No. 11 Kansas and TCU meet Saturday on FOX Sports Network
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball looks to extend it program-record 16-match winning streak against Big 12 opponents when it plays host TCU on Saturday at Horejsi Family Athletics Center. First serve is scheduled for noon Central on FOX Sports Network.
• Kansas leads the all-time series with TCU, 9-2, including four-straight series wins overall and five-straight wins at home. KU has a 9-1 series advantage over TCU in Big 12 play.
• KU has won its last 16 matches against Big 12 opponents; It is the longest conference winning streak in program history.
• Seven of KU’s last nine Big 12 regular season matches have lasted five sets, including five-straight.
• The Jayhawks are 3-1 against ranked teams and have already tied a program record for wins in a season against top-25 teams in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
• Last time out, Kansas came from behind to top No. 18 Iowa State in five sets on Wednesday night. The Cyclones won the first two sets, but Kansas rallied for its first come-from-behind win after a 2-0 set deficit since Sept. 13, 2013 at No. 25 Wisconsin.
• Kansas leads the Big 12 in kills per set (14.76) and assists per set (13.85), while ranking second in digs per set (16.08) and third hitting percentage (.270).
• Since the start of the 2015 season, Kansas has the highest winning percentage in the country (.897). The Jayhawks are 70-8 in the last three seasons.
• KU announced Friday, Sept. 22, plans to construct a new 3,000-seat arena thanks to the generosity of the Stewart Horejsi Family. Construction of the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena will begin immediately following the 2017 season.
Kansas and TCU meet for the 12th time on Saturday. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series, 9-2, including four-straight wins overall and five-straight wins against the Horned Frogs in Lawrence. The series dates back to a five-set loss during nonconference play 1999, but since TCU joined the Big 12 in 2012, KU has a 9-1 series advantage.
Led by third-year head coach Jill Kramer, TCU enters Saturday with a 8-5 record and 0-2 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 ranks third in the league in aces per set (1.22). Junior outside hitter Ashleigh Martin leads the Horned Frogs’ offense with 3.20 kills per set, while freshman libero Dani Dennison backbones TCU’s defense with the third-most digs per set (4.91) in the Big 12.
Saturday’s match will be televised on FOX Sports Network with Brenda VanLengen (play-by-play) and former KU libero Jill Dorsey-Hall (analyst) calling the action.
Live audio of the match will be available on KUAthletics.com/radio or KU’s student radio station, KJHK-FM 90.7, with Nick Lewis calling play-by-play.
BIG 12 WINNING STREAK
Kansas has won the last 16 matches against Big 12 opponents entering Saturday’s contest with TCU. It is the longest conference winning streak in program history for the Jayhawks. Additionally, Kansas is 21-1 in the last 22 Big 12 contests.
It has been over a full calendar year since KU last lost a Big 12 match — Sept. 24, 2016 at then-No. 5 Texas.
Through the years, Kansas has steadily gained success in conference play. In 2003, KU’s first-ever conference winning streak of four matches or longer was started with victories over then-No. 25 Missouri and a road win at Texas. The next season in 2004, KU rattled off four-in-a-row during a stretch that included two wins over a top-15 Texas A&M squad.
From 2011 to 2013, KU pieced together a pair of Big 12 winning streaks that lasted six and seven matches, respectively.
KU’s previous record for the longest Big 12 winning streak was nine matches from the end of the 2014 season to the beginning of league play in 2015.
All eight of KU’s Big 12 winning streaks of four matches or longer have ended with losses to top-25 teams.
Seven of KU’s last nine Big 12 regular season matches have lasted five sets, including five-straight. Three of the last five Big 12 matches have been on the road.
Kansas has already tied a program record for wins in a season against teams ranked in the top-25 of the AVCA Coaches Poll. The Jayhawks are 3-1 against ranked teams with wins over No. 13 Kentucky, No. 17 Purdue and No. 18 Iowa State.
KU previously notched three top-25 wins in 2003 and 2012.
LAST TIME OUT
Kansas came from behind to top No. 18 Iowa State in five sets for its third top-25 win of season on Wednesday night. The Cyclones won the first two sets, but Kansas rallied for its first come-from-behind win after a 2-0 set deficit since Sept. 13, 2013 at No. 25 Wisconsin. Senior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne recorded a match-high 22 kills on a .306 hitting percentage, while senior outside hitter Madison Rigdon notched a 20-kill, 14-dig performance for her seventh double-double of the season. A total of five Jayhawks reached double-figure digs, led by sophomore libero Allie Nelson’s 24.
Under head coach Ray Bechard, since 1998, the Jayhawks improved to 14-6 in Big 12 home openers, including a 3-1 mark against Iowa State.
Kansas moved up one spot to No. 11 in the AVCA Coaches Poll on Monday, Sept. 25. The reigning Big 12 champion Jayhawks have been ranked 37-straight times in the AVCA poll. KU’s season-high No. 7 ranking came on Sept. 4.
The Big 12 features three of its nine teams ranked in the top-25, including No. 11 Kansas, No. 5 Texas and No. 18 Iowa State. The Jayhawks feature a 2-1 record against current top-25 teams this season, including wins over No. 10 Kentucky and No. 19 Purdue. Two additional 2017 opponents (Baylor and Missouri State) are receiving votes in this week’s poll.
BIG 12 LEADERS
Kansas leads the Big 12 in kills per set (14.76) and assists per set (13.85), while ranking second in digs per set (16.08) and third hitting percentage (.270). Ainise Havili leads the Big 12 and ranks eighth in the nation in assists per set (11.92). Kelsie Payne ranks second in the league both kills per set (4.37) and points per set (4.79). Madison Rigdon ranks second in the Big 12 in aces per set (0.37) and fourth in both kills per set (3.63) and points per set (4.30).
Havili has the most assists by a Big 12 player in a match this season (63 at NC State, Aug. 26). Sophomore libero Allie Nelson has the most digs by a Big 12 player in a four-set match (28 vs. Missouri State, Aug. 26).
COUNTRY’S TOP WINNING PERCENTAGE SINCE 2015
Since the start of the 2015 season, Kansas has the highest winning percentage in the country (.897). The Jayhawks are 70-8 in the last three seasons.
Senior All-Americans Kelsie Payne, Ainise Havili and Madison Rigdon are on pace to rewrite KU’s record books this season.
Havili stands second in career assists (4,616) and eighth in career digs (1,147). She passed the 4,000-assist mark with 43 assists against Missouri State (Aug. 26). Andi Rozum (2002-05) currently holds KU’s career assists record with 4,772. Havili became the 14th all-time Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career digs with 14 against NC State (Aug. 26).
Payne ranks first in career hitting percentage (.351), second in career kills (1,336) and 12th in career blocks (310). She now needs 147 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. On Sept. 15 against San Jose State, she became the 13th Jayhawk to reach 300 blocks.
Rigdon ranks 14th in career kills (1,094) and is third in career aces (129). Rigdon became the 16th Jayhawk to reach the century mark in career kills with 15 against Purdue (Sept. 8).
Kansas travels to Morgantown, West Virginia for a mid-week match at West Virginia on Wednesday, Oct. 4. First serve is set for 5 p.m. Central time.
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