Ranked Rivals to Meet in Sunflower Showdown
Oct. 15, 2012
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
KLWN (1320 AM) will broadcast its second-straight Wednesday match with Kyle West on the call. As with all home matches, KU vs. KSU 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. Fans can always track the Jayhawks on GameTracker or by following @JayhawkVball on Twitter.
Always a battle, the Jayhawks and Wildcats have played only two three-set matches in their last nine meetings - both of which came during KU's 2009 season-series sweep.
AT A GLANCE
-KU stayed at No. 21 on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches Poll on Oct. 15, tying the highest ranking ever for the Jayhawks (9/20/04). Kansas State also remained at its No. 14 ranking. For the third-straight week, four Big 12 members hold spots in the nation's top-25: No. 8 Texas, No. 14 Kansas State, No. 21 Kansas, No. 22 Iowa State, while Oklahoma continues to receive votes.
-The Jayhawks improved to No. 13 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 3-3 against top-50 RPI teams and 9-3 against the top-100 with the Jayhawks' only losses coming at Arkansas (No. 26), at Notre Dame (No. 38) and at Texas (No. 4).
-If the season ended today, KU's Caroline Jarmoc would break KU's career (.320) and single-season attack percentage (.389) records. Junior libero Brianne Riley would do the same, only breaking the single-season record (5.45) and second in career (4.56) digs per set.
-KU is 4-1 this season against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll (Wins: RV Tulsa, RV Creighton, No. 19 Iowa State, RV Oklahoma; Loss: No. 9 Texas).
-After a career and Big 12-best 43 digs at Oklahoma, junior libero Brianne Riley was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Against Texas, she also became the only Jayhawk in history to reach the 400-dig mark in three seasons.
-In the latest NCAA national statistics (Oct. 15), junior setter Erin McNorton ranks seventh in the country in assists per set (11.92), Jarmoc checks in at 28th in attack percentage (.389), while junior libero Brianne Riley is 19th in the NCAA in digs per set (5.45) - all three have led the Big 12 in their respective categories since Aug. 28.
-Kansas and Kansas State are even rivals on the stat sheet as the teams are tied for the league's lead in kills per set (14.24). Kansas (13.39) is a near-second to Kansas State (13.47) in assists per set, while KU leads the Big 12 in digs per set (16.23) and KSU (14.66) is sixth.
NO. 21 KANSAS (17-3, 5-1 Big 12)
After going 9-1 through the first third and 8-2 in the second, Kansas holds steady at No. 21 in the country and improved to No. 13 in the RPI projections. Of the Jayhawks' three losses, the average RPI between those opponents is 22.7 as KU holds a 9-3 record against teams in the top-100. Of the 11 remaining matches, Kansas faces only two opponents outside of the RPI's top-100 (West Virginia, Saint Louis), while four more of those pit the Jayhawks against teams in the top-20.
Sitting in second place in the Big 12 race, a win on Wednesday would put a two-match separation between the Jayhawks and Wildcats as KSU enters the contest third in the league.
Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc is holding strong atop the Big 12 with her .389 attack percentage and will provide a dramatic matchup between fellow junior middle blocker, KSU's Kaitlynn Pelger. Where Jarmoc is first in the conference in attack percentage (.389), Pelger is third (.368), but Jarmoc's 3.55 kills per set ranks third to Pelger's second-ranked 3.92 average.
Oklahoma and Texas each keyed on Jarmoc and senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree, so the Jayhawks used their progressively balanced offense to score. Redshirt junior Catherine Carmichael stepped up in a big way, leading the Jayhawks with 34 kills, averaging a team-best 4.25 kills per set. She joins Jarmoc and sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton in the Big 12's top-10 in kills per set, making KU the only team with three players on that list.
Additionally, 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 (.389, .293) and blocks per set (1.27, 1.01).
Like Jarmoc and Pelger, the rival teams also match up closely at the setter position with KU's Erin McNorton holding the Big 12's top spot in assists per set (11.92), while KSU senior setter Caitlyn Donahue is second (11.84).
KU has the edge on the back row with this week's Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, junior libero Brianne Riley. At OU and Texas, Riley collected a total of 58 digs for a remarkable 7.25 digs per set, moving her further ahead as the Big 12 leader with 5.45 digs per set on the season.
NO. 14 KANSAS STATE (17-2, 4-2 Big 12)
Of the teams in the Big 12, Kansas State has arguably the most veteran squad as each of the Wildcats' everyday players is a junior or senior. Like the Jayhawks, KSU has a powerful and effective middle blocking unit. Junior middle blocker and returning AVCA honorable mention All-American, Kaitlynn Pelger, leads the team in both attack percentage (.368) and kills per set (3.92). Senior middle blocker Alex Muff paces the front line with 1.49 blocks per set, good for second in the Big 12. Junior outside hitter Lilla Porubek is the only other Wildcat to average more than three kills per set (3.10).
The setting and libero roles are both filled by seniors. Caitlyn Donahue leads the squad with 11.84 assists per set, while Kuulei Kabalis checks in with 3.13 digs per set.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
On the hype surrounding the match:
On Kansas playing better as the match progressed at Texas:
On the team's position at this point in the season:
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