Oct. 4, 2013
WACO, Texas – After an emotional loss to No. 4 Texas in front of a record crowd Wednesday night, Baylor will look to rebound Saturday when the Bears play host to Kansas at 1 p.m. at the Ferrell Center. Baylor opened the Big 12 season against two ranked opponents with losses to Iowa State (Sept. 28) and the Longhorns with the Jayhawks coming to town on an eight-match win streak.
The Bears dropped to 8-10 overall and 0-2 in Big 12 play Wednesday night in front of 3,044 fans at the Ferrell Center, the largest volleyball crowd in school history. Baylor took the third set against last year’s national champions, but ultimately fell to the Longhorns for the 23rd-straight time.
“Our team benefited from the UT match and gained confidence in our capabilities,” said Baylor head coach Jim Barnes. “The drive, and the ‘want to’ is there, and the experience factor for this young team is gaining.”
The Jayhawks (12-3, 2-0) have won eight-straight matches, the longest active streak in the Big 12, and KU has taken its first two league matches with three-set wins over TCU, Sept. 28 and Kansas State, Wednesday.
Kansas leads the Big 12 in hitting percentage at a .260 mark, and the Jayhawks lead the league in kills per set at 14.4.
“They are a very balanced offense with multiple plays,” Barnes said of KU. “We will need to serve hard to make them more predictable and block and dig with discipline.”
Senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc leads the charge for Kansas averaging 3.40 kills per set, and she hits .317 on the season, which ranks fifth and eighth respectively among Big 12 players.
The Jayhawks are also strong defensively on paper, averaging 2.78 blocks per set (2nd in Big 12) and 15.91 digs per set (4th in Big 12). Still, Barnes said he thinks Baylor has some spots to take advantage of against its opponent.
“There are holes in the KU blocking scheme; we just need to pass well to attack those holes,” said Barnes. “We have added some offensive plays to take advantage.”
The Bears lead the all-time series 22-15 with Kansas, but have particularly played well in Waco holding a 14-3 advantage over the Jayhawks at the Ferrell Center.