Kansas Prepares to Host No. 19 Iowa State
Sept. 24, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Armed with momentum from a quick and convincing sweep to open the Big 12 Conference season, the Kansas volleyball team will welcome its first top-25 opponent of 2012 on Wednesday when the Jayhawks take on No. 19 Iowa State at 6:30 p.m. inside the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
As with all home matches, Wednesday's will stream live - video and audio - on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. The live audio stream will be available free of charge, while the audio and video combination requires a subscription fee. Kyle West will call the action. Fans can always track the Jayhawks on GameTracker or by following @JayhawkVball on Twitter.
AT A GLANCE
-Kansas has faced - and defeated - two teams receiving votes in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll (Tulsa, Creighton), but Iowa State marks the first top-25 ranked team KU will take on this year. Currently, three Big 12 teams are ranked (Texas, Kansas State, Iowa State) and Oklahoma is receiving votes.
-Iowa State, who climbed to a program-best No. 2 RPI ranking in 2011, was the only Big 12 team to sweep the Jayhawks in both meetings last fall. As a No. 4 seed, the Cyclones advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
-Last year, Kansas played 16 matches, or 64 sets, against Big 12 opponents. KU won 22 of those sets and lost 16 by three points or less. The Jayhawks took at least one set from every Big 12 opponent with the exception of ISU.
-In its last time out, Kansas sprinted past Texas Tech in three in the Jayhawks' second-fastest match of the season (1:19). KU hit a season-high .371 as a team, the highest since recording a .387 mark on the second day of the 2011 season (vs. Liberty, 8/27/11).
-All-Big 12 Preseason Team selection, redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc, led the Jayhawks with 11 kills against Texas Tech, using a .500 attack percentage. That marked the eighth time this season Jarmoc has hit .500 or better in a match.
-In the NCAA national statistics, released on Monday evening, junior setter Erin McNorton ranks third in the country in assists per set (12.34), Jarmoc checks in at 15th in attack percentage (.409), while junior libero Brianne Riley was 24th in the NCAA in digs per set (5.38) - all three lead the Big 12 in their respective categories.
-As a unit, Kansas continues to lead the Big 12 in the big three: kills (14.68 per set), assists (13.81 per set) and digs (16.34). KU has led the conference in kills and assists all season long. The only time the Jayhawks did not lead the league in digs was on Aug. 24 (TCU). Kansas has taken the digs lead and maintained it since Aug. 28.
RV KANSAS (13-2, 1-0)
As the second week of conference play gets underway, the Jayhawks have not strayed from taking each match one at a time with a confident approach. That confidence radiated on Saturday as the Jayhawks sprinted out to leads as large as 11 points on the Red Raiders' home court. Kansas established control early in the first set and never loosened its grip, showing an element of certainty that defines the difference in the 2011 and 2012 squads.
Five Jayhawks chip in more than two kills per set, while Jarmoc and sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton average 3.89 and 3.45, respectively, both of which rank in the top-10 in the Big 12. Redshirt junior outside hitter Catherine Carmichael and senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree average right above and right below the 2.5 kills per set mark, while freshman outside hitter Tiana Dockery is about to join the 2.0-plus ranks, sitting at 1.85.
Jarmoc, who has led the Jayhawks in kills 11 times in 15 matches, is putting together a season worthy of noting, collecting 33 kills and 11 blocks in the last two matches alone. Aside from leading the conference in attack percentage (.409), Jarmoc's team-best 3.89 kills per set ranks second in the league. The Calgary, Alberta, Canada native paces KU with 1.43 blocks per set. Tolefree, the second piece of the Jayhawk blocking duo, is right behind her with 1.21 blocks per set, good for seventh in the Big 12.
Seemingly behind the scenes, junior setter Erin McNorton has much to do with the Jayhawks' Big-12 best 14.68 kills per set. She dishes out 12.34 assists per frame, good for third in the NCAA. Holding down the back row, junior libero Brianne Riley is the Big 12 digs leader at an even 5.38 average, and stands just seven digs shy of tying Sarah Rome for fourth all-time on KU's career digs list.
NO. 19 IOWA STATE (7-4, 1-0)
The Cyclones responded to the rare loss against an unranked opponent with a 3-1 win against No. 1 Nebraska in their next time out, handing the top-ranked team its first loss of the year. Iowa State has also knocked off No. 25 Northern Iowa and No. 19 Illinois, who played in last season's national championship match.
The loss of All-American Carly Jenson to graduation hardly fazed the Cyclones. Three more All-Americans start for ISU in 2012 in senior middle blocker Jamie Straube, senior setter Alison Landwehr and junior libero Kristen Hahn. Additionally, the Cyclones also feature a high school All-American in their starting lineup in freshman right side Mackenzie Bigbee. She leads the offensive with 3.37 kills per set, the only Cyclone registering above a 3.0 average.
As a team, ISU is hitting for a .232 attack percentage with 13.78 kills per set. Defensively, the Cyclones dig at a 15.00 per set rate, led by Hahn's 4.78 digs per set. ISU blocks at a 1.47 average, with no one putting up more than one block per set.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
On the Cyclones' 7-4 record being deceiving:
On the Jayhawks' momentum and confidence following a sweep to open conference play:
Aside from Jarmoc's special season, which other players are stepping up:
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.