Big 12 Conference Bests to Face Off in Front of Sold-Out Home Crowd
Nov. 8, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - With its program-best 13-match home win streak on the line, the Big 12 Conference's second-place No. 23 Kansas will play host to first-place No. 3 Texas, inside a sold-out Horejsi Family Athletics Center, Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
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As with all home matches, KU vs. Texas 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.
AROUND THE GYM
AT A GLANCE
-At 13-0, Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 undefeated at home in 2012, tying the program record for most home wins in a season (1978, 1991).
-Texas comes in on a 14-match win streak, including a 12-0 mark in the Big 12. Ten of the Longhorns' conference wins are via sweep.
-The Jayhawks need two more wins to break the program's best win total in the Big 12 era (22, 2003).
-Kansas is 6-2 against teams in the top-25 or receiving votes this season - and 6-0 at home.
-Kansas ranks second in the Big 12 in kills (14.21), blocks (2.69), digs (15.92) and assists per set (13.35). KU and UT are tied for first in holding teams to a .163 attack percentage.
-KU moved to No. 23 on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches poll (Nov. 5). Four Big 12 members hold spots in the nation's top-25: No. 3 Texas, No. 17 Kansas State, No. 20 Iowa State and No. 23 Kansas. KU has been in the top-25 for six-straight weeks.
-The Jayhawks remain at No. 10 on the NCAA RPI projections this week, putting KU in the RPI's top-10 four of six weekly projections. In 2012, Kansas is 7-5 against top-50 RPI teams and 12-5 against the top-100. Texas improved from No. 4 to No. 2 this week.
-Kansas (21-5, .808) is on pace to break the program record for winning percentage. The 1986 team currently holds KU's best (26-9, .743).
-If the season ended today, redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc would break KU's career (.326) and single-season attack percentage (.390) records. Fellow junior Brianne Riley would break the single-season digs per set record as well (5.17).
NO. 23 KANSAS (21-5, 9-3 Big 12)
With five matches remaining - four in conference play - Kansas' nine wins mark the third most in the Big 12 era. A win on Saturday would tie for KU's second-most Big 12 victories with the most being 13 in 2003.
Prior to the meeting in Manhattan, KU's middles were carrying a large part of the offensive workload as senior Tayler Tolefree and redshirt junior Caroline Jarmoc accounted for more than 50 percent of KU's kills against West Virginia and Baylor. Against Kansas State, however, the offense returned to its usual balanced state. For the seventh time this season, KU had four players in double-digit kills, led by sophomore outside hitter Sara McClinton (16).
KU checks in among the top-three in the Big 12 in every statistical category outside of service aces and does so with a well-balanced cast of characters. Jarmoc is top-five in hitting percentage (.390, 1st), kills per set (3.55, 4th), blocks per set (1.35, 4th) and points per set (4.56, 3rd). Meanwhile, juniors Erin McNorton and Brianne Riley lead the league in assists (11.92 a/s) and digs (5.17 d/s), respectively.
Saturday will showcase two powerful offenses at work as KU's Jarmoc and McClinton and UT's Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster all rank in the league's top-five in kills per set.
NO. 3 TEXAS (20-3, 12-0 Big 12)
During the Longhorns' win streak, the team is hitting for a remarkable .329 attack percentage, while holding opponents to .147. Sophomore Haley Eckerman, a returning All-American and the 2011 AVCA Freshman of the Year, leads the Big 12 with 4.64 kills per set - and has upped her average to 4.98 during the win streak.
Junior outside hitter Bailey Webster, the 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year and this season's Preseason Player of the year, sits right in front of KU's Jarmoc for third in the Big 12 in kills per set (3.61).
At the net, the Longhorns are third in the nation in blocks per set (3.14). The Big 12's best blocker, sophomore middle blocker Khat Bell, will make her first trip to Lawrence after suffering a season-ending knee injury playing at Kansas last season. Texas and Kansas are the only teams in the league with two players on the top-10 list in blocks per set. KU's Jarmoc and Tolefree join UT's Bell and freshman Molly McCage in the top-10.
Kansas has the advantage on the back row, averaging 15.92 digs per set compared to Texas' 14.42.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
On the support of the Kansas fan base with the team's success this season:
On coming back against Kansas State after losing the first set in a tough road environment:
On adjusting to playing without Brianne Riley against Kansas State:
On Texas still being undefeated in such a difficult conference as the Big 12:
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