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.