🏐 Jayhawks Head to Purdue to Open 2021 Season
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball opens the 2021 season at the Reamer Club Xtra Special Premier at West Lafayette, Indiana, Aug. 28-29. KU will play Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 1 p.m. and at No. 8 Purdue on Sunday, Aug. 29, at 1 p.m. on the BTN+ network. All matches will be played at Holloway Gymnasium.
Receiving votes in the 2021 preseason AVCA national poll, Kansas returns 16 letter winners from last season’s 12-10 team that won its final seven, and nine of its last 10, matches. KU had both a fall and spring season in 2020-21 due to the COVID pandemic. The Jayhawks went 7-9 in Big 12 play finishing fifth.
Kansas finished fourth in the 2021 Big 12 volleyball preseason poll as voted on by the conference coaches. Texas took top honors followed by Baylor, Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State, West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU and Oklahoma.
Six of KU’s 14 returners started 17 or more matches in 2020-21 led by Kansas sophomore middle blocker Caroline Crawford and super-senior outside hitter Jenny Mosser who were both named to the 2021 Preseason All-Big 12 Team selected by the league coaches. Additionally, outside hitter/libero Caroline Bien was tabbed the 2021 Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Both Crawford and Mosser were named All-Big 12 First Team and to the AVCA All-Midwest Region Team last season. Bien was a 2020 AVCA High School All-America and the 2020 Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Kansas at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.
Crawford and Mosser started every match played in 2020-21, while other consistent starters that are back include sophomore outside hitter Ayah Elnady (21 starts), senior middle blocker Rachel Langs (20), redshirt-senior outside hitter Anezka Szabo (17) and sophomore setter Elise McGhie (17).
The Kansas-Loyola Marymount is tied at 2-2 in the all-time volleyball series that dates back to 1995. The two schools first met on Sept. 2, 1995, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Jones Intercable Invitational with LMU winning 3-0. Kansas won the second meeting, 3-1, on Sept. 14, 2012, at the Golden Dome Invitational in South Bend, Indiana, and the third, 3-1, on Dec. 11, 2015, in the NCAA Championship in San Diego, California. KU would goon to advance to the 2015 Final Four. LMU won the most recent matchup, 3-1, on Sept. 8, 2018, at the Kansas Invitational in Lawrence.
The Kansas and Purdue series is tied at 3-3 with the last meeting on Sept. 8, 2017, a KU 3-1 win, in the second round of the Kansas Invitational in Lawrence. This series dates back to 1978 with the Jayhawks winning three of the last four matchups in 2000, 2002 and 2017. Purdue won the 1978, 1996 and 2016 meetings.