No. 20 Kansas to Host Texas Tech on Senior Day
Nov. 23, 2012
|Live Video ($)||AT&T Jayhawk All-Access|
|Live Audio||AT&T Jayhawk All-Access|
|Big 12 Notes||Weekly Release|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Local Jayhawks Tayler Tolefree and Morgan Boub along with Alaska native Sylvia Bullockwill each be honored when the 20th-ranked Jayhawks welcome Texas Tech to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center for senior day and the final match of the regular season, Saturday at 1 p.m.
AROUND THE GYM
-The seniors and their parents will be honored on the court prior to the match.
-Following the match, each senior will be recognized and give a short speech.
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
As with all home matches, KU vs. Texas Tech 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 is 18-16 all-time against Texas Tech in a series that dates back to 1982. The Jayhawks hold a 10-6 all-time advantage at home, while they trail the Red Raiders on their home court, 8-9. On a neutral floor, TTU also has the upper hand at 1-0.
KU has claimed five of the last six meetings, including the last three-straight. KU opened the conference season in Lubbock and left with a convincing 3-0 victory (Sept. 22).
AT A GLANCE
-Kansas played in front of its largest crowd of the season when 3,222 fans attended KU’s match against Saint Louis in Allen Fieldhouse (Nov. 21) – that ranks sixth all-time in volleyball crowds in AFH.
-Texas clinched the Big 12 title more than a week ago, but with one conference match remaining, Kansas trails Iowa State by half a match for second place. Texas and Iowa State will square off Saturday night – if the Cyclones win, Kansas stays in third place. If Texas wins – KU will finish second in the standings. Either scenario will mark the highest conference finish for Kansas in the Big 12 era.
-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 10-6 against top-50 RPI teams and 16-6 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.
-A win on Saturday would mark 25 on the year, the first time a Kansas squad has won 25 matches since the 1991 season – and the Jayhawks would do so in only 31 matches rather than 35 like the 1991 team.
-Kansas can add to its program-best home win total after breaking the record at home against Oklahoma (Nov. 14). The Jayhawks currently have 15 home wins this year, the previous record was 13.
-KU ranks second in the Big 12 in kills (14.17, 31st NCAA), blocks (2.59, 36th NCAA), digs (16.06, 93rd) and assists (13.27, 24th NCAA) per set.
-At 24-6, KU clinched the program record for best winning percentage in a season at Kansas (.800). The 1986 team previously held the record (26-9, .743). The 2012 Jayhawks would still be No. 1 regardless of a win or loss on Saturday.
-If the season ended today, redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc would soundly break KU’s career (.332) and single-season attack percentage (.395) records. Fellow junior Brianne Riley would break the single-season digs per set record as well (5.21).
NO. 20 KANSAS (24-6, 11-4 Big 12)
In their last time out, the Jayhawks, led by 15-year head coach Ray Bechard, proved that a major change in venue and environment has no bearing on the team’s focus. Kansas volleyball used to call Allen Fieldhouse home, but when the Jayhawks returned there for the first time since 1999 on Wednesday, it had an even greater meaning. As the final match of the regular season approaches, KU sits solidly on the bubble as one of the top-16 national seeds that would host the NCAA First and Second rounds – which would be held in Allen Fieldhouse.
By soundly taking care of a scrappy Saint Louis squad in front of more than 3,200 fans the night before Thanksgiving, the Jayhawks’ versatility will only prove beneficial as the postseason approaches.
Ironically, the convincing midweek victory came without one Jayhawk registering double-digit kills. Senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree led the offense with eight kills on a .545 hitting efficiency, while sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton and redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc followed her with seven and six kills, respectively.
The most impressive display of the night, however, had little to do with the offense as junior libero Brianne Riley broke the 26-year old single-season digs record and now stands at a Big 12-leading 563 for the season. She needs just 10 more to break KU’s all-time digs record as a junior.
Jarmoc, who is currently in consideration for Academic All-America, is top-five in the Big 12 in hitting percentage (.395, 1st), kills per set (3.56, 4th), blocks per set (1.28, 4th) and points per set (4.57, 2nd). In conference play only, Jarmoc ranks sixth in aces per set (0.31). Junior Erin McNorton fell out of the conference lead for assists per set (11.77), but became the first Jayhawk since 2004 to break the 1,300-assist barrier in a season on Wednesday.
TEXAS TECH (14-17, 3-12 Big 12)
Led by second-year head coach Don Flora, Texas Tech was picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 and rests there currently with one match remaining. After jumping out to an 11-1 start, the Red Raiders began running the gamut that is the Big 12 Conference. Tech swept the season series from newcomer West Virginia and pulled an upset last weekend when the team knocked off No. 20 Kansas State, 3-1.
Flora has adjusted his lineup throughout the fall to find working combinations. Against Kansas State, freshman middle blocker Brianna Grant racked up 10 kills despite only playing in 35 sets all season. Sophomore outside hitter Breeann David leads the offense with 2.77 kills per set, while freshmen outside hitters Emily Ehrle and Meghan Stacy check in right behind her with 2.43 and 2.35 kills per set, respectively. Emily Ruetter, also a freshman, starts at setter and is averaging 9.61 assists per set, while sophomore Rachel Brummitt has settled in as the Red Raiders’ starting libero (4.34 digs per set) after transferring from Radford.
Senior outside hitter Mira Cave is the only TTU attacker with 30 matches played this season and she averages 2.33 kills per set.
As a team, TTU holds a .192 attack percentage with 12.24 kills per set, both of which rank eighth in the conference. Defensively, the Red Raiders dig 14.30 balls per set and block at a 2.17 rate with no one averaging a full block per set.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
On Texas Tech knocking off Kansas State and being a dangerous opponent:
“They played well against Baylor, too, on Wednesday night. I think they’re healthier than they’ve been all year and some of their young players aren’t playing like freshmen anymore. I think they’re playing as well as they have all year. We won’t be satisfied until we’ve completed our conference season, which will happen sometime Saturday afternoon. It will be another great opportunity for us to get better.”
On the adaptability his team showed with the change to Allen Fieldhouse:
“When you put your team in a situation where there they’re a little uncomfortable and then they still respond like that, I think that’s good. Teams that can adapt in whatever situation they are presented has a tendency to maybe do that in the future. It was a good experience for us. I think the team was pleasantly surprised by the turnout and if we do get a chance to get back in there, it will have served us well to have that experience, but even if we don’t, we still got the opportunity to play in a pretty cool venue in front of an enthusiastic crowd and probably some that had seen us for the very first time.”
On the senior class and what they’ve meant to this program:
“Sylvia (Bullock)’s situation is really unique. We’ve never had a situation like that before, but to her credit she’s handled it extremely well. If you can imagine walking into a pretty established team and playing a sport that you haven’t played in a while (it would be tough), but she did it with a lot of class. She was very responsible in how she went about her business and tried to help the team in any way she can. The role that she played was important and just the way she goes about her business, we know she’ll be successful in whatever she goes on to do.
The other two have been through some really good times and some tough times. Like I’ve told them, what a great year to be a senior. For Tayler Tolefree, it’s been quite a journey from an inexperienced player to a really, really quality Big 12 middle. We’ve relied on her a lot and we can depend on her for a consistent effort each and every day, and a consistent and quality way that she represents our program.
With Morgan Boub, she’s been out there for four years playing extensively for us in different roles. She’s played some libero, but has primarily been one of our core passers and servers for four years. I think the message to them is that is goes by pretty fast. I think they know that, and now we’ll try to extend the season for them as long as we can.”
No. 20 Kansas will learn its next move when the NCAA Tournament Selection show airs Sunday at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.
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