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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jayhawks sweep Oklahoma, improve to 19-0

Kansas players, from left, Tiana Dockery, Cassie Wait, Madison Rigdon, Anna Church, Tayler Soucie and Ainise Havili celebrate after scoring a point during their volleyball match against Oklahoma Wednesday evening at the Horejsi Center. The Jayhawks swept the Sooners, 3-0, and improved their record to a perfect 19-0 on the year. On Friday, No. 7 Kansas travels to Austin to take to face the No. 2 Texas Longhorns.

Kansas players, from left, Tiana Dockery, Cassie Wait, Madison Rigdon, Anna Church, Tayler Soucie and Ainise Havili celebrate after scoring a point during their volleyball match against Oklahoma Wednesday evening at the Horejsi Center. The Jayhawks swept the Sooners, 3-0, and improved their record to a perfect 19-0 on the year. On Friday, No. 7 Kansas travels to Austin to take to face the No. 2 Texas Longhorns.

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Kansas University’s Cassie Wait and Tiana Dockery chased down the volleyball in the back corner early in the second set Wednesday night against Oklahoma and managed to avoid any carnage, as Wait stole the play away from Dockery, and sent a pass toward the net at Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

A couple of seconds later, KU’s Ainise Havili delivered a set above the net and Tayler Soucie hammered home yet another KU point in a 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 victory.

All Dockery and Wait could do was laugh as they briefly celebrated their lead and Dockery jokingly pushed Wait away.

The No. 7-ranked Jayhawks (19-0 overall, 7-0 Big 12) just don’t have many cares these days, as they find themselves rolling through the regular season. Not only are coach Ray Bechard’s Jayhawks undefeated — joining top-ranked USC as the only teams which can make that claim — but they’re also rarely dropping a set. KU’s most recent win marked its 14th sweep of the season. Going set by set, Kansas has a record of 57-5.

“I’m surprised at our set record,” Bechard admitted, “but I think when you play hard and you play hard for each other, you’ve got an opportunity to do some pretty cool things.”

Junior libero Wait led Kansas with 23 digs against Oklahoma (7-12, 1-6), passed well and extended rallies. Sophomore Havili led the team, as always, with 37 assists, and sophomore Kelsie Payne pounded 15 kills.

A senior, Dockery said Bechard has the Jayhawks achieving intense focus each and every set. As a result, they’re routinely beating their opponents to 25 points.

“We talk about it all the time, how crazy it is,” Dockery said of KU’s repeated 3-0 and 3-1 victories in 2015. “But I don’t think it’s really hit us that much yet. We’re just playing right now. But I feel like as we get farther and farther into conference and see how well we do after that, I think that’s when it will.”

KU swept four Big 12 matches in a row before dropping the second set at Baylor on Oct. 14. Crazy as it sounds, Dockery said such hiccups actually jumpstart the Jayhawks.

“It kind of brings us back together,” the senior from Richmond, Texas, said, “brings our focus back together.”

Payne recalled KU “panicked” a little bit in Waco, Texas.

“But we were like, ‘You know what? It’s OK. Things happen. They’re playing really well. We can play better,’” Payne said.

According to Bechard, KU’s players don’t get angry when they allow another team to win a set. They simply try to play as close to their ceiling as possible and realize doing so will give them a good chance to keep up their spectacular run.

The Jayhawks play at No. 2 Texas (17-1, 7-0) Friday night.

Comments

Gerry Butler 5 years, 4 months ago

gonna be a HUGE match, gonna be watching and pulling for the ladies for sure, been an unbelievable season, keep it up ladies you are Awsome, got some great teamwork, can tell you all have a closeness, a tightness within the team, just having fun, so many weapons I as a guy, don't know how you do it. I mean I see some of the hits, the kills, the digs and as fast as the ball is coming I think well hell you want the point that bad, well here you go let me step aside lol. Seriously you guys are doing great, keep up the good work, and I know its a lot of work but also have fun and I can tell you are. GOOD LUCK i'll be watching you have seen just about everyone of your games this year, been following for about the last 5 now ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Joe Joseph 5 years, 4 months ago

Remarkable season so far! We'll find out this Friday, however, if this team truly is a contender. Huge game. Maybe the biggest game of Brechard's tenure, when you consider the conference implications and NCAA tournament seeding boost KU will receive by beating a top-tier program.

Brad Farha 5 years, 4 months ago

This team is fun to watch. Love watching these Jayhawks compete. Can't wait for Friday!

Gerry Butler 5 years, 4 months ago

already know they are a contender, this match will not make the difference whether they are a contender or not, played some very good competition during the year, this would just solidify their position, but to say if they don't win this they won't contend is a stretch

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 4 months ago

UT volleyball is the equivalent of KU basketball. If you can't beat them, you won't win the Big 12 and aren't national title contenders. This is a huge match for KU because they are looking to solidify their spot to be as high a national seed and possible and host second weekend tournament games this.

David Kelley-Wood 5 years, 4 months ago

Would love to see a win, but loving this team either way. (Also, 19-0 deserves another appreciative tip of the cap!)

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