No. 4 Kansas volleyball on a mission to clinch sole possession of Big 12 title at Baylor
Notes Match Notes (.pdf)
WACO, Texas – Fourth-ranked Kansas volleyball seeks to finish the regular season on a high note, entering Saturday’s finale at Baylor with a chance to clinch sole possession of the Big 12 Conference title.
The fourth-ranked Jayhawks (24-2, 14-1 Big 12) clinched at least a share of its first-ever conference title last Saturday with a five-set victory over Iowa State on Senior Day. Kansas enters Saturday one match ahead of Texas (13-2) in the Big 12 standings. A Kansas win would put KU alone in first place.
Saturday’s contest in Waco will be the third-straight Senior Day match Kansas will be participating, including wins over West Virginia (Nov. 16) in Morgantown and Iowa State (Nov. 19) in Lawrence. Both were five-set victories.
Baylor (21-10, 9-6) is led by junior outside hitter Katie Staiger’s Big 12-leadings numbers of 5.58 kills per set and 6.14 points per set.
Live coverage of the Kansas-Baylor match will be available on FOX Sports Southwest Plus or the Jayhawk Radio Network.
The series between Kansas and Baylor is tied, 22-22. Kansas leads the series, 21-20, during Big 12 regular-season play. The Jayhawks are 11-3 against Baylor since 2009, including a current seven-match winning streak.
Last time the teams met, Kansas snapped Baylor’s 10-match winning streak with a four-set victory (22-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-23) on Oct. 1 in Lawrence. Junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon shined for KU with 20 kills and 13 digs. Senior middle blocker Tayler Soucie and junior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne combined for 11 blocks as Kansas’ unflinching defense held the Bears’ offense to a .106 hitting percentage in the last three sets.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONS
Kansas clinched at least a share of its first-ever conference title on Nov. 19 with a five-set victory over Iowa State. In the 21-year history of the Big 12 Conference, Kansas is the second team other than Texas or Nebraska to win or share a Big 12 volleyball title. Kansas State won the title in 2003.
BECHARD REACHES 350 WINS AT KU
Ray Bechard won his 350th match as head coach at Kansas after KU defeated Iowa State on Nov. 19. The 19th-year head coach is the winningest coach in program history with a 350-231 (.603) record. Since 2012, Kansas has posted a 128-29 (.814) record under Bechard. It only took 55 matches for Bechard to go from 300 wins to 350 wins; since reaching his 300th win (Sept. 4, 2015), the Jayhawks are 50-5.
WINS FOR SENIOR CLASS
Seniors Maggie Anderson, Tayler Soucie and Cassie Wait are 101-22 (.821) in their four-year playing careers at Kansas. The tremendous trio has the best four-year winning percentage in program history.
RACKING UP THE DUBS
Kansas boasts the highest winning percentage in the nation since the start of the 2015 season. The Jayhawks are 55-5 (.917) since last season, better than 2015 national champion Nebraska at 58-6 (.906) and No. 5 Texas at 51-7 (.879).
KU’s 25-2 (.926) record this season currently stands as the highest winning percentage in program history, just ahead of last season’s Final Four campaign which finished with a 30-3 (.909) record.
Kansas is winners of its last 13 matches — its second winning streak of 10 matches or more this season. The 2016 season becomes the first in program history the Jayhawks have had two winning streaks of 10 matches or more.
The winning streak is also the third-longest in program history and the longest late-season winning streak in program history (starting on the 15th match of the season). Previous 10-match winning streaks or longer have started within the first two matches of the season.
Kansas went undefeated during the month of October (8-0) for the first time in program history. A win on Saturday would make the Jayhawks undefeated in November for the first time as well.
Kansas (W13) and No. 3 Wisconsin (W10) are the only teams from the power-five conferences with a current winning streak of 10 matches or longer.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.