No. 21 Kansas Heads South to Face Sooners
Oct. 8, 2012
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
AT A GLANCE
-The Jayhawks moved to No. 14 on the NCAA RPI projections this week. Kansas debuted at No. 9 on the first NCAA RPI release of the season (Oct. 1) - the highest RPI mark in program history. In 2012, Kansas is 3-2 against top-50 RPI teams and 9-2 against the top-100 with the Jayhawks' only losses coming at Arkansas (No. 20) and at Notre Dame (No. 34).
-If the season ended today, Kansas would break another program record as no other Jayhawk offense has accumulated a .253 team attack percentage in a single season (record .246, 2003). Additionally, KU's 15.96 digs per set would check in as the best since the 2001 campaign.
-Kansas is looking to match its highest win total in the last seven seasons (17, 2010) on Wednesday at OU. The last time the Jayhawks tallied 17 victories in a season prior to 2010 was the 2004 campaign, which resulted in an NCAA Tournament bid.
-KU won its 10th-straight home match of the season on Saturday against Baylor, the program's longest win streak at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
-Kansas continues its historical run through conference play, tallying a 4-0 record for the first time in either league's (Big 12 or Big Eight) history. Heading into Wednesday, KU and top-10 Texas are the only unbeaten teams in Big 12 play.
-KU is 3-0 this season against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll (RV Tulsa, RV Creighton, then-No. 19 Iowa State).
-In the latest NCAA national statistics (Oct. 8), junior setter Erin McNorton ranks seventh in the country in assists per set (11.99), Jarmoc checks in at 15th in attack percentage (.405), while junior libero Brianne Riley is 33rd in the NCAA in digs per set (5.24) - all three have led the Big 12 in their respective categories since Aug. 28.
-As a unit, Kansas continues to lead the Big 12 in the big three: kills (14.33 per set, 24th NCAA), assists (13.45 per set, 17th NCAA) and digs (15.96, 80th NCAA). 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), and have only been tied in assists once this year (Kansas State, Oct. 1).
NO. 21 KANSAS (16-2, 4-0 Big 12)
Although one of two undefeated Big 12 teams in conference play, Bechard is much more pleased with KU's crucial road victories (at Texas Tech, at West Virginia) up to this point as he and the Jayhawks prepare to embark on one of the toughest stretches in the schedule. KU will bus to Norman, Okla., for a Wednesday night match and stay on the road to bus to Austin, Texas and square off against No. 9 Texas - the only other Big 12 unbeaten - on Friday night. Then, KU heads home to host No. 14 Kansas State on Wed., Oct. 17.
A year ago, then-No. 22 Oklahoma was one of three teams throughout the course of the year that KU built a 2-0 lead against before ultimately falling in the fifth set. In 2012, Kansas is 3-0 in five-set meetings after having built a 2-0 lead (RV Creighton, No. 19 Iowa State, Baylor), in which the opponent tied it up - forcing KU to win it in the fifth.
Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc continues to lead the team - and the league - with her .405 attack percentage, boosted by 12 kills and one error against Baylor in the team's last time out. She and sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton rank in the Big 12's top-10 with 3.67 and 3.29 kills per set, respectively. Meanwhile, Jarmoc and senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree are the only duo in the league to land in the conference's top-10 in both attack percentage and blocks per set.
For the first time this season, junior setter Erin McNorton dipped under 12 assists per set by the slimmest of margins (11.99), but remains atop the Big 12 as does fellow junior, libero Brianne Riley, who heads up the league in digs per set with 5.24.
RV OKLAHOMA (14-5, 3-1 Big 12)
Oklahoma followed its sweep of the top-15 Wildcats with a three-set loss at No. 9 Texas. The Sooners also succumbed to a first-set loss to West Virginia before beating the Big 12 newcomer in four. A loss to Wichita State marked OU's fifth of the season, which the Sooners followed with a sweeping victory at TCU on Saturday.
Much like Kansas, Oklahoma is led by a dominant junior middle blocker as KU's Jarmoc and OU's Sallie McLaurin go No. 1, No. 2 at the top of the Big 12 in attack percentage, and first and fourth in the league's blocks per set mark. The 2011 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and AVCA All-America honorable mention honoree, McLaurin is the only other player besides Jarmoc hitting above .400 in the Big 12. She averages 2.70 kills and a Big 12-best 1.67 blocks per set.
OU's biggest loss to graduation came at the setting position, as All-American Brianne Barker finished her career in 2011. Freshman Julia Doyle is filling the role nicely, averaging 9.82 assists per set and earning the Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor on Monday.
Senior libero and OU's all-time digs leader, Maria Fernanda, leads the team with 4.69 digs per set.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
(Sallie) McLaurin is an All-American player that can do so many things and score points both offensively and defensively so there are a lot of similarities between her and Caroline (Jarmoc)."
On Oklahoma's style of play:
On the momentum that comes with a 4-0 start:
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