No. 12 Jayhawks Face West Virginia Saturday
No. 12 Kansas (14-0) returns to Lawrence after a mid-week bye to face West Virginia on Saturday (4 p.m. CT, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel). Saturday is the annual Jayhawks for a Cure match. Fans wearing pink will receive a discounted $5 ticket.
• Saturday’s 4 p.m. CT first serve against West Virginia is different from the originally announced time on preseason promotional materials.
JAYHAWKS FOR A CURE
• Saturday marks the annual Jayhawks for a Cure match at Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Fans wearing pink will receive a discounted $5 ticket.
• The Kansas Athletics’ program, Jayhawks for a Cure, partners with Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Kansas University Cancer Center to raise awareness and funds to help fight cancer.
• Donations from Saturday’s match along with funds from many other Kansas Athletics events are donated to KU Athletics’ partners to assist cancer research at a regional level. Donations will be accepted at the promotions booth near the entry way at Horejsi.
• Rose Whitman will be honored with ceremonious first serve. Rose is the mother Kansas Volleyball alum Danni Whitman. In July, she was diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer. As she undergoes treatment, Rose continues to teach middle school physical education and coach high school volleyball in Salina, Kansas.
• In 2015, the Jayhawks are setting their sights on turning their run of success into an unprecedented streak. Never in Kansas volleyball history has the program made four straight appearances in the NCAA Championship. Senior Tiana Dockery could become the first Jayhawk in program history to play in the NCAAs four times.
• Well on their way to that postseason goal, Kansas has already made history along the way:
• Program-high No. 12 ranking in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
• Best start in program history (14-0).
• One win away from tying the longest overall winning streak in program history (15).
• NCAA’s leading offense in kills and assists.
• NCAA’s individual leader in assists (Ainise Havili).
• Led by KU’s all-time wins leader, head coach Ray Bechard (308 wins at KU).
• Cassie Wait became the third-fastest Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career digs.
SERIES HISTORY vs. WVU
Overall Series: KU leads, 8-0
In Lawrence: KU leads, 4-0
In Morgantown: KU leads, 4-0
• Kansas leads the all-time series with West Virginia, 8-0, including a 4-0 mark in Lawrence.
• The series dates back to 1999, when KU defeated West Virginia, 3-1, in Morgantown, W.Va.
• The previous six matches in the series have been during Big 12 Conference play.
• West Virginia, led by first-year head coach Reed Sunahara, was voted to finish ninth in the Big 12 Preseason Poll. Sunahara was a 12-year head coach at Cincinnati and arrived in Morgantown after stops as an assistant for the U.S. National Team and as the head coach at Buffalo in 2014.
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 with an average of 1,466.
• Kansas faces Texas Tech on Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Lubbock, Texas. First serve against the Red Raiders is 6 p.m. CT.
• Kansas has made its way to an undefeated record behind themost productive offense in the nation. The Jayhawks lead the nation in assists (14.6) and kills (15.6), while ranking fourth in hitting percentage (.312).
• Sophomore setter Ainise Havili leads the nation in assists per set (12.6).
• 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, .402), Janae Hall (7th, .377), and Tayler Soucie (9th, .360).
• Kansas has recorded 50+ kills in a three-set match five 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).
• Kansas moved up three spots to No. 12 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll released on Monday. It is the highest ranking in program history for KU.
• Last week’s No. 15 ranking set a record for the highest ranking in program history.
• The Jayhawks have been ranked in the top-25 for four consecutive weeks and have at least received votes in all six of the AVCA’s weekly polls this season.
• Kansas was ranked for a program-record nine consecutive weeks during the 2012 season, finishing No. 25.
• KU’s current 14-match winning streak is the best start to a season in program history.
• The Jayhawks are one of five remaining undefeated teams at the NCAA Division I level (USC, 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.
LONGEST KU WINNING STREAKS
1999 – W15
2015 – W14
1992 – W11
2001 – W10
• The Jayhawks have relied on a solid foundation of passing and serving on the way to an unprecedented start to the season.
• Kansas leads the Big 12 in aces per set (1.7), having 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 20 reception errors, while forcing their opponent to commit 77 reception errors.
WAIT REACHES 1,000 DIGS
• On Sept. 23, Cassie Wait became the 11th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career digs.
• Wait became the third-fastest Jayhawk to reach the century mark (77 matches; 282 sets) with a career-high 27 digs against K-State (9/23). She passed the 1,000 career digs threshold with nine digs in the third set against the Wildcats.
• The only other Jayhawks to reach 1,000 digs quicker were Melissa Manda (2007-10) and all-time digs leader Brianne Riley (2010-13).
• Wait reaches the prestigious mark having been KU’s primary libero for just two seasons.
• Wait also ranks third in career digs per set at KU (3.6).
• Wait ranks second in the Big 12 in digs (5.1 dps) and has 20+ digs in four matches this season.
• The Gardner, Kansas, native leads a KU defense that ranks 13th in the nation in opponent hitting percentage (.140) and has held opponents to a sub-.200 hitting percentage in all but one match this season.
KANSAS ALL-TIME DIGS
1. Brianne Riley (2010-13) – 2,053
2. Melissa Manda (2007-10) – 1,457
3. Jill Dorsey (2001-04) – 1,338
4. Adrian Powel (1988-91) – 1,325
5. Sarah Rome (2000-03) – 1,177
6. Jodi Oelschlager (1986-89) – 1,153
7. Kris Kleinschmidt (1988-91) – 1,103
8. Cyndee Kanabel (1990-93) – 1,045
9. Emily Brown (2004-07) – 1,037
10. Katie Martincich (2006-09) – 1,029
11. Cassie Wait (2013-present) – 1,025
• During KU’s 14-match winning streak, the Jayhawks hold a Big 12-leading 42-4 (.913) set record.
• Kansas has swept 10-of-14 opponents, including three teams receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll on the date of the match (Duke, Wyoming, Marquette).
• The Jayhawks have yet to play a five-set match this season.
KU’s BIG 12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
• 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 (12.6 aps).
• Havili also ranks second in the Big 12 in aces per set (0.4) while boasting 35 kills on a .320 attack percentage.
• Havili has reached at least 40 assists in eight of the last nine 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 (.402). The Austin, Texas, native recently set a career high in kills with 20 against K-State (9/23). Payne has double-figure kills in all but one match this season.
• Dockery ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 3.4 kills per set. Dockery earned MVP honors at the Jayhawk Classic.
RIGDON PUTTING UP BALANCED NUMBERS
• Sophomore outside hitter Madison Rigdon ranks third on the team in both kills (3.2 kps) and digs (2.5 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 four 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 seven of the last eight matches.
• Kansas has recorded a total of 10 double-doubles this season, including five of the kill-dig variety.
• A season-high three Jayhawks recorded a double-double against K-State on Sept. 23 — Ainise Havili, Madison Rigdon, and Tiana Dockery.
Notes Link Kansas Notes