No. 22 Kansas Set for Special Senior Day
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After chalking up another first together at Iowa State, the Kansas volleyball seniors will celebrate their final match in the Horejsi Family Athletics Center when the Jayhawks host Texas Tech on Saturday at 1 p.m.
AROUND THE GYM
· Senior Day: Kansas will honor its seven-member senior class before and after the match. Prior to first serve, the seniors and their parents will be recognized on the court. Senior speeches will follow the conclusion of the match.
vs. Texas Tech (KU leads, 20-16): Kansas holds a 20-16 all-time margin in a series that dates back to 1982, but the Jayhawks have had solid control in recent years. KU has won six-straight meetings with the Red Raiders and 12 of the last 13. KU has collected three-consecutive sweeps against TTU. In Lawrence, KU has the 11-6 edge, while the series is tied in Lubbock, 9-9.
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.
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (formerly Metro Sports), will televise Saturday afternoon’s contest. Fans outside of Kansas can access the TV stream by going to ESPN3.com or visiting KUAthletics.com/ESPN. Leif Lisec and former Kansas volleyball player Jill Dorsey-Hall will provide the analysis. For more information on accessing Kansas video content, visit KUAthletics.com/TV. Fans can also monitor the action on Live Stats or by following @KUVolleyball on Twitter.
- Kansas pulled off a feat not accomplished since Oct. 13, 2004 when the Jayhawks defeated Iowa State in Hilton Coliseum Wednesday. The win gave KU a half-game lead over the Cyclones for sole possession of second place.
- The Jayhawks have never finished higher than third in the conference standings, which occurred last fall with a 12-4 league record. KU is currently 11-3 in the Big 12 with Texas Tech and at Oklahoma still remaining on the schedule.
- Although Texas Tech is not the last home match of the regular season, KU will honor its seven seniors on Saturday in their true home, the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The Nov. 26 match against Denver will be played in Allen Fieldhouse.
- For the fourth-straight week, KU has moved up in the AVCA Top-25 Poll. This week Kansas is ranked No. 22 (11/18), marking the sixth week Kansas has been on the national poll this season.
- The Jayhawks also improved their footing in the RPI, jumping to No. 11 in the latest NCAA RPI projections (11/18). KU collected its fourth victory over a top-25 RPI team in its win at Iowa State (RPI: 21).
- Freshman middle blocker Tayler Soucie was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week (11/18), her fourth weekly award of the season and KU’s 11th. Soucie trails mentor Caroline Jarmoc (five) for the most weekly conference awards in a career by a Jayhawk.
- Redshirt senior outside hitter Catherine Carmichael and junior outside hitter Chelsea Albers each entered the 500-career kill club at Iowa State (11/20).
- Senior setter Erin McNorton leads the Big 12 for the 12th-straight week with 12.13 assists per set. Only two setters in the country average more assists per set than McNorton: Caitlin Dotson, Lipscomb (12.74) and Molly Kreklow, Missouri (12.56).
- Kansas ranks in the top-25 in the NCAA in kills (14.49, 10th NCAA), assists (13.58, 10th NCAA) and hitting percentage (.263, 22nd NCAA). Blocking isn’t too shabby either as KU’s 2.65 blocks per set is 38th-best in the country.
THANK YOU SENIORS
Kansas volleyball will say goodbye to one of the most successful senior classes in program history at the conclusion of the 2013 season. Together, the veteran crew has racked up 79 wins, including a 47-13 record over the last two years, the best single-season winning percentage in program history (.788, 2012), the first – and potentially second – NCAA First and Second Round host site selections, back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since before any of these players were born (1982, 1983), the program’s first All-American, KU’s all-time blocks leader, all-time digs leader and the third-best setter in the nation.
Together, this crew collected the most home wins in a season in KU volleyball history (17, 2012) and have been ranked in the nation’s top-25 for 19 of the last 22 weeks. They ended 2012 with their highest-ever conference finish (third) and are looking to better that still in 2013 (currently second).
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
In need of a win at No. 24 Iowa State to keep its hope for a second-place finish alive, Kansas had to do something it hadn’t done since 2004 – win a road match in Ames, Iowa. KU’s last win in Ames came in a five-set contest on Oct. 13, 2004 (30-23, 29-31, 28-30, 30-24, 15-5). It wasn’t pretty; ISU had more kills, more assists, more digs and more points than KU. In fact, Kansas was out-killed (57-44) by its largest margin since Baylor racked up 64 kills compared to KU’s 48 on Nov. 3, 2012. Nevertheless, the Jayhawks found a way to pull off the improbable feat. If KU wins out, the second-place finish would be the highest in program history.
Freshman middle blocker Tayler Soucie needs three more blocks to break the Kansas record for the most blocks by a Jayhawk in a debut season (113). Current teammate and mentor, redshirt senior Caroline Jarmoc (115) holds the current record.
ROAD SWEET ROAD
After Kansas’ win at Iowa State (11/20), the Jayhawks are an impressive 10-2 in matches away from the Horejsi Family Athletics Center in 2013, with true road victories at Wisconsin (RPI: 15), Arizona (RPI: 20), Iowa State (RPI: 21) and Arkansas (RPI: 40).
Kansas will host its final non-conference match of the regular season against Denver inside Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 26. Allen Fieldhouse served as the home for KU volleyball from 1975-98 prior to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center opening in the fall of 1999. Last year, the Jayhawks welcomed Saint Louis to the historic venue for a late non-conference match and more than 3,200 fans came out in support. When KU hosted the NCAA First and Second Rounds in Allen Fieldhouse a year ago, more than 8,000 fans watched during the two-day stretch – the highest attendance at any first/second-round site in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Thanks to a team-high 14 kills at Iowa State (11/20), junior outside hitter Chelsea Albers (509) broke the 500-career kill barrier. Redshirt senior outside hitter Catherine Carmichael tallied seven kills against the Cyclones to join the 500-club, as well (506). The duo joined junior outside hitter Sara McClinton (922) and redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc (1,268) as the other Jayhawks on the court with 500+ career kills.
HOW SWEEP IT IS
The Jayhawks started their season with only two sweeps in the first 10 matches. Seventeen matches later, KU has accumulated 10 victories in 3-0 fashion. More impressively, the Jayhawks are the only team in the Big 12 that has not been swept this season and haven’t been since Oct. 12, 2012 (at No. 9 Texas) – a span of 40 matches.
ACE ACE BABY
Facing the Big 12’s top-serving team, Kansas was superb at Iowa State (11/20). The Jayhawks allowed four aces, but came up with nine of their own, the most since recording 10 aces against Liberty more than two years ago (8/27/11). Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc served for a season-high four aces, while senior defensive specialist Jaime Mathieu tied her career-high with two.
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 and ranks second in the Big 12 in blocking, all while holding down a 3.24 GPA in chemical engineering. She joins Texas’ Bailey Webster as the only Big 12 representatives on the prestigious list. Fans can vote until Dec. 9 at SeniorClassAward.com.
The American Volleyball Coaches Association named Kansas to the AVCA “watch list” as a potential host for the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Championship Tournament.
Kansas currently meets all three of the criteria needed to be considered:
- Teams that are in the AVCA Top 25 poll as of October 28, 2013. (KU: 22)
- Teams that are in the top 25 of the Pablo Rankings as of October 28, 2013. (KU: 25)
- Teams that are in the top 25 of the RPI Rankings as of October 28, 2013. (KU: 11)
Junior outside hitter Chelsea Albers recorded nine digs at Iowa State (11/20), making her the first 200-kill/200-dig season of her career as she currently stands at 270 kills and 237 digs. Albers was a rookie the last time a Jayhawk accomplished that feat (Allison Mayfield, 2011), but was even younger the last time a KU player accomplished the next milestone she’s approaching. Aside from the 200/200 status, Albers is only nine blocks away from hitting the 200-kill/200-dig/100-block plateau for the first time by a Jayhawk since Emily Brown recorded the same feat in 2004 (231K, 264 digs, 113 total blocks).
SCOUTING TEXAS TECH (9-21 Overall, 2-12 Big 12)
Led by third-year head coach Don Flora, Texas Tech was picked to finish tied for seventh with TCU in the Big 12 preseason poll and currently sits in ninth. TTU picked up a big four-set win against Kansas State on Nov. 6, but has lost nine of its last 10 matches, including a three-match skid entering the weekend.
Unfortunately for TTU, injuries have plagued the team throughout the fall. Victoria Hinneburg was voted to share Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year honors with Kansas State’s Katie Brand, but the German has yet to take the court in 2013. Junior outside hitter Breeann David leads the offense with 3.34 kills per set. The primary source of help comes from sophomore transfer Jenna Allen, who averages 3.26. As a unit, however, the Red Raiders rank last in the Big 12 with a .169 attack percentage. Passing the ball around is sophomore setter Emily Ruetter, checking in at third in the Big 12 with a 10.30 assist average.
Defensively, three players average more than two digs per set as Texas Tech ranks right in front of Kansas in the league at third with 16.26 digs each frame. Junior libero Rachel Brummitt also sits one spot in front of KU, as her 5.18 digs per set rank second compared to Jayhawk libero Brianne Riley’s third-ranked average of 4.38. At the net, Mikia Mills paces the blocking efforts with 0.67 blocks per set. Texas Tech’s 1.76 blocking average checks in at eighth among Big 12 teams.
HEAD COACH RAY BECHARD
On the momentum the Iowa State win brings:
“We’ll have a quick turnaround in the emotional response. You’ve got to believe that on a day that we’re officially honoring our senior group that everyone would respond accordingly. The Iowa State match was a very emotional match and a pretty substantial bus trip home. I’m confident that this group will stay focused and finish strong.”
On the match being “ugly” but still leaving with the win:
“In the match here, both teams hit for a very high efficiency. This time, it was more of a grind it out mindset. It was not the most artistic effort, but there were some good things. Nine service aces means we were being aggressive and 12 blocks also means that we were being pretty aggressive.”
On the work that lies ahead to finish second in the Big 12 Conference:
“The standings aren’t complete until we play two more Big 12 matches. We have Texas Tech next and what I really admire about their program and staff is that they bring it every day. Even if they’re not having success from the “win-loss” perspective, they’re still very young. Just a couple of weeks ago, they had Iowa State on the ropes at Iowa State, and most recently, they’re taking games off of Oklahoma. There’s no give-up in a Texas Tech team.”
On Senior Day:
“It will be really cool with seven kids who have really invested a lot of time and effort into this. The program has had good years, but the last two years has kind of been a renaissance for our team – and obviously, this group has been a huge part of that. I know they’ll want to play will for each other.”
No. 22 Kansas will stay home to host its last non-conference match of the regular season against Denver on Nov. 26. The match will be held in Allen Fieldhouse and is free for fans to attend. First serve is slated for 6:30 p.m.
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