No. 6 Kansas wraps up first half of Big 12 play Thursday against WVU
Notes Match Notes (.pdf)
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The sixth-ranked University of Kansas volleyball team wraps up the first half of Big 12 Conference play on Thursday against West Virginia inside a sold-out Horejsi Family Athletics Center. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m., Central time.
The Jayhawks (17-2, 6-1 Big 12) enter Thursday’s match on a five-match winning streak and 12-match home winning streak. But more importantly, Kansas head coach Ray Bechard feels the team is building up momentum as the second half of the Big 12 schedule and postseason play approaches.
“I was encouraged after last week that we are really starting to come into our own and understand who we are and what we do well,” Bechard said. “We have to get back to work knowing that we have a good West Virginia team coming to our place on Thursday, but we are playing with some good momentum right now.”
Results have supported Bechard’s sentiment.
Four of KU’s last five victories have been over teams currently ranked in the top-50 of the NCAA RPI, including three 2015 NCAA Tournament teams. A pair of those wins over last season’s tournament contenders were earned on the road.
Kansas leads the all-time series with West Virginia, 10-0.
Thursday’s match will be televised on the Jayhawk Television Network, available on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in the state of Kansas and the Kansas City area, or online through ESPN3. The Jayhawk Radio Network will carry live audio of the match on KUAthletics.com/radio and KLWN-AM 1320.
Kansas is undefeated in the all-time series with West Virginia, 10-0. The Jayhawks won the first two meetings in the series in 1999 and 2000 before the Mountaineers joined the league in 2012. KU has won the last three matches in three sets.
BIG 12 HALFWAY MARK
Thursday’s match between Kansas and West Virginia will mark the eighth match and halfway point of Big 12 Conference regular-season play. With a 6-1 Big 12 record, the Jayhawks have the opportunity to start 7-1 in league play for the second-straight season. Since the conference added TCU and West Virginia in 2012, KU has gone 7-1 twice (2012, 2015) during the first half of double round-robin league play.
LAST TIME OUT
Kansas started strong and kept the pressure on TCU during a straight-set Big 12 road victory last Saturday. KU jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first set and didn’t trail for the rest of the match, outside of a 2-2 tie in the second set and a 1-1 tie in the third set. A well-balanced defensive effort featured three Jayhawks with six or more block-assists while senior libero Cassie Wait led KU’s back row with 25 digs. TCU entered Saturday with a .243 hitting percentage and the second-most blocks per set in the Big 12 (2.5), but Kansas held the Frogs to a .056 hitting clip and four blocks in three sets.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Kansas is on a 12-match home winning streak and is 29-1 in the last 30 matches inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
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