Bechard Reflects On Spring Season

April 20, 2010


Despite losing four seniors from its 2009 squad, the future looks bright for the University of Kansas volleyball team. This spring, the Jayhawks had four dates of competition in which they finished 9-0-2.

“There were a number of things we wanted to get done over the spring,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “Everybody got ample time to improve in areas that we really needed to improve and our two redshirts [Caroline Jarmoc and Catherine Carmichael] had an opportunity to compete in live match situations. We played a lot of different levels of competition and it gave our players a lot of necessary reps.”

“As for team goals, we needed to get better defensively so we spent a lot of time coordinating our blocks better and coordinating what we’re doing behind the block a little better,” Bechard explained. “We saw some gradual results. We are not quite there yet but that will continue to improve.”

In KU’s first spring competition, the team played four two-set matches at Creighton. While in Omaha, the team defeated South Dakota State and UMKC and split its matches versus Creighton and Drake.

“I thought Creighton was an ok start,” said Bechard, who is in his 12th season at Kansas. “I thought what we assessed where we were as a team and I think our attitude and attentiveness in practice really picked up after that trip. We saw a culture change in our gym as the girls realized what was necessary to compete at a high level during the spring.”

The Jayhawks then hosted Washburn, Central Missouri State, Rockhurst and Iowa at home picking up convincing wins over each opponent. The spring season wrapped up last weekend at Texas Christian University. Again Kansas dominated, recording wins over TCU, North Texas and Sam Houston State.

Looking ahead to the upcoming fall season, Bechard is pleased at what the future holds for his team.

“We encouraged the players to hold each other more accountable and found that to be very valuable,” said Coach. “If we can continue that over the summer, we will be in a better place in the fall.”

“The seniors have taken on more ownership in what they are about to become- leaders,” added Bechard. “The team has worked harder physically than we have in the past and the coaching staff has made more demands. We believe the spring is a great time for skill acquisition and acquiring more mental toughness.”