If Kansas University's volleyball team ever needed a victory over in-state rival Kansas State, it's now.
The Jayhawks are mired in their first three-match losing streak since the end of the 2002 season. They're 10-4 overall, but only 1-4 in Big 12 Conference play after successive losses to Texas, Nebraska and Baylor.
Kansas State is also 10-4 overall, but the No. 16 Wildcats are 4-1 in the Big 12 and have won the last 18 meetings with the Jayhawks. KU's last win over the 'Cats was in 1995.
Match time is 7 p.m. at the sold-out Horejsi Center. KU officials said a few standing-room-only tickets would be available at the door.
"Whether we've won the last 10 in a row or lost the last 10 in a row, we have a new opportunity," KU coach Ray Bechard said, "and that's how we're looking at it."
Bechard said it was too early in the season to put tonight's clash in the do-or-die category.
"I don't know if I'd categorize it as that," he said. "It would be an extremely big win, though, and we need to start putting some in that column."
Reserve Lindsey Morris, who continues to recover from a knee injury, has missed the last three outings, and the Jayhawks didn't have go-to hitter Jana Correa against Nebraska or Texas. Correa returned against Baylor and pounded 13 kills.
Morris will sit again tonight, but Correa will play.
"Losing Lindsey was so deflating for us," senior Ashley Michaels said. "She is just so consistent, and having that at the outside hitter position is very valuable. Plus, on top of that, Jana hasn't been able to play all the time because she's still kind of been banged up. And all that has done is just doubled the problem for us."
The Jayhawks' next two matches will be on the road -- Saturday at Colorado and Wednesday at Iowa State.