Digital Passport: Watch the Olympic Sports Media Day Press Conference
Kansas head coaches Ray Bechard, Mark Francis and Stanley Redwine will preview the 2013 seasons for volleyball, soccer and cross country at the fall sports media day on Aug. 21 at 1:30 p.m. inside the Allen Fieldhouse media room. Jayhawk Digital Passport subscribers can click here or the link above to watch.
Voted to finish third in the 2013 Big 12 Conference Preseason Poll, Kansas volleyball returns more than 80 percent of its offense from a record-setting 2012 team. Last fall’s squad saw the Jayhawks finish the season ranked No. 25 on the final AVCA poll and post the highest winning percentage for a season in program history. The Jayhawks went 26-7 overall and 12-4 in the league standings for a third-place finish, their highest in the Big 12 era. Earning their first national seed in the NCAA Tournament at No. 11, Kansas hosted the first and second rounds inside Allen Fieldhouse and was supported by the highest attendance of any NCAA regional host site.
KU volleyball’s first All-American, redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc, will lead the eight-member senior class. The veteran class also includes the 2012 Big 12’s assists leader in setter Erin McNorton and KU’s all-time digs leader in libero Brianne Riley. All-Big 12 First Team honoree, junior outside hitter Sara McClinton, and sophomore outside hitter Tiana Dockery, an All-Big 12 Freshman Team member in 2012, also return as the Jayhawks look to raise expectations again in 2013.
The Jayhawks take the court for the first time at their annual Crimson and Blue Match on Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. inside the Horjesi Family Athletic Center.
The Kansas soccer team returns 13 letterwinners and over 70 percent of its scoring from the 2012 squad that finished 10-8-2 overall and 3-5 in conference play. Mark Francis enters his 15th season as the Jayhawks’ head coach and is just 11 wins shy of his 200th career coaching victory. Senior forward Caroline Kastor had a breakout season in 2012, leading the team with 11 goals while also earning All-Big 12 Second Team accolades. A strong core of returning starters also highlight the 2013 squad including junior Jamie Fletcher, also an All-Big 12 Second Team selection in 2012, and redshirt sophomore midfielder Liana Salazar who returners after a stellar freshman campaign in 2011.
The Jayhawks will have an injection of new faces this season as well, with seven true freshman set to make their debuts in the Crimson and Blue. The impressive class includes midfielder Tayler Estrada, a two time high school All-American, goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns, the 2012 Missouri State Goalkeeper of the Year and several others whom the coaches expect to contribute early and often to this year’s squad.
The Jayhawks defeated Nebraska-Omaha, 1-0, in an exhibition match on Sunday. KU opens the regular season when the team travels to Fayetteville, Ark., for an Aug. 23 date with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
After a breakthrough season which saw the Jayhawks enter the top-25 of the national rankings for the first time in nearly six years, the Kansas men’s cross country team return nearly all of its top performers from a year ago. The lone senior on the 2013 team, Josh Munsch, leads a balanced group which finished sixth at last year’s NCAA Midwest Regional Meet and fourth at the Big 12 Championships. Joining Munsch are three other top returners in Evan Landes, Reid Buchanan and James Wilson, who each were among the Jayhawks’ top-five finishers in all but one meet a year ago.
The Kansas women’s cross country team will feature a young but talented group in 2013. Sophomore Hannah Richardson is the team’s top returner. The Kirkwood, Mo., native finished among the team’s top-three finishers in each race she competed in during her freshman campaign. Senior Natalie Becker preps for her final season in Lawrence after working her way to become one of the Jayhawks’ top runners over her first three years. Leadership from Becker and Richardson will be vital as KU welcomes nine freshmen to the mix in 2013 and features five redshirt freshmen who will be also be suiting up in a Kansas uniform for the first time.
The Jayhawks will once again kick off the season by hosting the Bob Timmons Classic at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence on Aug. 31.
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