RCW: Inside Volleyball 3.15
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
KU’s senior class finished their trailblazing playing careers with 104 wins. Maggie Anderson, Tayler Soucie and Cassie Wait’s 81.9 winning percentage as a group is the best four-year winning percentage in program history.
UPCOMING HOME MATCHES
- Kansas finished with another unprecedented season with a 27-3 record and 15-1 Big 12 record to earn the Big 12 Conference title outright for the first time in program history.
- NCAA WRAPUP: The fifth-seeded Jayhawks swept Samford in the NCAA Championship First Round before losing to No. 21 Creighton in the second round. The Bluejays defeated KU in an extra-point fifth set (20-18) on Friday night in Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Despite the upset loss, Kansas was one of seven programs in the nation to host the first and second rounds of the tournament for the fifth-straight season. The Jayhawks entered the tournament with the highest overall seed in program history – No. 5.
- STREAK BREAKER: The loss to Creighton broke a 17-match home winning streak, a 14-match overall winning streak and a nine-match winning streak in five-set matches.
- SENSATIONAL SENIORS: Kansas says goodbye to a once-in-a-generation senior class, whose on-court accomplishments are matched, if not exceeded, by the off-court position in the community. Maggie Anderson, Tayler Soucie and Cassie Wait helped Kansas advance to the program’s first-ever Final Four in 2015, win the first-ever conference title, totaling 104 wins along the way.
- KANSAS NEARLY SWEEPS BIG 12 AWARDS: Kansas earned the Big 12 Conference’s Player of the Year (Kelsie Payne), Libero of the Year (Cassie Wait), Setter of the Year (Ainise Havili) and Coach of the Year (Ray Bechard) awards, plus three additional All-Big 12 nods, in unprecedented fashion. The awards and All-Big 12 teams are voted on by the league’s head coaches. Payne and Wait are the first Jayhawks to win their respective individual conference awards, while Havili and Bechard are back-to-back winners. Bechard has earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in four of the last five seasons. Madison Rigdon joined Payne, Havili and Wait on the All-Big 12 First Team. Tayler Soucie earned her third-straight All-Big 12 honor as a second-team member. Jada Burse checked in on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
- OUTRIGHT CHAMPIONS: Kansas clinched its first-ever Big 12 Conference regular-season title with a home victory against Iowa State on Senior Day, Nov. 19, before winning the title outright in the season finale at Baylor on Nov. 26. Both matches were against eventual 2106 NCAA Tournament teams and both went to five sets. KU’s 15-1 record during league play also proved to snap Texas’ five-year streak of winning the title. The Jayhawks become the second team other than Texas or Nebraska to win a Big 12 title in the league’s 21-year history.
- NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Kansas wrapped up the season with a 13-1 record inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The Jayhawks completed their first-ever undefeated regular season (12-0) in 2016. Creighton’s win over KU broke a 17-match home-court winning streak for the Jayhawks. The Jayhawks are 34-2 in the last 36 matches at home.
- WINNING STREAKS: For the first time in program history, Kansas had a pair of 10-match winning streaks in the same season. The Jayhawks started the season 10-0, and won 15 to help clinch the Big 12 title. Kansas has one of the best winning percentages in the nation since the start of the 2015 season at 57-6 (.905).
- TOP-10: Kansas was ranked No. 4 for the fifth-straight week in the AVCA Coaches Poll last Monday, before the postseason began. The Jayhawks have been ranked in the top-25 for a program-record 30-consecutive weeks (since Sept. 7, 2015), including 25-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 ninth time.
- BECHARD RECORDS: Kansas head coach Ray Bechard finished the season with a 352-232 (.603) record in his 19th season at KU. Since 2012, the Jayhawks have gone 130-30 (.813) under Bechard.