IRVING, Texas – As sophomore right-side hitter Kelsie Payne continues to enforce her will on Big 12 opponents, the weekly awards keep coming in. For the third time this season and second time in two weeks, Payne has been named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week.
The Austin, Texas, native registered 22 kills on a .486 hitting percentage as Kansas defeated Oklahoma, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon in Norman. In the only match of the week for KU, Payne poured in seven kills in the first set against the Sooners and went on to record just one attacking error during the last three sets of the match, finishing with just four attacking errors on 37 attempts.
“Our offense is predicated on a good pass, good set selection and good contact from the attackers. The fact that Kelsie has had so many Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors is a testament to her ability to finish plays for us,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said.
Big 12 volleyball student-athletes have reached 20 kills in a match seven times this season during league play. Payne accounts for three of those matches, doing so with a .401 hitting percentage when recording 20 kills or more this season.
Payne is the only player at the NCAA Division I level to rank top-50 in the nation in hitting percentage and kills per set, while ranking second in the Big 12 in kills per set (4.2), points per set (4.6), and hitting percentage (.405).
With five regular season matches remaining, No. 10 Kansas (22-1, 10-1 Big 12) welcomes No. 5 Texas (20-2, 10-1) to Lawrence on Wednesday night (6:30 p.m., Jayhawk TV/ESPN3) in a battle for sole possession of first place in the Big 12 standings.