RCW: Inside Volleyball 3.3
Get a quick look inside your favorite Kansas Jayhawk programs each week with Rock Chalk Weekly’s Inside Sports pages. Notable statistics, quick hits and the top social media posts get every Jayhawk fan up-to-speed and ready for another week of thrilling competition.
Number BY THE NUMBERS
Kansas opened its home schedule with a 3-0 victory over Chicago State last Friday. The Jayhawks improved to 23-1 in home openers since 1993, including an 18-1 mark under head coach Ray Bechard since 1998.
Notes QUICK HITS
- No. 4 Kansas (6-0) remained undefeated through the weekend while hosting the Kansas Invitational against Chicago State, Maryland and Arkansas. Kansas has won 21 consecutive nonconference regular-season matches dating back to Sept. 19, 2014. Of those 21-straight wins, 15 have come in straight-set fashion.
- BIG 12 POW: Senior libero Cassie Wait was awarded Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after averaging an astounding 6.50 digs per set last weekend. It is the fourth career Big 12 weekly award for Wait, who is the league-leader in digs per set this season (5.32). Over the weekend, Wait reached 1,478 career digs to pass Melissa Manda (2007-10) for second on KU’s all-time digs list.
- PAYNE TRAIN: Junior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne was named MVP of the Kansas Invitational as she continues to excel in her new role as a six-rotation player. During KU’s home-opening weekend she averaged 4.33 kills on a .315 hitting percentage with 3.11 digs per set. In a five-set win over Arkansas, Payne registered her second career double-double with 25 kills and 13 digs, adding four blocks and two aces. Her 29.0 points against Arkansas tied a Big 12 season high.
- BIG 12’s TOP DEFENSE: Kansas leads the Big 12 in hitting percentage allowed (.071), kills per set allowed (9.35), assists per set allowed (8.85) and aces per set allowed (0.50). The Jayhawks have swept five of six opponents in straight-sets this season.
- ACES WILD: Kansas leads the Big 12 in aces per set (1.85). Junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon leads the aggressive service game with 14 aces – five more than any other Big 12 player.
- SOUCIE MOVING UP: Senior middle blocker Tayler Soucie now has 420 career blocks after passing Josi Lima (2002-05; 418) for second on KU’s career blocks list over the weekend.
- TOURNEY TITLES: Kansas clinched the Kansas Invitational title with Saturday’s win over Arkansas. It is KU’s seventh-consecutive nonconference tournament title. The streak dates back to the 2014 Jayhawk Classic and includes 2015’s Arkansas Invitational, Kansas Invitational, Pistol Pete’s Showdown, and Jayhawk Classic.
- BECHARD RECORDS: Kansas head coach Ray Bechard improved to 331-229 (.591) in his 19th season at KU. Since 2012, the Jayhawks are 109-27 (.801) under Bechard.
- KU’s record as a top-10 team improved to 22-3. The Jayhawks have been ranked in the top-10 of the AVCA Coaches Poll since Oct. 5, 2015.
- TOP-10: Kansas volleyball remains at No. 4 – its highest ranking in program history – for the second-straight week in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll released on Labor Day. The Jayhawks have been ranked in the top-25 for a program-record 17-consecutive times dating back to last season, including 13 consecutive times in the top-10. The Jayhawks debuted the season with a No. 5 preseason ranking in the AVCA Coaches Poll.