2006 In Review

Dec. 20, 2006


Kansas started the 2006 season out strong, going 7-1 and sweeping 16th-ranked BYU in non-conference action at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. After a tough five-game loss to Arkansas and setbacks to top-ranked Nebraska and No. 5 Texas, the Jayhawks picked up their first Big 12 Conference win of the season against Texas A&M on Sept. 20. KU then stopped a five-match skid with league wins over Kansas State and Baylor at home in mid-October but dropped the last 10 matches of the season. The Jayhawks finished 10-19 overall, including a 7-2 non-conference mark and 3-17 record in Big 12 play for an 11th place finish. KU finished the year ranked fifth in the league in assists (14.41) and digs per game (15.81) and sixth with 15.51 kills per game.

Top Jayhawk Performers
Senior outside hitter Jana Correa paced a balanced KU offense in 2006 with 3.78 kills per game — good for ninth in the league — and recorded 14 or more kills in 16 matches. Correa also became just the ninth Jayhawk in school history to record 1,000 kills for her career. Junior right side hitter Emily Brown, a threat in all six rotations, and sophomore middle blocker Savannah Noyes rounded out the top KU hitters. Brown was second on the squad with 3.39 kills per game and added 2.68 digs per game. The 6-2 Baldwin City, Kan., native missed the first match of her career at Baylor on Nov. 15 and played the last three matches with a broken foot. Noyes tallied a team-best .283 hitting percentage and added 3.25 kills per game and was one of just three Jayhawks to play all 102 games. Redshirt freshman setter Katie Martincich ranked eighth in the Big 12 with 11.70 assists per game, the best performance of any Jayhawk rookie in program history. KU’s defense was led by senior libero Jamie Mathewson, who contributed 3.61 digs per game — good for ninth in the league. KU also got a boost from freshman middle blocker Brittany Williams (2.27 kills per game), who replaced injured Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Natalie Uhart.

Five Seniors Leave Their Mark on the KU Program
Kansas said goodbye to five Jayhawk seniors in 2006 — Jana Correa, Megan Hill, Jamie Mathewson, Linsey Morningstar and Dani Wittman. Leading the group was Correa, who finished her career among the top 10 offensive leaders in Kansas program history. As a class, the seniors helped Kansas to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, totaled 66 wins and enjoyed two of the Jayhawks’ best seasons in program history.

Correa Closes A Remarkable KU Career
Despite season-ending injuries in 2003 and 2005, senior outside hitter Jana Correa finished her successful volleyball career at KU among the program’s offensive leaders. The Macapa, Brazil, native became just the ninth Jayhawk in school history to reach the 1,000-kill mark and achieved the milestone in just 76 matches. In just 314 games (88 matches), Correa earned spots on five career and three single-season Kansas record lists.

Martincich Sets New KU Rookie Record
In 2006, redshirt freshman setter Katie Martincich dished the most assists of any rookie in Kansas history (1,193) and is listed on two career and single-season Jayhawk record lists. With her 34 assists against Iowa State on Nov. 4, Martincich recorded her 1,000th assist in a Jayhawk uniform. The Shawnee, Kan., native averaged 11.70 assists per game as a rookie, which ranks ninth all-time among Jayhawk setters. Martincich also topped the rookie record of former Jayhawk setter Andi Rozum (2002-05), who totaled 1,179 assists as a freshman in 2002.

Crimson and Blue Bits
~Junior Emily Brown missed the first match of her career Nov. 15 at Baylor due to an injury. The 6-2 right side hitter/setter had previously started all 86 matches of her career. Brown notched 20 or more kills on five occasions and totaled 13 double-doubles (kills/digs) in 2006, including a rare triple-double against UMKC on Aug. 29 — 12 kills, 10 assists and 10 digs. On Nov. 10, Brown was tabbed ESPN the Magazine Academic Third-Team All-District for her performance on the court and in the classroom.
~Senior Jana Correa tallied 14 or more kills in 16 of KU’s 29 matches on the season. In fact, Correa had exactly 14 kills in six matches, 10 or more digs on 16 occasions and 14 double-doubles her senior year.
~Sophomore Savannah Noyes, who compiled a .203 hitting percentage as a rookie, led the Jayhawks at a .283 clip in 2006. Her performance was good for ninth on KU’s single-season records list.
~Due to an injury, Jayhawk middle blocker Natalie Uhart was sidelined for the 2006 season. Uhart (Lansing, Kan.), a junior transfer, suffered a knee injury Aug. 19 in a preseason scrimmage and underwent a successful surgery on Sept. 12. Uhart, voted the 2006 Big 12 Conference Preseason Newcomer of the Year, was granted an additional year of eligibility in August 2006 by the Big West Conference after a 2005 medical hardship season at Long Beach State.
~Kansas head coach Ray Bechard is just three victories away from becoming the winningest volleyball coach in school history. Bechard, a native of Grinnell, Kan., is 148-127 in his ninth season at KU and carries a career coaching record of 864-187 over 22 seasons.

Five Jayhawks Earn Academic All-Big 12 Honors
Five Jayhawks were among the 50 student-athletes named to the 2006 Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team. KU seniors Jana Correa, Jamie Mathewson and Megan Hill, junior Emily Brown and sophomore Savannah Noyes were each honored for their performance on the court and in the classroom. Correa and Mathewson earned first-team honors for the third consecutive season while Brown was placed on the first team for the second time. Noyes, a first-team selection (3.20 GPA), and Hill, a second team honoree (3.00 GPA), each received their first awards.

Jayhawks Sign Garlington & Kaiser
KU head coach Ray Bechard announced Nov. 9 the signing of outside hitters Karina Garlington (Denver, Colo.) and Jenna Kaiser (Wichita, Kan.) to National Letters of Intent. Garlington, a senior at Grandview High School, and Kaiser, a product of Kapaun Mt. Carmel, will join the Jayhawks in 2007. Garlington hails from Grandview High, which entered the season ranked 16th in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. She is also a member of the nationally prominent Front Range Volleyball Club. A 6-0 hitter and six-rotation player, Kaiser is one of the top prospects in the state of Kansas. In addition to earning 5A first-team all-state and all-metro volleyball honors in 2005 and 2006, Kaiser was also a member of the Shock Wave volleyball club and third team all-class 5A in basketball. Kaiser also competed with the 2006 USA Volleyball Junior National A-2 Training Team last summer in Florida.

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