Undefeated, No. 15 Volleyball Faces TCU Saturday
Notes Link Kansas Notes
No. 15 Kansas (13-0) brings an unprecedented 13-match winning streak into the first Big 12 road test of the season at TCU on Saturday (3 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Southwest Plus). Sophomore setter Ainise Havili returns to her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, as the leader of KU’s high-octane offense, which leads the nation in kills per set. The Jayhawks will face a TCU squad that leads the Big 12 in blocks.
Overall Series: KU leads, 5-2
In Fort Worth, Texas: KU Leads, 2-1
In Lawrence: KU Leads 3-1
• Kansas leads the all-time series with TCU 5-2, including a 2-1 mark in Fort Worth.
• Last season, KU and TCU split the regular season series.
• In the last meeting (Nov. 1, 2014), TCU broke KU’s five-match series winning streak and defeated the Jayhawks for the first time in the Big 12 era after rallying from two sets down in Fort Worth.
• The series dates back to a five-set TCU win on Sept. 10, 1999 in Lawrence.
• TCU, led by first-year head coach Jill Kramer, was voted to finish seventh in the Big 12 Preseason Poll.
• After a mid-week bye, Kansas will host West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 3. First serve against the Mountaineers has been moved from its originally-announced time to 4 p.m. CT.
RETURN TO TEXAS
• Five Jayhawks hail from the state of Texas, including two from the Dallas-Fort Worth area — Ainise Havili (Fort Worth) and Claire Carpenter (Rockwall).
• Havili will be playing in front of a hometown crowd in Fort Worth on Saturday. She was a four-time team MVP for Haltom High School (2010-13).
BIG 12 ROAD OPENERS
• Kansas is 5-14 in Big 12 road openers since the league’s inception in 1996, but are 2-1 since 2012.
• Seven of KU’s 19 Big 12 road openers have been against top-25 teams.
• Saturday marks the first time Kansas opens the Big 12 road slate at TCU.
LAST THREE BIG 12 ROAD OPENERS
2012: at Texas Tech (W, 3-0)
2013: at Kansas State (W, 3-0)
2014: at #2 Texas (L, 1-3)
TRUE ROAD MATCHES
• Kansas is 2-0 in true road contests this season, with wins at Arkansas (8/29) and Wyoming (9/11).
• Kansas has made its was to an undefeated record behind the most productive offense in the nation. The Jayhawks lead the nation in assists (14.5) and kills (15.5), while ranking fifth in hitting percentage (.318).
• Sophomore setter Ainise Havili, this week’s Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, leads the nation in assists per set (12.5).
• Kansas leads the Big 12 in attack percentage, kills, assists, and aces.
• KU has recorded a higher hitting percentage than its opponent in every match this season.
• Three Jayhawks rank top-10 in hitting percentage among Big 12 student-athletes — Kelsie Payne (4th, .415), Janae Hall (6th, .371), and Tayler Soucie (7th, .370).
• Kansas has recorded 50+ kills in a three-set match four times this season.
• KU has recorded 19 or more kills in a set six times this season, including twice during a four-set win over K-State in the Big 12 opener (9/23).
19+ KILLS IN A SET (2015)
Sept 4 vs. Duke: 20 (2nd)
Sept 12 vs. Marquette: 20 (1st)
Sept 18 vs. SD State: 20 (3rd)
Sept 19 vs. Missouri State: 19 (2nd)
Sept 23 vs. K-State: 19 (3rd)
Sept 23 vs. K-State: 19 (4th)
• Kansas moved up two spots to No. 15 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll released on Monday. It is the highest ranking in program history for KU.
• Last week’s No. 17 ranking was tied for the highest ranking in program history. The Jayhawks were also ranked No. 17 at the end of the 2013 season and during the 2012 season (10/22/2012).
• The Jayhawks have been ranked in the top-25 for three consecutive weeks and have at least received votes in all five polls this season.
• Kansas was ranked for a program-record nine consecutive weeks during the 2012 season, finishing No. 25.
• KU’s current 13-match winning streak is the best start to a season in program history.
• The Jayhawks are one of six remaining undefeated teams at the NCAA Division I level (USC, San Francisco, Penn State, Arizona State, Washington).
• With a win over Gonzaga on Friday, Sept. 18, the Jayhawks set the record for the best start in program history at 11-0, passing 2001’s mark of 10-0.
BEST KU STARTS
CURRENT UNDEFEATED TEAMS
KANSAS: 13-0 (Next match: Saturday at TCU Saturday)
Arizona State: 11-0 (Sunday vs. Oregon State)
Penn State: 12-0 (Saturday vs. Minnesota)
San Francisco: 13-0 (Saturday vs. San Diego)
USC: 13-0 (Sunday at Stanford)
Washington: 10-0 (Sunday vs. Colorado)
• Kansas leads the Big 12 in aces per set (1.7).
• KU has reached double-figure aces in a match twice this season — at Arkansas (10) and against Western Illinois (12).
• On the defensive side, Kansas is putting up quality receiving numbers as well. The Jayhawks have committed just 19 reception errors in the first 3 matches of the season, while forcing their opponent to commit 71 reception errors.
KU ACES (OPPONENT RECEPTION ERRORS): 71
KU RECEPTION ERRORS (OPPONENT ACES): 19
WAIT DIGGING DEEP
• Junior libero Cassie Wait tied her career high of 27 digs for the fourth time against K-State on Wednesday.
• The two-year starter ranks third in the Big 12 in digs (5.1 dps) and has 20+ digs in four matches this season.
• Wait leads a KU defense that ranks 19th in the nation in opponent hitting percentage (.142), having held opponents to a sub-.200 hitting percentage in all but one match.
• During KU’s 13-match winning streak, the Jayhawks hold a Big 12-leading 39-4 (.907) set record.
• Kansas has swept 9-of-13 opponents, including three teams receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll (Duke, Wyoming, Marquette).
• The Jayhawks have yet to play a five-set match this season.
KU AWARDED SECOND BIG 12 WEEKLY HONOR
• Seemingly unfazed by her change from middle blocker in 2014 to right-side hitter in 2015, sophomore Kelsie Payne continued her nearly unstoppable start to the season over the weekend to earn Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time on Sept. 7.
• Payne led KU with 37 kills in three 3-set wins during the Kansas Invitational to earn All-Tournament honors. In KU’s three victories, she posted a combined .464 attack percentage, including a match with no attacking errors against UMKC (13k-0e-26a).
• Kelsie Payne – Offensive Player of the Week (9/7)
• Ainise Havili – Offensive Player of the Week (9/22)
HAVILI SETTING THE TONE
• Sophomore setter Ainise Havili is at the heart of KU’s NCAA-leading team numbers, including kills and assists.
• Havili’s steady hands lead all NCAA Division I players in assists (12.5 aps).
• Havili also ranks second in the Big 12 in aces per set (0.4) while boasting 32 kills on a .296 attack rate.
• Havili has reached at least 40 assists in seven of the last eight matches, including a season-high 54 assists against K-State (9/23).
• The Fort Worth, Texas, native posted 46 assists against Marquette (9/12), setting her career high for a three-set match.
• Havili has five double-doubles on the season — at Arkansas (48 assists, 14 digs), against UMKC (44a, 14d), against Northern Colorado (43a, 10d), against Gonzaga (51a, 11d), and against K-State (54a, 13d).
• She earned AVCA All-America honorable Mention Honors last season and entered 2015 as a Preseason All-Big 12 selection.
PAYNE, DOCKERY LEADING OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION
• Sophomore right-side hitter Kelsie Payne and senior outside hitter Tiana Dockery both rank top-6 in the Big 12 in kills per set.
• Payne ranks second in the Big 12 with 4.0 kills per set on the fourth-best attack percentage in the league (.415).
• Dockery ranks sixth in the Big 12 with 3.4 kills per set.
RIGDON PUTTING UP BALANCED NUMBERS
• Sophomore outside hitter Madison Rigdon ranks third on the team in both kills (3.1 kps) and digs (2.4 dps).
• The six-rotation player earned MVP honors at Pistol Pete’s Showdown (Sept 11-12) with 3.7 kills and 2.7 digs per set during the event.
• The Pflugerville, Texas, native totals three double-doubles this season. She recorded KU’s first kill-dig double-double of the season against Northern Colorado (9/11) with 12 kills and 15 digs.
• Rigdon has reached double-figure kills in six of the last seven matches.
• Three Jayhawks recorded a double-double against K-State on Sept. 23 — Ainise Havili, Madison Rigdon, and Tiana Dockery.
• Kansas has a total of nine double-doubles this season (see PDF of notes for a complete listing).
Packed home crowds
• Fans are lining up around the corner to witness KU’s unprecedented season. The Jayhawks’ Horejsi Family Athletics Center (1,300 capacity) has packed-in 1,500 fans or more in the last two matches against Missouri State (1,508) and Kansas State (1,565).
• All of KU’s night or weekend matches have drawn 1,300 fans or more.
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