KU Opens Practice Monday

Aug. 8, 2005


The University of Kansas volleyball team opened its 31st season of competition Monday with two-a-day practices at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Nine returning letterwinners, including five starters from the 2004 squad, joined three newcomers on the first day of drills.

“We had a bit of momentum and played extremely well at the end of last season,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “We had a good spring and the trip to Brazil was very valuable — so I think we should hit the ground running.”

The Jayhawks will have less than three weeks to prepare for their season-opener on Aug. 26 against Alabama in the State Farm Classic in Lawrence. Coming off its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, KU will play a total of nine non-conference contests before Big 12 play begins Sept. 14.

Led by seniors Josi Lima, Paula Caten and Andi Rozum, the Jayhawks’ 2005 schedule boasts 16 home matches including 10 Big 12 contests. KU will enjoy a six-match home stand at Horejsi in early September which features Saint Louis (Sept. 6), Virginia Commonwealth (Sept. 9), Temple (Sept. 9), Michigan State (Sept. 10), Texas A&M (Sept. 14) and Oklahoma (Sept. 17).

In-state rival Kansas State comes to town Oct. 5 while national powerhouse Nebraska visits Horejsi just three days later (Oct. 8). The Border Showdown continues on Nov. 23 when Missouri visits Lawrence on Senior Night.

KU received 40 points in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll released Monday. Nebraska was the preseason favorite with 35 of 60 first-place votes while Texas was ranked 11th, Texas A&M 16th and Missouri 21st. Kansas State (123) and Colorado (22) also received points in the poll.

KU finished the 2004 season 19-12 overall and 9-11 in league play and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks were ranked as high as 21st nationally and received votes in the USA Today/CSTV Coaches’ Poll for eight weeks in 2004.

– KU –