RCW: Inside Volleyball 3.11
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 snapped a 25-match losing streak in the series against Texas after defeating the second-ranked Longhorns in five sets on Saturday inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
- The fourth-ranked Jayhawks (20-2, 9-1 Big 12) face Kansas State on Wednesday night in Manhattan. Kansas has won eight of the last nine in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown series.
- FIRST PLACE: Kansas moved into a tie for first place in the Big 12 Conference standings with Texas after defeating the Longhorns on Saturday in the fourth-straight top-10 bout between the Big 12 rivals. KU outlasted UT in five sets (17-25, 25-11, 27-25, 12-25, 15-10) to snap a 25-match series losing streak. The Jayhawks are seeking a first-ever Big 12 title, while the Longhorns have won the last five league crowns.
- BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior All-American right-side hitter Kelsie Payne garnered her second Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honor in the last three weeks after averaging 4.62 kills per set on a .356 hitting percentage with seven blocks during wins over Texas Tech and No. 2 Texas. Payne registered 21 kills, eight digs and six blocks in the Texas match on Saturday, preceded by 16 kills (.571) and 10 digs at Texas Tech on Wednesday for her sixth double-double of the season.
- NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Kansas sports a 14-match winning streak inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center, including a 10-0 record at home this season. The Jayhawks are 31-1 in the last 32 matches at home.
- WINNING: Kansas boasts the second-best winning percentage in the nation since the start of the 2015 season. The Jayhawks’ 50-5 record (.909) since last season is second only to 2015 national champion Nebraska at 52-5 (.912). The Jayhawks are in the company of just five NCAA Division I schools which have already reached 50 wins since last season (American, Kansas, Nebraska, Washington and Western Kentucky).
- TOP-10: Kansas moved up two spots to No. 4 in the AVCA Coaches Poll on Monday. The Jayhawks spent the previous four-straight weeks ranked sixth before defeating No. 2 Texas on Saturday. The Jayhawks have been ranked in the top-25 for a program-record 26-consecutive weeks (since Sept. 7, 2015), including 21-consecutive weeks in the top-10 (since Oct. 5, 2015). KU’s No. 4 ranking ties a program high in the AVCA Coaches Poll for the fifth time.
- ACES WILD: Kansas leads the Big 12 in aces per set (1.49) and features 10 matches with five or more aces. Individually, junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth nationally with 46 aces. The Jayhawks are 17-0 this season when recording more aces than their opponent.
- BIG 12 LEADERS: Senior libero Cassie Wait, a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, leads the Big 12 in digs per set (5.09) and junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon leads the Big 12 in aces per set (0.59). As a team, Kansas leads in hitting percentage allowed (.139) and aces per set (1.49).
- ALL-AMERICANS: Kansas is the only team in the nation with two returning AVCA First Team All-Americans in junior setter Ainise Havili and junior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne.
- BECHARD RECORDS: Kansas head coach Ray Bechard is 345-231 (.599) in his 19th season at KU. Since 2012, the Jayhawks are 123-29 (.809) under Bechard.