🏐 Jayhawks Hit the Road to Face No. 11 Baylor
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second-consecutive weekend, Kansas Volleyball (11-6, 3-3 Big 12) will be matched up against a nationally-ranked opponent as the Jayhawks head to the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, to face No. 11 Baylor for a pair of Big 12 contests on Thursday-Friday, Oct. 14-15.
Following its two matches against top-ranked Texas last weekend, Kansas climbed three spots in the NCAA’s RPI rankings, where it came in at No. 15 on Monday, Oct. 16. The Jayhawks have the third-highest RPI ranking among teams from the Big 12, following Texas (No. 1) and Baylor (No. 7).
Kansas played No. 1 Texas closer than any team has this season on Saturday, Oct. 9, taking the first two sets from the Longhorns before dropping a hard-fought match at 15-13 in the fifth. The Jayhawks are now 11-6 on the year and their conference record is even at 3-3 through three weekends of conference action.
Two-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week Caroline Bien had her top offensive performance of the season on Oct. 9 against Texas as she set a new career-high with 21 kills while hitting .283 with six attack errors for the match. Bien is second on the team with 175 kills, an average of 2.8 per set, and she’s finished with 10 or more kills in 10 of the Jayhawks’ 17 matches this season. Bien also ranks second on the team with 156 digs, which is an average of 2.6 per set.
Through six matches of conference action, the Jayhawks have the fourth-highest hitting percentage among Big 12 teams at .212, while ranking third in 30 service aces and fourth with 56 total blocks. Caroline Crawford has 25 blocks (7 solo, 18 assist) during Big 12 play, which ranks her sixth in the conference and she’s ranked ninth in the league with a hitting percentage of .332 for the season. A sophomore middle blocker from Lansing, Kan., Crawford has hit at least .225 in 13 matches this season, including a stretch of 11 consecutive matches which was snapped on Sunday, Oct. 10, against Texas.
Freshman setter Camryn Turner dished out 25 assists on Saturday, Oct. 9, against Texas, finishing one shy of matching her career-high of 26 against Kansas City earlier this season on Sept. 16. Turner has appeared in 14 matches this season and she’s second on the team with 170 assists for the year, which is an average of 4.25 per set. In league play, she has recorded 10 or more assists in five-of-six matches and is averaging 4.36 assists per set.
Kansas’ other setter seeing action is sophomore Elise McGhie, who became the 15th player in program history to reach the 1,000-career assist milestone on Oct. 1 against Iowa State. McGhie recorded 30 assists against Texas on Saturday, Oct. 9, matching her fourth-highest single-game total this season. She’s ranked ninth in the Big 12 with 6.98 assists per set for the year.
Super-senior outside hitter Jenny Mosser enters the weekend four kills shy of 1,200 for her career after totaling 17 over the weekend against Texas. Mosser leads the Jayhawks with 195 kills for the year, an average of 3.15 per set, and she has the Jayhawks’ fourth-highest hitting percentage at .275.
Kansas is 26-27 all-time against the Baylor Bears in a series that dates back to 1985 and featured just three meetings prior to the formation of the Big 12 Conference. Last season, the Jayhawks split against Baylor, opening the season with a 3-2 victory on Sept. 25 before the Bears came back to win the following day in straight sets. The series is all square at 25-all during Big 12 play, but Kansas is 8-16 all-time against the Bears in Waco.
Kansas Volleyball is off next week as its bye week comes at the middle point of the conference season. The Jayhawks return to action on Friday-Saturday, Oct. 29-30, at the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena against Oklahoma.