#11 Kansas Tops TCU to Reach 20 Wins for 6th Straight Season

  0 Bill Stadick | November 05th, 2017 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, News


Playing without injured outside Madison Rigdon, the visiting #11 Kansas Jayhawks defeated the TCU Horned Frogs in four sets before 2,179 fans, the fifth-largest crowd to ever watch a TCU home match. The win also marked the sixth-straight season the Jayhawks have reached at least 20 wins.

“Our program has been at a high level of consistency over the last few years and it speaks highly of the effort that the student-athletes and coaches have put in each and every day,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “When you’re a member of the Big 12, reaching 20 wins is not an easy feat.”

Kansas was led offensively by sophomore outside Ashley Smith, who recorded a career-best 14 kills starting in place of Rigdon, and senior opposite Kelsie Payne, who also notched 14 kills. Senior setter Ainise Havili, a Fort Worth native playing before her hometown crowd, dished out 51 assists.

For the Horned Frogs, freshman outside Abigail Buckingham had a match-high 15 kills, and junior outside Ashleigh Martin added another 10. Freshman libero Dani Dennison tallied 14 digs. Playing a 6-2 offense, freshman setter Tori Dilfer recorded 22 assists and senior setter Kaylee Smith added 20.

In the first frame, the score was knotted at 23 when back-to-back kills by Payne and Smith gave Kansas the 25-23 victory. The Jayhawks carried that momentum into the second, winning 25-17 on .552 hitting.

TCU turned the tables in set three, earning its own 25-17 win. In the fourth, the Horned Frogs fell behind early and were only able to get as close as 17-14 before Kansas went on another run to claim a 25-17 victory.

Next up, Kansas hosts Kansas State on Wednesday, while TCU travels to Austin to take on #XX Texas, also on Wednesday.


Courtesy: Kansas Athletics

No. 12 Kansas volleyball reaches 20th win at TCU

FORT WORTH, Texas – Kansas volleyball reached its 20th win of the season with a victory over TCU on Saturday, 3-1 (25-23, 25-17, 18-25, 25-17). It marks the sixth-straight season the 12th-ranked Jayhawks (20-4, 9-2 Big 12) have reached at least 20 wins.

“Our program has been at a high level of consistency over the last few years and it speaks highly of the effort that the student-athletes and coaches have put in each and every day,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “When you’re a member of the Big 12, reaching 20 wins is not an easy feat.”

With the absence of senior All-American outside hitter Madison Rigdon, who missed a start for the first time in 60 matches due to injury, sophomore Ashley Smith stepped up with a career-high 14 kills for KU on Saturday. Smith co-led the team in kills along with senior right-side hitter Kelsie Payne‘s 14 kills on a .385 hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Jada Burse contributed 10 kills to round out a balanced effort from KU’s pin hitters.

“I was proud of the group and the way they rallied around each other,” Bechard said of playing without Rigdon. “Not having Madison out there meant that everybody had to do a little bit more. This isn’t a shock to us that Ashley would have this kind of production. We have seen good things out of her in practice. She has been pretty diligent in giving a good effort each and every day. Today was her turn to produce for us and we are pleased that what we saw in practice translated to competition.”

One of the roles that was filled in the absence of Rigdon was a serving opportunity for senior middle blocker Kayla Cheadle. Cheadle took to the service line to record a career-high two aces and serve a 6-0 KU run in the match-deciding fourth set. Not only was it a career-high in aces for Cheadle, it was the first time she had even attempted a serve since her freshman season in September 2014.

Fellow middle blocker, sophomore Zoe Hill, added seven kills and three blocks. KU’s duo of middle blockers — Cheadle and Hill — combined for 15 kills and eight block-assists.

Senior All-American setter Ainise Havili remained a consistent force for the Jayhawks with 51 assists and eight digs while playing in front of her hometown crowd in Fort Worth for the last time of her collegiate career. Havili also guided KU’s balanced offense of five players with seven or more kills to a team hitting percentage of .339.

TCU (10-13, 2-9) was led by a match-high 15 kills from Abigail Buckingham.

Cheadle record her first ace of the day to tie a close first set, 18-18. With the score tied for the 16th time of the set, 23-23, Havili fed Payne with assist for a first-ball kill to give KU set point, 24-23. Smith registered her first kill of the match on set point to clinch the 25-23 first-set win.

Kansas built on its momentum with a controlled effort during a 25-17 second-set win. The Jayhawks recorded a .552 hitting percentage in the second set, led by Payne’s five kills while Smith and Burse each contributed four. KU sided out on 15 of TCU’s 18 serves in the second set — an 83 percent clip. A late 4-0 KU run put the Jayhawks ahead, 20-13, and all but clinched a 2-0 match lead. Payne closed out the set strong with an ace for a 23-16 lead and a set-point kill, 25-17.

Kansas was not able to overcome early TCU leads of 4-1 and 7-3 in the third set, eventually dropping the set, 25-17. Despite Smith’s five-kill effort in the third, KU struggled to find sustained offensive production as TCU sided out KU on 16 of 19 opportunities.

In the fourth set, it was Kansas that jumped out to an early lead and didn’t look back. The Jayhawks rolled to an 11-3 lead after Cheadle registered her second ace during a 6-0 KU run. TCU didn’t give up on their home court, using a 5-0 run to come within three points, 17-14. But Kansas closed the match by scoring eight of the last 11 points for the 25-17 fourth-set win.

Kansas hosts the season’s second edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown at Horejsi Family Athletics Center on Wednesday, Nov. 8 (6:30 p.m., JTV/ESPN3).

Senior outside hitter Madison Rigdon did not compete on Saturday against TCU due to injury; her status for returning to competition is day-to-day. Rigdon had started the last 59-straight matches for KU prior to Saturday’s match. The 2016 All-Big 12 First Team honoree leads Kansas in kills per set (3.59) during conference play this season.

Kansas reached 20 wins for the sixth-straight season and the 16th time in program history with Saturday’s four-set win over TCU. Since KU’s streak of 20-win seasons began in 2012, the Jayhawks have a 150-34 record.

Kansas and TCU met for the 13th time on Saturday afternoon. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series, 11-2, including six-straight wins. Since TCU joined the Big 12 in 2012, KU has an 11-1 series advantage.

Coming off a road loss at No. 22 Iowa State last week, Kansas bounced back to defeat TCU on Saturday for its 14th-straight win following a loss. Since 2014, KU is 17-2 after a loss.

KU used its eighth different starting lineup of the season with defensive specialist Tori Miller, middle blocker Zoe Hill, right-side hitter Kelsie Payne, setter Ainise Havili, outside hitter Ashley Smith, middle blocker Kayla Cheadle and libero Allie Nelson.

Courtesy: TCU Athletics

TCU Falters to No. 12 Kansas
The Horned Frogs dropped a tough battle on Saturday at home.

FORT WORTH, Texas – Despite taking a set, the TCU volleyball team could not hold off No. 12 Kansas as the Jayhawks came away with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-17, 18-25, 25-17) victory on Saturday afternoon inside The Rickel at the University Recreation Center.

The Horned Frogs (10-13, 2-9 Big 12) went toe-to-toe with the ranked Jayhawks (20-4, 9-2 Big 12) to open the match as Abigail Buckingham put down five kills with the final kill notching the set even at 23-23. Kansas responded with two straight kills to take the set and then used the momentum to take a 2-0 lead in the match. TCU opened the third frame on a 9-4 run and never looked back as a block from Ashley Waggle and Anna Walsh sealed the 25-18 win. The Jayhawks did not back down and used a big run at the start of the fourth set to get the win and finish off the match.

Buckingham led all players in the match with 15 kills to go along with two digs and a block. Ashleigh Martin put down 10 kills while also picking up eight digs with Anna Walsh chipping in nine kills. Sarah Swanson was good for eight kills and a .318 hitting clip while Ashley Waggle had six kills and zero errors for a .600 hitting percentage. Dani Dennison anchored the back row with 14 digs with Waggle leading the defense at the net with 3.0 blocks.

Stat of the Match
2,179 – The number of people in attendance at the match on Saturday to mark the fifth largest crowd in program history. It was also the third time this season over 2,000 fans have been in attendance at a match inside The Rickel.

Quotes of the Match
TCU Director of Volleyball Jill Kramer
Opening Statement
“First of all, I want to thank our marketing department and our fans. Today we had our fifth largest crowd in program history and I think our team played hard and our fans were in it the whole time. We really fed off their energy and everyone stuck around the whole match. It was a great match to be a part of. Our team played hard and is getting better at a lot of stuff. We need to keep getting better and keep improving, but we are seeing a lot of improvement in a lot of areas and that was good to see today.”

-TCU drops to 10-13 on the season and 2-9 in Big 12 matches with the loss to Kansas
-With the win by the Jayhawks, Kansas now leads the overall series at 11-2 and has won six straight matches over TCU
-TCU sold out its fifth match this season with 2,179 fans in attendance
-With the win in the third set, TCU has now taken a set victory from a ranked opponent twice this season
Abigail Buckingham led the team in kills for the fifth time this season with 15 kills in the match
-Buckingham totaled double-digit kills for the eighth time this season
-Ashleigh Martin put down 10 kills to mark the 11th time this season and 23rd time in her career recording double-digit kills
-Tori Dilfer led the team in assists for the first time this season with 22 in the match while Kaylee Smith dished out 20 assists
Dani Dennison led the defensive effort with 14 digs in the match to mark the 19 th time this season recording double-digit digs
-Smith led the team from behind the service line for the ninth time this season with two in the match against Kansas

Up Next
TCU will take to the road for the next two matches as they travel to Austin, Texas to take on Texas on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., before traveling to Manhattan, Kan., to take on Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.

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