at the net, which put a lot of pressure on our backcourt defense. We need to think of a way this Spring and heading into next Fall how to close that gap. I think we’ve just seen a potential National Champion if they keep playing that well.”
Junior All-American Sarah Pavan paced NU in Game One with seven of her 12 kills. The Huskers used a 5-0 run to take a 20-9 lead and posted a .543 attack percentage in the win. Correa totaled four of the Jayhawks’ nine kills in the stanza, which came on a .127 team clip (five errors, 38 attempts).
Husker Jordan Larson, who finished with a team-best 13 kills, pounded nine kills in Game Two. Correa chipped in five more and Noyes and Brown added four kills apiece, but the NU offense dominated, scoring 23 of their 30 points off kills.
The highlight of the match for KU came in the final game. Down 26-13, the Jayhawks rattled off five unanswered points behind the serving of Wittman and three straight Jayhawk blocks. Correa ended the run with her 13th kill of the night but the Huskers regrouped, closing the match with a kill from Pavan.
The Jayhawks close out their season Saturday against Sunflower State rival Kansas State. Match time at the Ahearn Fieldhouse in Manhattan, Kan., is set for 2 p.m.