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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Kansas volleyball peaking at good time

Kansas junior setter Ainise Havili celebrates a point against West Virginia on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 at Horejsi Center.

Kansas junior setter Ainise Havili celebrates a point against West Virginia on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 at Horejsi Center.

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After an idle weekend, Kansas volleyball opens the second half of its Big 12 season tonight in Lubbock against Texas Tech.

The Jayhawks (18-2 overall, 7-1, second place, one game behind Texas in the Big 12) are ranked No. 6 in the nation. Texas Tech is 10-13 overall, 0-8 in the Big 12.

“We’ve built some good momentum throughout October,” head coach Ray Bechard said.

If the Jayhawks can win in three sets tonight, they will take a four-match sweep into the biggest night of their regular season, a Saturday 6:30 p.m. clash with No. 2 Texas in Horejsi Center, where one long streak will come to an end.

Kansas has won its past 13 matches at Horejsi and Texas has a 24-match winning streak vs. Kansas.

“I think we’re getting better, definitely,” said Kansas outside hitter Kelsie Payne, an All-American last season. “Every game our stats are better, we’re getting more competitive and we’re kind of meshing more. And like coach said, we’re finding our personality. We’re trying to hit our peak soon.”

Payne ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 3.91 kills per set. Cassie Wait leads the conference with 5.09 digs per set. And Madison Rigdon leads the Big 12 with 0.61 service aces per set.

Ainise Havili, an All-American setter, ties it all together. That's what made it so unsettling when Havili fell to the floor late in KU's last match, vs. West Virginia last Thursday. After colliding with teammate Zoe Hill, Havili sat out the final several points.

“We’ve been working her back into practice, so everything indicates right now she will play,” Bechard said Wednesday in a text.

Comments

David Robinett 5 years, 8 months ago

Time to turn those horns downward ladies.

Gerry Butler 5 years, 8 months ago

Joe if you go to KU Athletics .com you can see if the game is televised. I have watched several. All the way from Fox South West to ESPN 3 like Saturday will be on the longhorn Network & there have been matches shown on the Jayhawks network. These ladies are really exciting to watch. I NEVER thought I'd get this wrapped up in womens Volleyball but have been following close for like the last 3 yrs. I tell you what we have some really good athletes on this squad. The way the ladies hit that dam ball if it were me it would be like - - -umm just let me get out of the way, Kelsie and some of the others blast that ball. Cassie Wait is unbelievable. the entire squad is Awsome, try and check them out Joe.- -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

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