LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior All-American right-side hitter Kelsie Payne was named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Tuesday after helping Kansas move into a tie for first place in the Big 12 standings with wins over Texas Tech and No. 2 Texas last week.
It is the first career national player of the week nod for Payne, a 2015 AVCA First Team All-American, and the fifth all-time for Kansas volleyball. Last season, junior All-American setter Ainise Havili earned the national honor on Oct. 13, 2015.
Payne, a native of Austin, Texas, averaged 4.62 kills per set on a .356 hitting percentage with seven blocks during week 10 of the season for the fourth-ranked Jayhawks (20-2, 9-1 Big 12).
Payne registered in 21 kills to guide Kansas to a thrilling five-set win over No. 2 Texas in Lawrence on Saturday. The win snapped a 25-match series losing streak for the Jayhawks against the Longhorns. Payne also got it done on the defensive end, recording eight digs and six blocks during the five-set win. The victory also extended KU's winning streak to eight matches.
Payne began her week with 16 kills and no attacking errors for a .571 hitting percentage at Texas Tech on Wednesday. She added 10 digs during the three-set sweep of the Red Raiders for her sixth double-double of the season.
As the regular-season begins to wind down, Payne is quickly approaching the mark to become the 15th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career kills, entering this week with 967 kills.
The fourth-ranked Jayhawks face Kansas State in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Wednesday night in Manhattan (7 p.m., ESPN3).