Kansas to Face TCU in Fort Worth
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Fresh off the quickest victory of the season, Kansas will head south to take on TCU Saturday at noon.
vs. TCU (Kansas leads, 3-1): TCU won the first meeting between the two squads – a five-set contest in 1999 – but the series has been on KU’s side since the Frogs made the move to the Big 12. TCU took a set from the Jayhawks in Lawrence a year ago, but KU has swept the last two matchups.
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.
FrogVision will stream Saturday’s match on GoFrogs.com/allaccess for a subscription fee. Fans can also monitor the action on GameTracker or by following @KUVolleyball on Twitter.
- Kansas followed its loss to Iowa State at the end the first round of conference play with an overpowering victory against Baylor to start round two. KU has lost back-to-back matches only once in the last two years (vs. Arkansas on 9/7; at Creighton on 9/10).
- Kansas is receiving votes this week’s AVCA Top-25 Poll (10/28), just one spot away from reclaiming a national ranking.
- KU moved to No. 16 on the latest NCAA RPI projections (10/28), which is the first time Kansas has been outside the RPI’s top-15 since 2011.
- Six different Jayhawks rank in the top-10 in six different Big 12 statistical categories – highlighted by the conference’s best setter in senior Erin McNorton and blocker in redshirt senior Caroline Jarmoc.
- Jarmoc was named a finalist for the Senior CLASS award on Thursday. She joins Texas’ Bailey Webster as the only Big 12 representatives on the prestigious list.
- McNorton leads the Big 12 for the ninth-straight week with 12.21 assists per set. Only two setters in the country average more assists than McNorton: Caitlin Dotson, Lipscomb (12.94) and Molly Kreklow, Missouri (12.43).
- KU is the only team in the Big 12 with three players in the top-10 in both blocks and points per set. Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc and junior outside hitter Chelsea Albers are on both top-10 lists.
- Jarmoc appears on four of the Big 12’s top-10 lists: blocks per set (1.32, 1st), points per set (4.18, 4th), hitting percentage (.326, 6th) and kills per set (3.24, 7th).
- Kansas ranks in the top-20 in the NCAA in assists (13.56, 10th NCAA), kills (14.50, 14th NCAA) and blocks (2.77, 21th NCAA). The Jayhawks lead the conference in all three categories.
Redshirt senior All-American Caroline Jarmoc earned one of the final 10 candidate spots to be considered for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate volleyball. The prestigious award selects senior student-athletes based on the following categories: community, classroom, character and competition. Jarmoc, the first All-American in KU volleyball history, broke the Kansas blocking record this year, leads the Big 12 in blocking all while holding down a 3.24 GPA in chemical engineering.
Kansas hit a blistering .451 against Baylor (10/30), churning out 47 kills on 91 swings – while committing only six errors. The impressive efficiency marks the second time that the Jayhawks have hit over .400 this season, with the first coming against North Dakota State (.458, 9/20). KU hasn’t hit over .400 multiple times in a season since pulling the feat off three times in 2006 (.512 vs. Alabama A&M; .418 vs. UMKC; .423 vs. Maine).
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET
Only three teams in the Big 12 have played fewer matches than the Jayhawks, but Kansas leads the conference with 58 set victories in 2013 and is tied for third-fewest set losses.
UNDER THE LIGHTS
Kansas is not new to playing on TV, especially after Kansas Athletics’ agreement to broadcast all home matches on ESPN3.com this season – but Wednesday’s match against Baylor marked the first time that the Jayhawks welcomed national TV to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. ESPNU aired the match in a doubleheader format with Iowa State vs. Texas Tech following. KU is 6-2 when playing on TV this season.
With two solo blocks against Baylor (10/30), redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc tied Amber Woolsey (Texas A&M, 1996-99) for second all-time on the Big 12 career list.
Senior setter Erin McNorton 30 assists against Baylor (10/30) pushed her past the 1,000 mark for the season. After racking up 1,443 assists a year ago, McNorton became the first Jayhawk since Nicole Tate (2008, 2009) to post 1,000 or more assists in two-straight seasons. In fact, only six Jayhawks total have ever rang up back-to-back 1,000-assist seasons.
Senior setter Erin McNorton‘s (1,026) leads all Big 12 setters by more than 140 assists. Four different Big 12 teams have yet to hit the 1,000-assist mark yet this season. At West Virginia (10/19) McNorton became the sixth player in KU history to collect 2,500 assists (2,598), despite the fact that she has started only 55 matches in her career.
RILEY IS CLIMBING
Senior libero Brianne Riley‘s 12 digs against Baylor (10/30) moved her closer to sixth all-time on the Big 12 Conference’s career digs list (1,884), chasing former Missouri star Caitlynn Vann (1,997; 2007-10). Riley is just the seventh player in Big 12 history to surpass 1,800 career digs. She also ranks third in the Big 12 at 4.60 digs per set this season. More than just a conference highlight, Riley competes on the national scene, checking in at 16th in career digs among active players in the NCAA.
WOWING THE LEAGUE
While Kansas already leads the Big 12 in blocks (2.77), kills (14.50) and assists (13.56) on the overall statistic rankings, the Jayhawks’ numbers in conference-only play are even better. In Big 12-only matches, Kansas leads in: blocks (2.91), kills (14.97) and assists (14.00).
Although the Jayhawks rank first in three of the Big 12’s primary statistical categories, service aces is not one of them. In fact, KU sits last in the league in aces per set – the good news? The Jayhawks allow just 0.68 aces per set, which ranks first in the league.
Senior setter Erin McNorton recorded 60 assists and 11 digs against Iowa State (10/23), her third double-double of the season and 14th of her career. Alongside her, junior outside hitter Chelsea Albers led the team with her career-high 23 digs against ISU. Combined with her 14 kills, Albers posted the sixth double-double of her career – all occurring this season. Redshirt senior Caroline Jarmoc is the only other Jayhawk with a double-double this year (kills/blocks vs. UMKC).
ON THE POLL
Kansas dropped out of the latest AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll (10/28), but is receiving votes directly outside of the poll (No. 26). The Jayhawks started the season in the preseason top-25 after ending 2012 on the poll for nine-straight weeks. KU has either been in the top-25 or receiving votes in 17 of the last 20 polls.
The NCAA moved Kansas to No. 16 in its latest RPI release (10/28). Although this marks the first time since 2011 that the Jayhawks’ RPI has been outside the top-15, Kansas leads the nation with three road wins over top-25 teams and four in the top-40. With more than a month still remaining in the regular season, KU has wins against Wisconsin (No. 9), Oklahoma (No. 19), Arizona (No. 24), Arkansas (No. 31) and Georgia (No. 32).
LAST TIME OUT: Kansas 3, TCU 0
Sophomore outside hitter Tiana Dockery led the Jayhawks with 14 kills as they defeated TCU in three sets, 25-19, 25-13, 25-22, claiming a victory in their 2013 Big 12 Conference debut inside the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
Dockery, a Richmond, Texas native, used 32 attempts and committed only one error for a .406 hitting percentage and added three blocks to give Kansas the sweep over TCU and the team’s seventh-straight win.
The Jayhawks were equally strong defensively, led by redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc, who recorded eight total blocks – including a solo rejection that passed former KU great Josi Lima for second all-time in career solo blocks at Kansas (90). Seniors Brianne Riley and Jaime Mathieu protected the back row with 14 digs each.
SCOUTING TCU (13-10 Overall, 2-7 Big 12)
Led by 12-year head coach Prentice Lewis, TCU was voted to finish in a tie for seventh in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll after going 15-14 overall and 4-12 in conference play in 2012. Quickly becoming more comfortable in the league, the Horned Frogs have wins over Texas Tech and Baylor and nearly forced a fifth set against No. 1 Texas, losing 25-23 in set four, in their last time out (10/30).
Senior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan was named to the 2013 Preseason All-Big 12 Team and leads the offense with a .313 attack percentage. Off-setting her veteran leadership is freshman outside hitter Ashley Smith, who has a team-best 2.68 kills per set. The Horned Frogs run a 6-2 offense using the setter duo of sophomore Alexia Heist and redshirt freshman Trisha Langley, who helps TCU to 11.66 assists per set. As a unit, the Horned Frogs are hitting .234 and rank second in the Big 12 with 1.31 aces per set.
Defensively, junior outside hitter/middle blocker Mattie Burleson sets the tone at the net with a team-high 1.08 blocks per set. Behind her, six players average more than 1.50 digs per set. Freshman libero Shane Peters leads the back row with 3.54 digs per set.
HEAD COACH RAY BECHARD
On TCU battling Texas:
“They almost took them to a fifth set. They played well, especially in the second set. Their numbers are good, considering their last three matches were against Oklahoma, Iowa State and Texas. They took Oklahoma to five, played really competitive sets against Iowa State and proceed to go into Texas and extend the match. They obviously have a lot to play for and are playing some of their best volleyball right now.”
On their continued experience in the Big 12:
“TCU is in that same category with West Virginia where they’ve stepped in up in all areas. They’re winning matches in the Big 12 and they’re competing favorably against some of the better teams in the Big 12. They’re close to making that step themselves – and have – with some good wins on the road. They compete at a high level regardless of who they’re playing.”
On TCU being solid at the service line:
“They had an ace-to-error of 1.0 against Texas last night and Sutton Sunstrom is one of the best servers in the league. They put pressure on Texas with their serve. That’s the equalizer as we’ve found out against some of our other opponents. This time of year, that will be our number one priority – how we’re serving the ball and how we’re handling serves.”
On Kansas hitting an impressive .451 in its last time out:
“The fact that we only had six attack errors means that our setter had pretty good choices. Six attack errors out of 91 swings is a very good number.”
On starting the second half of the Big 12 season with a convincing win:
“That was a good win for sure. I think we created the level that we wanted to play at early on. We jumped out fairly hard in sets one and three and then pushed pretty hard in the middle of set two. Most everybody got a chance to play. We would like to play some people more, but volleyball is a sport that sometimes doesn’t allow that. that was a pretty clean match from us.”
Kansas returns home to host West Virginia on Wednesday, Nov. 6. First serve inside the Horejsi Family Athletics Center is set for 6:30 p.m.
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