🏐 Jayhawks Selected as Host for NCAA Tournament; Open Play on Thursday
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks are staying home for the first weekend of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. Coach Ray Bechard’s team was selected as the No. 4 seed in the Wisconsin Quarter and will host Omaha on Thursday at 7 p.m., at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.
“The last couple years we’ve had to go play some really good teams and now we’ve got three really good teams coming here and some coaches I know pretty well,” said Bechard. “It will be a really competitive group of four teams and we are looking forward to it being on our home floor.”
The winner of that match will face the winner of fifth-seeded Penn State and Yale at Horejsi on Friday at 5:30 p.m., for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16. Penn State and Yale will meet at 4:30 p.m., on Thursday at Horejsi. Wisconsin, ranked No. 5 in the country in the most recent AVCA Top 25, is the No. 1 seed in the Wisconsin Quarter. Oregon is the No. 2 seed, followed by third-seeded Purdue and No. 4 seed, Kansas.
The tournament selection marks the 12th in program history and third-straight appearance. All 12 tournament appearances have been under Bechard, with the first coming in 2003. Sunday’s selection also marks the sixth time the Jayhawks have received a national seed in program history and will mark the first time Kansas has hosted at Horejsi since it was renovated prior to the 2019 season. All total, Kansas has hosted five previous times, with two coming in Allen Fieldhouse (2012 and 2013), two at Horejsi prior to the renovation (2015 and 2016), and once at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka (2014).
Kansas (23-5) currently boasts a 14-match winning streak at Horejsi, which is the sixth-longest active home winning streak in Division 1. The 14 home wins in a season are the most by the Jayhawks since winning 15 in 2015, and the 14-match winning streak is the longest since winning 17 straight from Nov. 14, 2015 to Dec. 1, 2016.
Kansas finished the regular season with 23 wins, marking the eighth time in Bechard’s 26-season tenure and the 18th in program history that Kansas has 20 or more wins. Kansas has had 23-plus wins in 12 of those seasons, including five in Bechard’s career.
One of those 23 wins came against first round opponent Omaha, when Kansas topped the Mavericks in straight sets in August in Omaha. The Jayhawks went on to finish second in the Big 12 Conference with a 14-4 league mark. The 14 conference wins marked the most since the Jayhawks won 15 and its first-ever Big 12 title in 2016.
Tickets for postseason play at Horejsi will go on sale for the public at 12 p.m., CST on Monday.