Payne Arrives at Fourth Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week Honor
IRVING, Texas – Kansas volleyball sophomore right-side hitter Kelsie Payne earned her third consecutive Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week award on Monday after leading all conference players in offensive production last week with 5.5 kills per set and 5.8 points per set.
The four-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and All-American candidate has four 20-kill performances in the last five matches, including two last week against No. 5 Texas and TCU. Payne totaled 44 kills on a .395 hitting percentage against the Longhorns and Horned Frogs.
The Austin, Texas, native recorded a match-high 23 kills in a narrow five-set loss to No. 5 Texas on Wednesday, which marked KU’s first home loss of the season.
Payne reached 21 kills on a .559 hitting percentage in just three sets against TCU on Saturday. Her performance went down as the most efficient offensive output of all Big 12 players this season, setting a conference-high in kills during a three-set match.
Her pair of 20-kill efforts last week gives Payne the lead in kills per set in the Big 12 this season (4.3). Payne’s .404 season hitting percentage ranks second in the league, just three points behind the leader.
Payne is also the only player at the NCAA Division I level to rank top-50 in the nation in hitting percentage (25th) and kills per set (27th).
Kansas moved up one spot to No. 9 in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll released on Monday. Kansas has been ranked in the top-25 for a program-record 11 consecutive weeks, including seven consecutive weeks in the top-10. KU reached program-high No. 7 ranking on Oct. 19.
In the latest NCAA RPI rankings, also released on Monday, the Jayhawks received a season-high No. 5 ranking.
The 9th-ranked Jayhawks (23-2, 11-2 Big 12) have been ranked in the top-10 for seven consecutive weeks entering this Saturday’s match at West Virginia (2:30 p.m. Central).
Kansas 2015 Big 12 Offensive Players of the Week
Kelsie Payne – Sept. 7
Ainise Havili – Sept. 21
Madison Rigdon – Oct. 5
Ainise Havili – Oct. 12
Kelsie Payne – Nov. 2
Kelsie Payne – Nov. 9
Kelsie Payne – Nov. 16