Jayhawk volleyball to host Creighton on Metro Sports
- Sep. 18, 2012
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The Kansas volleyball team will host the Creighton Bluejays Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in their final match before conference play begins.
The Bluejays enter the match, which will be televised on Metro Sports, with a 10-1 record, and they are already 2-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Their only loss came to then No. 21 Kansas State on Sept. 1. Since then, Creighton has won the past six games.
Coach Ray Bechard compared the Creighton to last week’s match up against Notre Dame.
“I think they’ll be similar in physicality,” coach Bechard said.
Bechard said it will be important to swing aggressively on target to avoid extending the rally.
While Creighton enters the match with a six-game winning streak, the Jayhawks have been just as impressive recently. Before their loss to Notre Dame last Sunday, the Jayhawks tied the fourth-longest streak in school history with nine straight wins. The streak included a home victory against Tulsa, whom Creighton also defeated during their current winning streak.
The match features two teams near the top of their respective conferences in many major statistical categories. Kansas leads the Big 12 with 14.6 kills per set, 13.8 assists per set and 16 digs per set. Creighton leads the Missouri Valley Conference with three blocks per set. They also rank second in their conference with a .258 hitting percentage. Individually, Creighton’s sophomore middle blocker Kelli Browning leads the conference with 1.8 blocks per set.
Against Notre Dame last Sunday, Kansas senior middle blocker Tayler Tolefree said the Fighting Irish did a good job around the net taking away the shots
Kansas wanted to make. She said that will probably be another key in the match versus the Bluejays.
“They take away what we want to do, and we’re trying to take away what they want to do,” Tolefree said. “It’s just who can find a different way to score and put points up.”
Bechard said his team scheduled a tough non-conference season to help them prepare for conference play, and this match will be one of those tough tests.
Besides Tulsa, which has received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Top-25 Poll, Creighton also defeated Syracuse, Missouri State and Wichita State.
Freshman outside hitter Tiana Dockery said the Jayhawks didn’t come out with the proper mindset against Notre Dame. That is something they’ll have fixed for Creighton, she said.
“Going out in the first game knowing that ‘OK, we are going to win this game,’” Dockery said. “Just starting the game off good and finishing the game off good and not letting down in between.”
— Edited by Luke Ranker