Havili named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The national leader in assists, sophomore setter Ainise Havili, was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after guiding Kansas through an undefeated sweep of the Jayhawk Classic and an unprecedented 12-0 start to the season.

Havili led the 15th-ranked Jayhawks in wins over South Dakota State, Gonzaga and Missouri State, with 12.7 assists per set as KU hit a combined .396 with 15.5 kills per set last week. The Fort Worth, Texas, native recorded a season-high 51 assists against Gonzaga.

“We couldn’t have the success we have had in hitting efficiency and kills per set without someone making great decisions, carrying out a game plan and having a good sense of who and when to give the ball to,” Head Coach Ray Bechard said. “Ainise has been just that for our team — a great director for our offense, not only last week, but the entire season.”

Havili leads all NCAA Division I student-athletes in assists per set (12.4) while guiding a KU offense that leads the conference in hitting percentage (.331) and kills (15.5). KU’s current 12-match winning streak is the best start to a season in program history.

It is Havili’s first career Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week award and fifth conference weekly honor in her career after four Rookie of the Week recognitions a season ago.

Kansas begins Big 12 play on Wednesday with the Dillons Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State. First serve in front of a sold-out Horejsi Family Athletics Center is set for 6:30 p.m. Central. The match will be televised regionally by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and nationally online by ESPN3.

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