| Kansas at Baylor
Ferrell Center // Waco, Texas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Riding the wave of an eight-match win streak, capped with a victory over its in-state rival, Kansas will travel to Waco, Texas to meet up with the Baylor Bears in the Ferrell Center, Saturday at 1 p.m.
vs. Baylor (BU leads, 22-15): The Baylor-Kansas matchup is known for being closely-contested. In the nine years, the teams have split their season series eight times. A year ago, the Jayhawks defeated the Bears in five sets in Lawrence but fell in four in Waco. KU’s loss to Baylor in Waco marked the Jayhawks’ only loss to a team outside of the top-40 RPI. In matches played in Waco, Baylor holds a 14-3 advantage and KU last won on the Bears’ turf on Oct. 13, 2010.
FOLLOW THE JAYHAWKS
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. Kansas at Baylor will stream live on Baylor All-Access, which fans can access on BaylorBears.com/allaccess for a subscription fee. Fans can also monitor the action on Live Stats or by following @KUVolleyball on Twitter.
· Kansas enters the weekend on an eight-match win streak, tying the program’s fifth-longest all-time winning span. Aside from last year’s nine-match spree, the Jayhawks have not put a win streak together that lasted this long since 2004 (8).
· KU is the only team in the Big 12 with three players in the top-10 in attack percentage: Caroline Jarmoc (.317, 8th), Chelsea Albers (.314, 9th) and Tayler Soucie (.306, 10th).
· The Jayhawks are also the only conference school with two players in the top-five in blocks per set: Tayler Soucie (1.33, 3rd) and Caroline Jarmoc (1.29, 4th).
· KU is receiving votes in the latest AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll (9/30) after a three-week hiatus from the national list.
· Big 12 Conference Player of the Week awards are becoming a trend in Lawrence. On Monday, sophomore outside hitter Tiana Dockery and redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc were awarded Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively. At least one KU player has been recognized in four-straight weeks.
· Senior setter Erin McNorton is the first setter in the conference to break the 700-assist mark in 2013 and sits atop the Big 12 assists leaderboard for the fourth-straight week with 12.19 assists per set, which also ranks fifth nationally. Since starting for KU in 2012, the Dallas native has never left the NCAA’s top-10 list.
· Entering the weekend, Kansas is setting a solid example, leading the Big 12 in kills (14.36, 19th NCAA), assists (13.41, 19th NCAA) and attack percentage (.260, 31st NCAA). What’s more, KU is second in blocks (2.78, 21st NCAA) and fourth in digs (15.91, 41st NCAA).
WE’RE GOING STREAKING
KU’s win at Kansas State (10/2) marked the eighth-straight victory for the Jayhawks, putting them in sight of the nine-game stretch KU put together last year. That 2012 streak tied the fourth-longest in school history. Here’s what the Jayhawks are looking at if they can keep it going:
Win Streak Year
9 2000, 2012
8 1990, 2002, 2004, 2013
The first All-American in Kansas volleyball history, redshirt senior Caroline Jarmoc, is fast approaching another Jayhawk milestone achievement. The Calgary, Alberta, Canada native needs three kills to eclipse 200 on the season, a strong possibility for Saturday at Baylor. If and when it happens, Jarmoc will be just the fifth player in program history to record 200 or more kills in four-consecutive seasons. She will join KU volleyball alums Emily Brown (2004-07), Josi Lima (2002-05), Mary Beth Albrecht (1996-99) and Judy Desch (1984-87) on the historic list.
The Jayhawks and Wildcats met for the 100th time on Oct. 2 in a series that dates back to 1975. The milestone meeting resulted in KU’s third-straight win over KSU – a feat that KU had not accomplished since 1993 (Nov. 11, 1992; Oct. 6, 1993; Nov. 17, 1993).
Although the Jayhawks rank first or second in five of the Big 12’s primary statistic categories, service aces is not one of them. In fact, KU ranks last in the league in aces per set – the good news? The Jayhawks allow just 0.67 aces per set, which ranks first in the league.
SET ‘EM UP
Since September 20, the Jayhawks have lost only one set – going 15-1 in the sets column during that span. KU is one of only three Big 12 squads (West Virginia, Oklahoma) to have already won 40 frames in 2013. Baylor will have plenty to say about that, however, as the two squads have not played a three-set match since Sept. 26, 2009.
PUT IN PERSPECTIVE
Senior setter Erin McNorton not only leads all Big 12 setters with 707 assists, she also leads five Big 12 teams. McNorton’s massive assist count on her own is more than Iowa State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas State have each accumulated as a team. Averaging more than 43 assists per match, she is on pace for 1,414 assists in 2013, which would rank right behind herself (1,443, 3rd) for fourth all-time at KU in a single season.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc is just three kills away from her 200th of the season heading into Saturday’s match in Waco. The only players in the Big 12 that can say the same are league-leader Sallie McLaurin (217) of Oklahoma and Zoe Adom (197) of Baylor.
BEAST MODE BLOCKERS
Kansas has morphed into a mainstay in the Big 12’s top-three blocking teams and currently sits second in the league at 2.78 blocks per set. The Jayhawks are the only squad to have two players in the top-five as freshman Tayler Soucie (1.33 bps) and redshirt senior Caroline Jarmoc (1.29 bps) rank third and fourth, respectively.
CENTURY MARK – PART II
Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc made her 100th-career start at Creighton (9/10). Although not consecutively as Jarmoc’s was, fellow senior Brianne Riley will likely make her 100th career start on Saturday at Baylor.
SCOUTING BAYLOR (8-10 Overall, 0-2 Big 12)
Led by 10th-year head coach Jim Barnes, Baylor was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 after finishing the 2012 season with a 20-12 record. After recording their slowest start (2-6) since 1995, the Bears charged back to .500 by the start of the conference play with wins against Mississippi State and Houston. The Big 12 schedule did the Bears no favors, suffering sweeps against nationally-ranked Iowa State last Saturday and defending national champion Texas on Wednesday before bringing in Kansas.
Senior outside hitter and All-Big 12 Preseason selection Zoe Adom, leads the team with 3.08 kills per set, putting her amongst the top-10 best in the Big 12. She led the Bears with 13 kills against No. 4 Texas on Wednesday, while junior middle hitter Nicole Bardaji was right behind her with 10 kills against the Longhorns. Five different Baylor starters have more than 100 kills to their credit and hover around the two or more kills per set mark, despite the fact that the team ranks last in the league in kills per set (12.51) and assists per set (11.52).
Not only does sophomore middle hitter Adrien Richburg lead the squad with a .286 hitting percentage, but she also sets the defense’s tone with 0.98 blocks per set. Sophomore libero Mackenzie Mayo joins sophomore setter Amy Rosenbaum as the only two Bears to have played every set this season. Mayo averages 3.31 digs per set, while Rosenbaum dishes out 9.90 assists per frame. The duo racked up three service aces against the Longhorns in their last time out. BU’s defense averages 14.43 digs and 2.15 blocks per set.
HEAD COACH RAY BECHARD
“We don’t have to jog our memory too far to know that they beat us down there [Waco] last year. Jim [Barnes] does a great job with his group. His personnel is different this year, but he always puts an extremely competitive group out there and I’m sure that won’t be any different this year.”
On senior outside hitter Zoe Adom:
“She’s in the top-10 in kills per set in conference. She’s obviously a go-to player. It’s interesting that she can carry them, but then there’s other people in that lineup that have experience at this level that also can go off on you if you’re not careful.”
On Baylor’s pre-conference start:
“I think it’s a combination of some youth and a pretty tough pre-conference schedule. They go out to Colorado State to open up and Colorado State is still undefeated, so they’ve played some good teams. It’s obviously a team that’s working its way through pre-conference into conference [play], but if you can extend Texas into four sets and be competitive in all four of those sets, then you’ve got something coming together at the right time and getting the chemistry that they’re looking for.”
On KU’s win streak:
“The league this year – and even more so than what we’ve seen in the past years – has no ‘byes.’ There will be no ‘gimmes’ and no easy W’s and that’s already been clearly magnified by the way the Big 12 opened up. Our most important match we have all year is the one that we have right in front of us, and that’s the Baylor Bears. We will game plan to the best of our ability and our team will be focused and ready to go.”
On momentum from win over rival Kansas State:
“We’ll start over Thursday at practice. If you live a little bit in the past, the future will make you pay for that. [Thursday’s] practice will be a feel-good day and hopefully there’s some momentum that carries over. The key is that we battled in two sets that could have gone either way on the road against a good team. I think you use that experience more than who you played to help you in the future as much as anything.”
On who stepped up in the win over Kansas State:
“[Tayler] Soucie had some big kills late, which was good to see. If we can get both of our middles going at that level, and of course [Caroline] Jarmoc is going to be playing at that level night in night out, but if Soucie, and Janae [Hall] off the bench, could play that way that would be huge for us. I thought [Tiana] Dockery blocking back-to-back balls at the end of set two was big. Then Chelsea [Albers] seemed to be making a lot of plays at the end of sets, too. Lost in this whole mix once again is Erin McNorton, just handing the ball to everybody and doing her thing. It seemed like everybody had a moment or two last night, so hopefully we can consistently keep that going.”
Kansas returns home for back-to-back matches, beginning with Oklahoma on Wednesday, Oct. 9 and hosting defending national champion and fourth-ranked Texas on Saturday, Oct. 12. Both matches are slated for 6:30 p.m. start times.
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