No. 11 Kansas volleyball returns home to face Texas Tech
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 11 Kansas volleyball looks to extend a 13-match winning streak in the series against Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon at Horejsi Family Athletics Center (1 p.m., JTV/ESPN3).
• Kansas has won 13-straight in the series against Texas Tech, including three-set sweeps in 10 of the last 11 matchups.
• Kansas is coming off three-set road win at No. 24 Baylor, which marked a program-high fourth win over a top-25 team.
• The Jayhawks are 4-2 against teams ranked in the AVCA Coaches Poll and a 7-2 record against teams currently in the top-50 of the NCAA RPI.
• Kansas is 25-2 in the last 27 Big 12 contests.
• Four different Jayhawks have earned five of the seven Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week nods so far this season.
• Since the start of the 2015 season, Kansas has the highest winning percentage among power-five conference members (.892). The Jayhawks are 74-9 in the last three seasons.
• Kansas has 14-straight sellout crowds at Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
• Head coach Ray Bechard is in his 20th season at Kansas. The four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year is the winningest coach in Kansas volleyball history.
• The University of Kansas and Kansas Athletics announced on Sept. 22 plans to construct a new 3,000-seat volleyball arena thanks to the generosity of the Stewart Horejsi Family. Construction of the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena will begin immediately following the 2017 season.
KANSAS-TEXAS TECH MATCHUP
Kansas looks to extend a 13-match winning streak against Texas Tech on Saturday in the 44th all-time meeting between the teams. KU leads the series, 27-16. KU’s 13-match winning streak is the longest in series history.
Of KU’s 13-straight wins over Texas Tech, 10 of the last 11 have been three-set sweeps.
Led by second-year head coach Tony Graystone, Texas Tech ranks in the top half of the Big 12 in hitting percentage (fourth), kills per set (third), assists per set (third) and digs per set (fourth).
Saturday’s match will be televised on Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3, powered by Spectrum Sports, with Jill Dorsey-Hall and Leif Lisec calling play-by-play.
Live audio of the match will be available on KUAthletics.com/radio or KU’s student radio station, KJHK-FM 90.7, with Nick Lewis calling play-by-play.
Saturday’s contest is a “Gold Match” to promote the awareness and prevention of childhood cancer.
HALFWAY MARK OF BIG 12 PLAY
Saturday marks the eighth Big 12 match and the halfway point of conference play for the reigning Big 12 champion Jayhawks. The Big 12 Conference plays a double-round-robin league schedule with eight home matches and eight road matches for all nine volleyball schools.
LAST TIME OUT
Madison Rigdon recorded 18 kills on a .400 hitting percentage as No. 11 Kansas thwarted No. 24 Baylor in three sets on Wednesday night in Waco, 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-14). Kansas held the Big 12’s most productive offense to a .088 hitting percentage with 11.5 blocks and 55 digs to earn a program-record fourth victory over a top-25 opponent this season. Baylor entered Wednesday as the league leader in kills per set. Kansas held Baylor to its lowest hitting percentage of the season (.088), while on the offensive end recording an attacking clip over .300 for the fourth time during Big 12 play this season. KU’s defensive front line was led by sophomore middle blocker Zoe Hill’s match-high seven blocks. Kansas has now won the last 13 matches after a loss. Since 2014, KU is 16-2 after a loss.
Against teams ranked in the top 25 of the AVCA Coaches Poll, the Jayhawks have a program-record four wins. KU is 4-2 against ranked teams with wins over No. 13 Kentucky, No. 17 Purdue, No. 18 Iowa State and No. 24 Baylor. KU previously notched three top-25 wins in 2003 and 2012.
Since 2012, Kansas is 14-18 against top-25 opponents.
Kansas is also 7-2 against teams currently ranked in the top-50 of the NCAA RPI. The seven wins includes one top-10 victory and four top-25 victories.
FIRST 20 MATCHES
The Jayhawks are off to a 17-3 start after the first 20 matches of the regular season. Kansas has a combined .850 winning percentage in the first 20 matches of the season since 2012. KU has also reached at least 15 wins after 20 matches for six-straight seasons, since 2012.
Senior All-American setter Ainise Havili now holds KU’s record for career assists with 4,838 entering this weekend.
Havili passed Andi Rozum’s record of 4,772 in the second set against No. 5 Texas (Oct. 11) and finished the night with 50 assists. The Fort Worth, Texas, native broke the record as KU was facing a UT set point in the second set, 24-23. She guided her 4,773rd career assist to Jada Burse, who registered a kill to tie the set at 24.
Havili has started in all of KU’s 114 matches since her freshman season in 2014.
To crack the top-10 of the Big 12’s career assists list, Havili needs 4,899 assists. She would become the only player on the Big 12’s top-10 list who has played her entire career in the 25-point set scoring era, which began in 2008.
OTHER CAREER MILESTONES
In addition to Havili holding KU’s career assists record, fellow senior All-Americans Kelsie Payne and Madison Rigdon are on pace to rewrite KU’s record books this season.
Payne ranks first in career hitting percentage (.345), second in career kills (1,390) and 12th in career blocks (315). She now needs 93 more kills to tie the current record of 1,483 held by Josi Lima (2002-05). Last season Payne became the 15th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 kills — she is the only pin hitter in KU history with 1,000 kills and a hitting percentage of .300 or higher. On Sept. 15 against San Jose State, she became the 13th Jayhawk to reach 300 blocks.
Rigdon ranks 13th in career kills (1,167) and is third in career aces (130). Rigdon became the 16th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career kills with 15 against Purdue (Sept. 8).
Havili is KU’s all-time leader in assists with 4,838 and counting. She also ranks sixth in career digs (1,189) and 18th in service aces (100). Havili became the 18th Jayhawk to reach 100 career aces against Texas (Oct. 11), which is also the night she broke the career assists record. She passed the 4,000-assist mark with 43 assists against Missouri State (Aug. 26). The Fort Worth, Texas, native became the 14th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career digs with 14 against NC State (Aug. 26).
BIG 12 LEADERBOARD
Kansas leads the Big 12 in kills per set (14.51) and assists per set (13.65), while ranking second in hitting percentage (.270) and digs per set (15.88).
Ainise Havili leads the Big 12 and ranks sixth in the nation in assists per set (11.86). Kelsie Payne ranks third in the league both kills per set (4.00) and points per set (4.37). Madison Rigdon is right behind Payne at fourth in the Big 12 in both kills per set (3.68) and points per set (4.30). Rounding out Jayhawks in the Big 12 stats rankings, Allie Nelson ranks fourth in digs per set (4.28) and Zoe Hill ranks fourth in hitting percentage (.371).
Havili has the most assists by a Big 12 player in a match this season (63 at NC State, Aug. 26). Nelson has the most digs by a Big 12 player in a four-set match (28 vs. Missouri State, Aug. 26).
BIG 12 WINNING STREAK
KU’s 19-match winning streak against Big 12 opponents ended last week with a five-set loss to No. 5 Texas. It goes down in the record books as the longest conference winning streak in program history for the Jayhawks. The winning streak took place over a full calendar year, starting with a win over Baylor on Oct. 1, 2016, and ending a with a loss to No. 5 Texas on Oct. 11, 2017.
All eight of KU’s Big 12 winning streaks of four matches or longer have ended with losses to top-25 teams.
Entering this weekend’s match against Texas Tech, Kansas is 25-2 in the last 27 Big 12 contests.
Kansas is ranked No. 11 in the AVCA Coaches Poll released on Monday. Four of the Big 12’s nine teams are ranked in the top-25 this week — No. 11 Kansas, No. 3 Texas and No. 22 Iowa State and No. 24 Baylor.
In the third release of the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), Kansas is ranked No. 12.
WINNING PERCENTAGE SINCE 2015
Since the start of the 2015 season, Kansas has the highest winning percentage among power-five conference members and the third-highest winning percentage in all of NCAA Division I (.892). The Jayhawks are 74-9 in the last three seasons.
Senior setter Ainise Havili has recorded an assist-dig double-double in 17 of KU’s 20 matches this season. The Jayhawks combine for 13 kill-dig double-doubles this season as senior outside hitter Madison Rigdon has nine and senior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne has four.
Havili, Rigdon and Payne have all recorded a double-double in the same match three times this season — against Missouri State (Aug. 26), Iowa State (Sept. 27) and Texas (Oct. 11).
Kansas opens the second half of Big 12 Conference regular season play by playing host to Oklahoma on Wednesday night (6:30 p.m., JTV/ESPN3).
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