Kansas, Arkansas Change Venues for Saturday Match

Jayhawk Digital Passport (Live Audio) | Live Stats | ESPN3.com | Match Notes
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A single day will separate Kansas’ thrilling comeback victory at Arkansas and round two of the season series as the Jayhawks prepare to host the Razorbacks in their home opener, Saturday at 1 p.m. inside the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
Vs. Arkansas (Kansas leads, 4-3): The Kansas and Arkansas series was tied before Kansas won on the road Thursday night. All seven meetings between the Razorbacks and Jayhawks have taken place since the 2003 season, but 2013 marks the first time the two have played each other twice in one season. Thursday marked the third five-set match in the series history, and the first one that KU has won.
Fans can listen to radio play-by-play on the Jayhawk Digital Passport, found under the Fan Central tab on KUAthletics.com. Subscriptions are available in daily ($2.95), monthly ($6.95) and yearly ($49.95) increments. Aaron Berlin will have the call.
The home opener also is the first of 14 home matches fans can watch on ESPN3.com. Fans can access the TV stream by going to ESPN3.com or visiting KUAthletics.com/ESPN. Leif Lisec and former volleyball player Jill Dorsey-Hall will provide the television analysis. For more information on accessing Kansas video content, visit KUAthletics.com/TV. Fans can also monitor the action on Live Stats or by following @KUVolleyball on Twitter.

  • Kansas is a flawless 15-0 in home openers under veteran head coach Ray Bechard.
  • After starting the season with five-straight road matches for the first time since 2007, Kansas will open its home slate on Saturday against the Razorbacks.
  • Three-straight true road contests have the team ready for the friendly – but packed – confines of the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. With a capacity of 1,300, KU averaged 1,366 fans per match last year, which ranked 29th in the NCAA (three matches were held in Allen Fieldhouse).
  • Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 with three players in the top-10 in the conference in kills per set. Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc leads the team and ranks fifth in the conference with 3.80 kps. Junior outsides Chelsea Albers (3.27) and Sara McClinton (3.12) rank seventh and ninth, respectively.
  • As a unit, the Jayhawk offense ranks second in the league in kills per set (14.70), while ironically being second to last in attack percentage (.236).
  • Led by senior setter Erin McNorton, KU never ranked lower than second in assists per set last season. Five matches into 2013, Kansas ranks third in the league with 13.55 assists per set, while McNorton’s 12.35 average is second among Big 12 setters.
  • Kansas leads the Big 12 with 294 total kills, while Jarmoc leads the team with 76.

Kansas rallied for its second comeback victory of the year at Arkansas (9/5), after facing 1-0 and 2-1 deficits. Although the 2012 team was also 4-1 through its first five matches last fall, the team lost the first set only once during the entire pre-conference season. In 2013, Kansas has already faced a 1-0 deficit three times.
Just two days after squaring off against the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Ark., the Jayhawks welcome the SEC foe to Lawrence. In their last meeting, redshirt senior Catherine Carmichael led a balanced Jayhawk attack with a career-high 19 kills. Junior outside hitter Sara McClinton (14) and redshirt senior Caroline Jarmoc (12) were also key contributors. Across the net, Arkansas was led by junior transfer Meredith Hays. Though she led the floor with 22 kills, she was the only Razorback in double-figures. Look for Carmichael and McClinton to find their grooves once again as they also led the offense against Arkansas a year ago.
Senior libero Brianne Riley recorded a season-high 24 digs during KU’s comeback win at Arkansas (9/5), which moved her into ninth all-time on the Big 12 Conference’s career digs list, passing Texas Tech’s Lisa Hilgers (1,583, 1995-98).
Seven attack and one reception error had the Jayhawks looking dead in the water, trailing 11-3 and already down one set to none in the second set at Arkansas (9/5). After using their second timeout with only three points on the board, Kansas stormed back – going on an 11-3 run of its own to tie the score and eventually claim the set, 25-22. Following the dismal start to the set, Kansas received 10 kills from four different Jayhawks and six team blocks in what proved to be the gutsiest performance of the night.
After winning the five-set decision at Arkansas (9/5), Kansas has won five of its last six five-set matches dating back to last season. The last time Kansas lost a five-set decision was to the defending national champion Texas Longhorns at home (11/10/12).
Of the seven seniors, five are routine starters in the 2013 lineup. Caroline Jarmoc and Brianne Riley are the only four-year starters of the group – and what an impact they’ve had. In Riley’s 89 career starts, she has posted double-digit digs in 82 of them. In Jarmoc’s 98 career starts, she has racked up double-digit kills 54 times.
KU’s comeback victory at Arizona (8/31) marked Ray Bechard‘s 250th win at Kansas. The winningest coach in program history. Bechard is the only Jayhawk coach with 250-plus wins, and his 252 rank fourth all-time among Big 12 Conference coaches. John Cook (Nebraska, 336), Laurie Corbelli (Texas A&M, 330) and Jerritt Elliott (Texas, 299) have collected more overall wins in their time in the Big 12, with Elliott and Bechard being the only coaches on the list still in the conference.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc picked up her 1,000th career kill against UMKC (9/3) and currently stands at 1,027. KU’s career record is 1,483 (Josi Lima, 2002-05), but the top-10 list begins with Cyndee Kanabel’s 1,122 career kills (1990-93). Only Kansas State’s Kaitlynn Pelger has more career kills on the Big 12’s active-player career list.
Although the Jayhawks fell out of the Top-25 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches Poll, they are still receiving votes. That makes 12-straight weeks that Kansas has had presence on the national poll.
SCOUTING ARKANSAS (3-2 Overall, 0-0 SEC)
Voted to finish third in the SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll (Western Division), Arkansas is led by six-year head coach Robert Pulliza. He and his staff brought in a recruiting class ranked 16th-best in the country by PrepVolleyball.com, the highest-ranked incoming class in the SEC.
The Razorbacks return nine letterwinners and two redshirt freshmen from last year’s team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including a six-member senior class. Senior outside hitter Haley Koop leads the returning players with 2.84 kills per set. She collected nine kills against KU on Thursday but also added five attack errors. Senior Raymariely Santos, one of three Razorbacks in program history to surpass 3,000 career assists, paces the offense with 6.79 assists per set. She and Ashley Vasquez split time, running a 6-2 offense on Thursday, where Santos dished out 27 assists and Vasquez, 26.
Senior libero Emily Helm led the floor with 27 digs in Thursday’s contest and leads the team with a 4.26 dig average.
Arkansas is getting plenty of production out of its newcomers, too, with redshirt freshman middle blocker Ana Sofia Jusino leading the squad with a .333 attack percentage. Thursday’s offense, however was focused solely around junior transfer from New Mexico State, outside hitter Meredith Hays, who cranked out a match-high 22 kills – but was the only Razorback in double figures.
On combatting Meredith Hays:
“They set a ton of balls her way, and let’s give her credit, she kept swinging away. She kept them in the match from an overall kills standpoint. In that situation, you just have to find a way to control her and I think we did that. she had her moments where she went on little runs, but in those 22 kills there were also 15 errors and some of those were blocked balls.”
On Tayler Soucie progressing in the middle blocker position with a big match at Arkansas:
“She got better as the match went along. Seven assisted blocks was big for her, seven kills and a .278 hitting efficiency. If we can get those type of numbers from her and continue to bring Janae (Hall) along, that will certainly create another offensive option for us.”
On opening the home schedule:
“We are certainly ready to be home, but we have to take the same mentality that we’ve taken into all these road matches. We’ve got to play a little bit harder and grind it out. If we start to relax and cruise at home a little bit, the matches we’ve got at home will bite us. That’s the same mentality that we’ve had the last three road wins in a row.”
On home court advantage:
“We hope so. Hopefully it’s an opportunity for some fans to stop by before they head over to the football game and check out what should be a really good match.”
On the challenges of being a good team twice:
“We’ll look at some of the things we did well and some of the things we could do better. This is the second time against a good road them that we’ve had the chance to go up one set to none. At Arizona, we had a similar result and lost 27-25. How can we, against really good teams, be up 1-0 instead of having to claw back from 0-1. Obviously, Meredith Hays is a big part of what they’re doing, but I’m sure they’ll try to get some more balance out of some of their other players, too.”
After just one match at home, Kansas will hit the road again for a midweek meeting at No. 19 Creighton on Tuesday, Sept. 10. First serve is set for 6 p.m.
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