Aloha! Kansas volleyball to spend spring break in Hawaii
Kansas at Hawaii
Date Tuesday, March 21
Time 7 p.m. HT / Midnight CT
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Venue Stan Sheriff Center
Stats Live Stats
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The reigning Big 12 champion Kansas volleyball team will travel to Hawaii during spring break to compete against the University of Hawaii. The top-20 exhibition matchup between the Jayhawks and Rainbow Wahine takes place on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. Hawaiian time, which is midnight in the Central time zone.
Kansas jet-sets to the Aloha State on Saturday and will have two full days of preparation before taking on Hawaii, which finished the 2016 season ranked No. 17 in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. KU finished the 2016 season ranked No. 12 in the country after capturing its first-ever Big 12 Conference title outright.
“We hope to play a great match and expose our team to some really high-level competition on the road. It is a great opportunity for us to prepare for the season and really bond as a team off the court,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said.
Heading into spring competition, the Jayhawks will be searching for new starters at middle blocker and libero. Those two departing seniors, Tayler Soucie (middle blocker) and Cassie Wait (libero), will be making the trip to Hawaii with the team, but not competing. Fifth-year senior Maggie Anderson, who graduated in December, is not able to travel due to her full-time job responsibilities.
“We will give everybody who plays libero an opportunity there and see who reacts the best. I see that as being a very competitive ongoing situation – far past our Hawaii trip,” Bechard noted. “We have a newcomer in Mmache Nwoke who is going to get an opportunity to play at middle blocker, so Zoe (Hill), Mmache, and Kayla Cheadle have to solidify our middle position where we lost a good kid in Tayler.”
The Jayhawks will also look to build team chemistry and form a team identity moving forward to the 2017 season – the senior season for Kayla Cheadle, Addison Barry All-American Ainise Havili, Tori Miller, All-American Kelsie Payne and All-American Madison Rigdon.
“It’s an opportunity for our team to begin to identify who they are in 2017,” Bechard said. “We lost three really high-level communicators and great teammates in Cassie, Tayler and Maggie. Now, we’ll spread that responsibility amongst our team. Even though it is a short trip, it will still create opportunities for us to find out more about who we are. This is a great time of year to do that, so you can identify some of those things prior to hitting the ground in the fall.”
Hawaii features new head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos on their sidelines as Hall-of-fame coach Dave Shoji announced his retirement earlier this year after a 42-year career at Hawaii.
The match in Hawaii will be available through live stats, but no video or radio coverage will be available to fans planning to stay up late and follow the Jayhawks Tuesday night and into the early-morning hours of Wednesday.
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