2011 Kansas Volleyball Schedule Revealed
July 7, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Seven matches versus 2010 NCAA Tournament teams that advanced to the Sweet 16 or further, including Final Four participant Texas and national power Minnesota, highlight the 2011 Kansas volleyball schedule. In all, KU will play 10 matches against foes that appeared in the postseason last year.
Four of those contests will take place in Lawrence at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center as part of KU’s 11 scheduled home matches. The Jayhawks’ home slate opens Sept. 2-3 for the Jayhawk Invitational as Kansas welcomes Belmont, Appalachian State and the Summit League Player of the Year Kelli Fiegen with South Dakota State.
Prior to its home tournament, Kansas makes its season debut at the Georgia Bulldog Invitational Aug. 26-27 in Athens, Ga. The tournament opens Friday when KU faces Florida A&M. One day later, the Jayhawks take on last year’s Big South regular-season champion Liberty before going up against the SEC’s Georgia.
The following weekend KU will face one of its toughest stretches of schedule when it participates in the Northern Iowa Invitational, Sept. 9-10 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Jayhawks begin the tournament taking on host UNI as they look to avenge a five-set heartbreaking loss to the Panthers last season in Lawrence. UNI ended the 2010 season ranked No. 14 in the nation despite losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
On Sept. 10 Kansas faces the No. 10 overall seed from last year’s tournament and Sweet 16 participant Minnesota. The weekend concludes with a match versus St. Louis later that day.
Kansas then makes a stop in Chicago, Ill., for the DePaul Invitational, Sept. 16-17, in its last action before Big 12 Conference play. There, the Jayhawks will play matches versus San Diego State, DePaul and Valparaiso, which returns last year’s national digs leader in Taylor Root.
“We face some strong teams during our early season tournaments that will really prepare us for another competitive year in the Big 12,” said head coach Ray Bechard, who will begin his 14th season with the Jayhawks this fall. “It is a demanding schedule but I know our players are up for the challenge.”
With the departure of Colorado and Nebraska from the Big 12, a new eight team, 16-match conference format begins Sept. 24 as KU travels to perennial power Texas. Last season the Longhorns made their second-straight Final Four appearance and finished with a No. 4 national ranking in the AVCA coaches’ poll.
KU’s Big 12 home slate begins Sept. 28 versus Iowa State, another NCAA Tournament participant a year ago and top 25 team. Other notable home matches include in-state rival Kansas State (Oct. 19), border rival and Sweet 16 team Missouri (Nov. 2), Texas (Nov. 5) and Sweet 16 opponent Oklahoma (Nov. 16).
The final match of the year will also mark Senior Night when Kansas welcomes Baylor on Nov. 26.
Kansas returns 14 letterwinners, including five starters and its libero, from its 2010 squad that finished 17-14 overall. A complete 2011 schedule is listed below.
Georgia Bulldog Invitational
Fri., Aug. 26 vs. Florida A&M Athens, Ga. 3:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 27 vs. Liberty Athens, Ga. 9 a.m.
Sat., Aug. 27 at Georgia Athens, Ga. 6 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 2 vs. Belmont Lawrence, Kan. Noon
Sat., Sept. 2 vs. Appalachian State Lawrence, Kan. 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 3 vs. South Dakota State Lawrence, Kan. 1 p.m.
Northern Iowa Invitational
Fri., Sept. 9 at Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 10 vs. Minnesota Cedar Falls, Iowa 10 a.m.
Sat., Sept. 10 vs. St. Louis Cedar Falls, Iowa 5 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 16 vs. San Diego State Chicago, Ill. 5 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 17 vs. Valparaiso Chicago, Ill. 1:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 17 at DePaul Chicago, Ill. 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 24 at Texas * Austin, Texas 6:30 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 28 vs. Iowa State * Lawrence, Kan. 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 1 at Baylor * Waco, Texas 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 8 vs. Texas A&M * Lawrence, Kan. 6:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 12 at Missouri * Columbia, Mo. 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 15 at Oklahoma * Norman, Okla. 6:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 19 vs. Kansas State * Lawrence, Kan. 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 22 vs. Texas Tech * Lawrence, Kan. TBA
Wed., Oct. 26 at Iowa State * Ames, Iowa 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 30 at Texas A&M * College Station, Texas 6:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 2 vs. Missouri * Lawrence, Kan. 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 5 vs. Texas * Lawrence, Kan. 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 12 at Texas Tech * Lubbock, Texas 6:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 16 vs. Oklahoma * Lawrence, Kan. 6:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 23 at Kansas State * Manhattan, Kan. 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 vs. Baylor * Lawrence, Kan. 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 1-3 NCAA 1st & 2nd Rounds
Dec. 9-10 NCAA Regional
Dec. 15 NCAA Semifinal
Dec. 17 NCAA Championship
Home games in bold and played at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center; * Big 12 Conference match; All times Central.