WACO, Texas – The Baylor volleyball team closed out the first half of
the Big 12 season with two wins against Kansas State and Texas Tech to
move to 3-5 in league play on the season. The Bears stand alone at fifth
place in the standings and will take on second-place Kansas on the road
Wednesday at 6 p.m.
The game will be broadcast on ESPNU between the Bears (11-13, 2-5) and the Jayhawks (16-5, 6-2) with Sam Gore and Jennifer Hoffman-Fowler providing the play-by-play and color respectively.
The Jayhawks were idle Saturday and are coming off a five-set loss to Iowa State, which ousted KU from the AVCA Top 25 in Monday's poll. The Jayhawks are in a three-way tie for second place with Oklahoma and ISU. Kansas handled Baylor in Waco in four sets Oct. 5, with Sara McClinton's 23 kills leading the charge.
On paper, the Bears will face one of the most statistically stout teams in the league. The Jayhawks rank first in assists (13.57/s), kills (14.46/s), and blocks (2.75/s) while ranking second in hitting percentage (.257) and opponent hitting percentage (.172).
"It's going to take one great team effort. We need to serve, block and dig at a very high level," said Baylor head coach Jim Barnes. "Next, we need four people to play very well offensively, but the key stat of the match for us will be in the block. If we can get close to three blocks per set, we can have a big impact."
Baylor is averaging 2.1 blocks per set coming into Wednesday's match.
Barnes shuffled his lineup prior to the two victories over Kansas State and Texas Tech. Morgan Reed, a true freshman from San Antonio, was inserted at setter, while sophomore rightside hitter Laura Jones was charged to play all the way around the rotation for the first time in her career. Reed has responded with 10.25 assists per set in her first two college starts while Jones has posted consecutive double-doubles in kills and digs, the first two of her career.
Baylor last beat Kansas in Lawrence, Nov. 17, 2010 in four sets.