Havili, Payne named to AVCA All-America First Team

Link AVCA All-America Teams

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University Kansas Volleyball program landed pair of Jayhawks on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America First Team in sophomore setter Ainise Havili and sophomore right-side hitter Kelsie Payne, as voted on by a committee of AVCA members.

The honors are another unprecedented accomplishment for KU this season as itis the first time Kansas has been represented on the AVCA All-America First Team.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska, at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet. The event is held in conjunction with the 2015 AVCA Convention and NCAA Championship Semifinals and Final, where Havili and Payne will compete starting Thursday night against Nebraska (8:30 p.m., ESPN2).

Havili and Payne are the keystones to one of the most potent offenses in the country, which ranks fourth in hitting percentage (.305), second in kills per set (15.1), and second in assists per set (14.2). Havili, Payne, and the Jayhawks hold the highest winning percentage (.938) in the nation, and best in program history, this season with a 30-2 record.

Havili is the Big 12 Setter of the Year, member of the All-Big 12 First Team, member of the AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team, an AVCA National Player of the Week (Oct. 13), and two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. The Fort Worth, Texas, native ranks second in the nation in assists per set (12.2) while guiding Kansas to a program-record .305 hitting percentage.

Havili is perhaps coming off of her strongest performances of the season during the NCAA Regionals, where she earned San Diego Regional MVP honors while guiding the Jayhawks to their first appearance in a regional final and a national semifinal with wins over Loyola Marymount and No. 1-seed USC.

Last season Havili was named AVCA All-America honorable mention during her freshman season.

Payne is the Big 12 kills per set leader, member of the All-Big 12 First Team, member of the AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team, and a four-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. The Austin, Texas, native enters Thursday’s national semifinal as the only player in the nation to rank top-35 in hitting percentage (34th; .379) and kills per set (19th; 4.4).

Payne holds the KU record for kills in a season with 474entering Thursday. Shefeatures seven 20-kill performances this season. It is her first career AVCA All-America honor.

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