No. 12 Kansas volleyball returns to action at TCU
• No. 12 Kansas leads the all-time series against TCU, 10-2, including five-straight wins.
• KU is one win away from its sixth-straight 20-win season.
• KU’s .264 hitting percentage this season is the second-highest clip in program history.
• Kansas, which lost at No. 22 Iowa State last time out, has won its last 13 matches after a loss.
• Kansas has won 10-straight matches in the month of November.
• Madison Rigdon leads KU in kills per set during conference play (3.59).
• Ainise Havili holds KU’s career assists record (4,963), while fellow senior All-American Kelsie Payne is 60 kills away from tying KU’s record for career kills (1,423).
• Kansas is 27-3 in its last 30 Big 12 contests.
• Since the start of the 2015 season, Kansas has the highest winning percentage among Power Five conference members (.884). The Jayhawks are 76-10 in the last three seasons.
• Four different Jayhawks have earned six of the nine Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week awards.
• 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.
TCU CLEAR BAG POLICY
Only the following items will be permitted upon entrance into TCU athletics facilities:
• Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and not exceeding 14 inches by 14 inches.
• One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
• One unopened bottle of water.
• Small clutch bags with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the venue with one of the clear plastic bags.
• The Small clutch bags must be approximately the size of a hand.
• Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at stadium/arena gates.
• Backpacks, diaper bags and other similar bags will not be allowed.
TCU PARKING INFO (FOOTBALL GAMEDAY)
Fans attending the Kansas-TCU match in Fort Worth will be directed to park at Travis Avenue Baptist Church. Shuttle service from the church lot will begin at 12:30 p.m., and will drop off fans near the volleyball facility (University Recreation Center).
Kansas and TCU meet for the 13th time on Saturday afternoon. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series, 10-2, including five-straight wins. The series dates back to a five-set KU loss during nonconference play in 1999. Since TCU joined the Big 12 in 2012, KU has a 10-1 series advantage.
Led by third-year head coach Jill Kramer, TCU enters Saturday with a 10-12 record and a 2-8 record during Big 12 play. TCU has three all-time appearances in the NCAA Tournament and two have come under Kramer’s direction in 2015 and 2016.
TCU freshman libero Dani Dennison ranks second in the Big 12 in digs per set (4.53). The Horned Frogs are one of four teams in the Big 12 to average more than one ace per set (1.03).
Live audio of Saturday’s match will be available on KUAthletics.com/radio.
LAST TIME vs. TCU
Kansas turned in an efficient performance during a straight-set victory against TCU the last time the teams met on Sept. 30. During the last two sets, the Jayhawks swung for a .386 hitting percentage and held TCU to a .130 clip. Kansas was led by pin hitters Kelsie Payne (11 kills), Madison Rigdon (10) and Jada Burse (nine), who combined for 30 of KU’s 45 kills. Ainise Havili recorded 39 assists on the way to directing KU’s offense to the second-highest hitting percentage (.386) of the season and the highest during Big 12 play since posting a .597 clip against West Virginia on Oct. 3, 2015.
LAST TIME OUT
Kansas fell in four sets to No. 22 Iowa State on Saturday, Oct. 28. It marked KU’s first loss against the Cyclones since October 2014, snapping a six-match series winning streak. It was the seventh top-25 matchup of the season for Kansas (4-3). Jada Burse led the Jayhawks with 12 kills, while Kelsie Payne notched her fifth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 15 digs. Iowa State was led by three players with double-figure kills, including middle blocker Samara West’s 19 kills on a .471 hitting percentage.
Kansas has won 10-straight matches in the month of November — the final stretch of the regular season before the NCAA Tournament begins next month. Since 2012, the Jayhawks are 29-7 in November, having reached at least five November wins in the last five seasons.
JAYHAWKS SEEKING 20TH VICTORY
Kansas is one win away from reaching 20 wins for the sixth-straight season and 16th time in program history.
Since KU’s streak of 20-win seasons began in 2012, the Jayhawks have a 149-34 record, good for a .814 winning percentage. From 2012 to 2016, KU averaged 26 wins per season. KU’s last five 20-win seasons have also included at least 10 Big 12 Conference wins.
The last two seasons have been the fastest Kansas has ever reached 20 wins, doing so in 21 matches in 2015 and 22 matches in 2016. In 2015, KU reached 20 wins with a four-set win at Iowa State (Oct. 28, 2015). Last season, Kansas reached 20 wins with a five-set victory over No. 2 Texas (Oct. 29, 2016).
The Big 12 Conference has approved a time change for KU’s home match against Baylor on Saturday, Nov. 11. First serve between the Jayhawks and Bears will be at noon to accommodate Baylor’s travel plans. The change is an hour earlier than the originally-scheduled first serve.
LONE STAR JAYHAWKS
Six Jayhawks will be making a return to their home state for Saturday’s match in Fort Worth — Ainise Havili (Fort Worth), Kelsie Payne (Austin), Madison Rigdon (Pflugerville), Zoe Hill (Houston), Mmachi Nwoek (Grand Prairie) and Jada Burse (DeSoto). All of those six Texas-native Jayhawks and are on KU’s most-used starting lineup this season. The all-Texas starting lineup, plus Chicago native Allie Nelson at libero, is 4-2 this season.
COMING OFF A LOSS
Kansas has won the last 13 matches after a loss entering Saturday’s contest at TCU. Since 2014, KU is 16-2 after a loss. The Jayhawks have not lost back-to-back matches since losing three-straight to open Big 12 play during the 2014 season.
Kansas has a program-record four wins against teams ranked in the top 25 of the AVCA Coaches Poll this season. KU is 4-3 against ranked teams with wins over No. 13 Kentucky, No. 17 Purdue, No. 18 Iowa State and No. 24 Baylor. KU’s previous record of three top-25 wins was achieved in 2003 and 2012.
Since 2012, Kansas is 14-19 against top-25 opponents. Before 2012, KU was 14-101 against top-25 opponents.
Kansas is also 7-3 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.
GOING FOR A RUN
Kansas has eight scoring runs of 7-0 or greater and 34 runs of 5-0 or greater this season. Senior defensive specialist Tori Miller has been the primary server during six of KU’s eight runs of seven points or more. The Jayhawks have a 5-1 record in matches featuring a KU scoring run of 7-0 or longer.
KU’s longest run of the season (10-0) occurred when Miller was at the service line. KU went on a 10-0 run at the end of a 25-16 fourth-set win over then-No. 18 Iowa State (Sept. 27); the Jayhawks won the match in five sets.
KU’s .264 hitting percentage this season is the second-highest clip in program history, only ranking behind KU’s 2015 Final Four team (.299). This season, Kansas ranks third in the Big 12 and 26th nationally in hitting percentage.
RIGDON’S CONSISTENT IMPROVEMENT
Since arriving in Lawrence in 2014, senior All-American outside hitter Madison Rigdon has been the picture of consistency for the Jayhawks. A two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week this season, Rigdon has improved in nearly every statistical category since her freshman season. During the 2017 season, she features career highs in kills per set, digs per set and blocks per set.
Senior All-American setter Ainise Havili holds KU’s record for career assists with 4,963 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 117 matches since her freshman season in 2014.
Havili ranks 10th on the Big 12’s career assists list. She is 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.
In addition to Ainise 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 (.341), second in career kills (1,423) and 12th in career blocks (326). She now needs 60 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 ninth in career kills (1,203), third in career aces (132) and fifth in career attack attempts (3,503). 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 4,963 and counting. She also ranks sixth in career digs (1,238) 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).
MIDDLES AT THE TOP
During conference play sophomore middle blockers Zoe Hill (.468) and Mmachi Nwoke (.423) rank first and second, respectively, in the Big 12 in hitting percentage. Nwoke has started the last six matches after her first start as a Jayhawk at Oklahoma (Oct. 7). Hill has started all but two matches this season and also leads KU in blocks per set (1.01) this season.
BIG 12 LEADERBOARD
Ainise Havili leads the Big 12 and ranks 10th in the nation in assists per set (11.67). Kelsie Payne ranks third in the league in both kills per set (3.83) and points per set (4.23). Madison Rigdon ranks second in the Big 12 in aces per set (0.28) and is right next to Payne at fourth kills per set (3.59) and fourth in points per set (4.18). Rounding out Jayhawks in the Big 12 stats rankings, Allie Nelson ranks second in total digs (386) and Zoe Hill ranks fourth in hitting percentage (.383).
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).
Kansas is ranked No. 12 in the AVCA Coaches Poll released on Monday. The Jayhawks have been ranked for 41-straight AVCA polls, including 39-straight with at least a top-15 ranking.
Four of the Big 12’s nine teams are ranked in the top-25 this week — No. 12 Kansas, No. 3 Texas and No. 19 Iowa State and No. 24 Baylor.
Kansas is also ranked No. 12 in the fifth release of the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). The Big 12 is ranked third in conference RPI, behind the Big Ten at No. 2 and the Pac-12 at No. 1.
SIX BIG 12 OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Kansas has earned six of the 10 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week awards so far this season.
In the first three weeks of the regular season, Kansas took home the honor with Ainise Havili (Aug. 28), Kelsie Payne (Sept. 4) and Madison Rigdon (Sept. 11) honored by the league. Havili won the honor a second time on Oct. 2, followed by Zoe Hill’s first-career Big 12 weekly honor on Oct. 9. Rigdon’s second honor of the season was on Oct. 23.
KU’s six Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week nods are the second-most in program history, behind 2015’s seven honors.
Since the Big 12 began awarding offensive players of the week in 2007, there have been only three times when a team has earned three-straight Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors from three different players. Kansas has done it the last two times in 2013 and 2017.
Senior setter Ainise Havili has recorded an assist-dig double-double in 19 of KU’s 23 matches this season. The Jayhawks combine for 15 kill-dig double-doubles this season as senior outside hitter Madison Rigdon has 10 and senior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne has five.
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 totals 136 career double-doubles on its current roster.
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 (.884). The Jayhawks are 76-10 in the last three seasons.
BIG 12 SUCCESS
Kansas is 27-3 in the last 30 Big 12 contests.
KU’s road loss at No. 22 Iowa State (Oct.28) broke a 42-match Big 12 Conference winning streak against teams other than the perennial top-5 Texas Longhorns. The previous non-UT loss was a five-set road loss at TCU on Nov. 1, 2014. Kansas and Texas account for the last six Big 12 titles.
KU’s 19-match winning streak against Big 12 opponents ended with a five-set loss to No. 5 Texas (Oct. 11). 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 on Oct. 11, 2017.
Kansas hosts the season’s second edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown at Horejsi Family Athletics Center on Wednesday, Nov. 8 (6:30 p.m., JTV/ESPN3).
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