KU Heads to Utah

Aug. 31, 2005

PROVO, Utah –

Kansas will look to keep its win streak alive as it participates in the BYU/UVSC Volleyball Challenge Thursday and Friday in Provo and Orem, Utah. The road trip is the first of the season for the Jayhawks (2-0), who are coming off sweeps of Alabama and UMKC last weekend.

The Jayhawks take on Utah Valley State Thursday at 8 p.m., Montana State (2-1) Friday at 1 p.m. and BYU (1-0) at 8 p.m. Gametracker and post-match results will be available on kuathletics.com.

KU Preview
The Jayhawks, who finished tied for sixth in the league in 2004, return nine letterwinners and five starters in 2005. KU received 40 points in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll released August 8.

KU is an impressive 62-7 in non-league starts under head coach Ray Bechard. Senior middle blocker Josi Lima, a three-time All-Big 12 selection, is the top KU returner, with postseason awards candidates Paula Caten (senior), Jana Correa (junior) and Emily Brown (sophomore) also back in the starting six.

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.

Utah Valley State Preview
The Wolverines open their 2005 season Thursday against the Jayhawks. KU will play its first match of the tournament at UVSC’s Activity Center in Orem, Utah.

UVSC was 11-16 in 2004 and returns seven letterwinners and three starters from last year’s squad, including sophomore middle blocker Jessica Endres and junior setter Lacee Koelliker.

The Kansas/UVSC Series
Thursday’s meeting marks the first between KU and UVSC.

Montana State Preview
The Bobcats are 2-1 this season with wins over Wyoming (3-2) and Gardner-Webb (3-0) last weekend. MSU’s loss was to No. 2 Washington, the team that ended KU’s season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Final Four in 2004.

MSU was 19-8 last season and finished third (10-4) in the Big Sky Conference. The Bobcats return eight letterwinners and four starters, including junior outside hitter Kim Stonehouse, who leads MSU with 2.90 kills per game. Senior middle blocker Megan Zanto averages a team-best 1.10 blocks to go with her 2.80 kills per game.

The Kansas/Montana State Series
MSU leads the all-time series against Kansas, 2-0. The Bobcats’ last win over the Jayhawks was on Sept. 8, 1988 (3-0).

BYU Preview
Brigham Young (1-0) opened its season Saturday with a 3-2 win over Nevada. Sophomore outside hitter Erica Lott led the Cougars with 18 kills in the win while junior middle blocker Lindsy Hartsock added 11 kills and five blocks.

BYU received 33 votes in the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Preseason Coaches’ Poll after finishing 19-11 overall last season and third (9-5) in the Mountain West Conference. The Cougars return 10 letterwinners in 2005 including all six starters. Head coach Jason Watson is in his first season at BYU.

The Kansas/BYU Series
Friday’s meeting marks the first between the Jayhawks and Cougars since before the 1975 season. BYU records show that the teams may have met in the early `70s, while KU does not have records available prior to the 1975 season.

Lima On Track to Break Kills Record
Josi Lima will leave KU one of the most prolific players in the program’s history — regardless of what records she takes with her. A four-year starter and Big 12 leader, Lima is tied for fourth on the all-time kills list with 1,146 and is on track to break the career record (1,306) set by Sarah Rome (2000-03). In addition, Lima could finish her career on top of many blocking charts and in the top five for attack percentage, kills per game and digs.

Bechard at the Helm
Kansas head coach Ray Bechard is in his eighth season with the Jayhawks. Bechard has led KU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances (2003, 2004) and its best-ever conference finish in 2003. In 2003, Bechard earned his 800th career victory as a head coach as well as his 100th win at Kansas.
After 13 years at Barton County Community College and seven at KU, Bechard entered the 2005 season with a remarkable all-time coaching record of 839-153 (.846) including a 123-93 (.569) mark with the Jayhawks.

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