Jayhawks Open Preseason Practice

Aug. 9, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Team breakfast, morning weights and productive pair of practices officially kicked off the 2011 University of Kansas volleyball campaign, Tuesday at Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

The Jayhawks reported to campus on Monday for team meetings and the annual “Welcome Back” dinner before the team’s two weeks of two-a-day practices starting Tuesday morning.

“We’ve identified a number of things we can work on,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “But the enthusiasm was good, the energy level was good and it was great to get the 2011 edition of the Jayhawks on the floor.”

Entering his 14th season with Kansas, Bechard will begin his quest to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in eight seasons. The Jayhawks will look to improve on a successful 2010 season that resulted in a 17-14 record, including an upset over No. 10 Iowa State.

He will do so with a large set of familiar faces as KU returns 14 letterwinners from a year ago. Returning starters senior Allison Mayfield (2.87 kps), redshirt sophomore Caroline Jarmoc (1.75 kps) and junior Tayler Tolefree (1.53 kps) will pace an offense that averaged 13 kills per set in 2010.

Defensively, KU returns last year’s digs leader in sophomore libero Brianne Riley (4.11 dps) and team-leading blocking duo, Tolefree (0.84 bps) and Jarmoc (0.99 bps). All-Nebraska Super State members Chelsea Albers and Sara McClinton will look to make an immediate impact in their rookie season. The pair took the floor with the Jayhawks for the first time on Tuesday.

To display its practice progress, the team will hold an intersquad scrimmage at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center on Aug. 20. The match is slated for 3 p.m., and will be followed by an alumni reception. All fans are encouraged to attend free of charge.

Kansas will open the 2011 campaign in Athens, Ga., against Florida A&M in the opening match of the University of Georgia Bulldog Invitational. First serve is set for Aug. 26 at 3:30 p.m. CT.

Media Day
Bechard will participate in KU’s Olympic Sports media day on Aug. 17. Media day begins at 12 p.m. and will be held in the Allen Fieldhouse media room located in the northwest corner of Allen Fieldhouse (across from the men’s basketball lockerroom). Each coach will make opening comments before opening the floor for questions. Following the coaches, select student-athletes from each team will be available to talk with the media.

All requests should be directed to Alissa Bauer via email anbauerku.edu or by calling 785.840.5852.