NCAA Tournament: Kansas Prepares for Cleveland State
Nov. 28, 2012
Wichita State and Arkansas will join the Jayhawks and Vikings in Lawrence for the first and second rounds as they face off in the first match of the tournament. Winners from the first round will advance to the second round match scheduled for Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The weekend's winner will advance to the Austin, Texas Regional, Dec. 7-8.
NCAA First & Second Round Schedule (Lawrence, Kan.)
FOLLOW THE TOURNAMENT
KANSAS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
2003 (1-1): In its first NCAA Tournament appearance, Kansas swept Long Beach State in the first round match in Malibu, Calif. In the second round, top-seeded Pepperdine won its 25th-straight match that season to knock KU out of the tournament.
2004 (1-1): Kansas defeated Santa Clara in four sets in the first round in Seattle, Wash. In the second round, KU came back from an 0-2 deficit but fell in five sets to Washington.
2005 (0-1): After a 15-15 season, an injury depleted Jayhawk roster fell in the first round to UCLA, 3-1.
AT A GLANCE
-Kansas played 15 matches against 11 teams included in this season's NCAA Tournament field, going 10-5 in those matches.
-Kansas finished the 2012 regular season 25-6 overall and 12-4 in the Big 12, marking the first time a Kansas squad has won 25 matches since the 1991 season - and the Jayhawks would do so in only 31 matches rather than 35 like the 1991 team.
-KU finished third in the Big 12 standings, its highest finish in conference history. The Jayhawks' 12 league wins are the second-most in the Big 12 era (13-7, 2003).
-At 25-6, KU broke a 26-year old program record for best winning percentage in a season at Kansas (.806). The 1986 team previously held the record (26-9, .743).
-The Jayhawks completed the regular season at No. 7 in the RPI, which was released on Selection Sunday (Nov. 25). During the regular season, KU was in the RPI's top-10 seven of nine weekly projections. In 2012, Kansas is 10-5 against top-50 RPI teams and 16-6 against the top-100.
-KU ranks No. 20 on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches poll (Nov. 19). Four Big 12 members hold spots in the nation's top-25: No. 3 Texas, No. 18 Iowa State, No. 20 Kansas and No. 25 Kansas State. KU has been in the top-25 for eight-straight weeks with the final poll set to be released on Dec. 18. KU is 6-3 this season against teams in the top-25 or receiving votes.
KANSAS (25-6, 12-4 Big 12)
For good reason - armed with a No. 11 overall seed and hosting the NCAA's first and second rounds for the first time in school history, Kansas is in the position it has worked for all season. The Jayhawks finished the league in third-place, a school record. KU wrapped up the regular season leading the league in opponent hitting percentage (.159, 1st), while finishing in the top-three in assists per set (13.24, 2nd), kills per set (14.20, 2nd), digs per set (16.08, 2nd) and blocks per set (2.62, 3rd).
The long list of postseason accolades helps explain the Jayhawks' success as several players on the roster have excelled consistently. KU and Texas are the only teams in the Big 12 with two players averaging more than three kills per set in All-Conference First Team members Caroline Jarmoc and Sara McClinton. Additionally, Jarmoc and senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree were the only duo to rank in the top-10 in attack percentage and blocks all season.
Currently in consideration for Academic All-America honors, Jarmoc broke the single-season attack percentage at Kansas and led the Big 12 with a .396 mark in 2012. Fellow junior Brianne Riley joined her on the record-breaking list with 574 single-season digs for a 5.17 digs per set average - both of which broke KU records. In the last match of the regular season, Riley broke the Kansas career digs mark - in only three years (1,459).
CLEVELAND STATE (23-6, 13-1 Horizon League)
Led by 13-year head coach Chuck Voss, Cleveland State is making its second trip to the NCAA Tournament and its first appearance since the 2007 season. The Vikings are looking for their first win in the NCAA Tournament.
Two-time All-Horizon League First Team honoree, senior outside hitter Kara Koch, leads the offense with remarkable numbers as she heads to Lawrence with 490 kills and a 4.71 kills per set average - both stats check in as more than any player in the Big 12. Koch is also second on the team with 3.31 digs per set. Fellow senior Marie Frease sets the tone from the middle with a team-best .348 attack percentage and 0.97 blocks per set.
Freshman Dayna Roberts and junior Annie Djukic share the setting duties, averaging 6.65 and 6.07 assists per set, respectively. In the back row, senior libero Amanda Medvetz leads a solid line of defense with 4.62 digs per set. As a unit, CSU's defenders dig at a 17.90 per set rate - more than any team in the Big 12.
The Vikings have more than 1,500 kills on the season, which averages out to 14.58 per set using a .263 team attack percentage.
HEAD COACH Ray Bechard
On his team's mindset going into the week:
On being named Big 12 Coach of the Year:
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