Kansas Athletics Announces Anniversary Hall of Fame Class

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Athletics is proud to announce that seven individuals and four teams have been selected for induction into the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame. The Class of 2023 is celebrating Title IX with an all-female inductee class.

Individuals selected for induction include Ainise Havili (volleyball), Nina Khmelnitckaia (tennis), Janet Koch (tennis), Kelsie Payne (volleyball), Anastasia Rychagova (tennis), Liana Salazar (soccer) and Lindsay Vollmer (track & field). Teams that will be inducted are the 2011-12 and 2012-13 women’s track & field, 2015 volleyball and 2019 tennis. The induction ceremony is set for Wednesday, Aug  30

Havili (Fort Worth, Texas) starred for the Kansas Volleyball team from 2014-17, breaking records and earning several awards along the way. She was the 2017 AVCA Midwest Region Player of the Year and a three-time Big 12 Setter of the Year, becoming the first player in conference history to earn the award three times. Havili set KU’s all-time record with 5,255 career assists and led the Jayhawks to the top-two most efficient offensive seasons in program history. A four-time All-American, Havili was a part of some of the most successful teams in KU Volleyball history. The Jayhawks finished no lower than third place in the Big 12 during her career and reached the NCAA Tournament each season, including a run to the Final Four in 2015. In 2016, the Jayhawks went 27-3 and won the program’s only Big 12 Championship with a 15-1 league record.

Khmeltnitckaia (Moscow, Russia) had a decorated career for the Kansas Tennis team from 2015-19. Her teams reached the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons, and the Jayhawks advanced to the Sweet 16 in her senior season of 2019. Khmeltnitckaia and her doubles teammate Janet Koch formed one of the top doubles teams in the country that season, reaching the No. 1 national ranking on April 2 before finishing the second ranked No. 5 in the country. The duo finished 26-6 during the 2018-19 season, including a record of 17-4 against ranked opponents, and they helped KU claim the 2019 Big 12 Tournament Championship. Khmeltnitckaia was ranked in doubles during each of her four seasons at Kansas, and earned a pair of national rankings as a singles player during her senior season.

Koch (Durbanville, South Africa) had a very successful career with the Kansas Tennis team from 2015-19. She was a member of four teams that reached the NCAA Tournament, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2019. Koch teamed up with fellow Jayhawk Nina Khmelnitckaia to form one of the top doubles teams in the country that season, reaching the No. 1 national ranking on April 2 before finishing the season ranked No. 5 in the country. The duo finished 26-6 during the 2018-19 season, including a record of 17-4 against ranked opponents, and they helped KU claim the 2019 Big 12 Tournament Championship. Koch was also ranked the entire season in singles, reaching as high as No. 34 before finishing the season at No. 105.

Payne (Austin, Texas) helped the Kansas Volleyball program to reach great heights as she played for the Jayhawks from 2014-17. She was the 2016 Big 12 Player of the Year and a three-time All-American, earning First Team honors from the AVCA following both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Payne ended her collegiate career as KU’s all-time leader in career kills (1,510), kills per set (3.63) and hitting percentage (.334). Kansas had great success during Payne’s tenure, reaching the NCAA Tournament and finishing no lower than third place in the Big 12 in her four seasons. KU reached the first Final Four in program history in 2015, and followed that season by going 27-3 and winning the program’s lone Big 12 Championship in 2016.

Rychagova (Moscow, Russia) is another decorated alum of the Kansas Tennis program who competed for the Jayhawks from 2015-19. Each season at KU, she helped her team qualify for the NCAA Tournament and the Jayhawks reached the Sweet 16 in 2019, her senior season. Rychagova was ranked in singles for most of her career, spending her entire junior season in the top 10 while reaching the No. 1 spot on Feb. 18, 2018. She was also part of nationally-ranked doubles teams for most of her junior and senior seasons, reaching No. 12 in the rankings as a junior. Rychagova was named a First Team All-American and the ITA Central Player of the Year as a senior, while also earning several all-conference honors in her career.

Salazar (Bogotá, Colombia) was a three-time All-Big 12 First Team selection and a member of two NCAA Tournament teams while playing midfield for the Kansas Soccer team from 2011-15. She was also a member of the Big 12’s All-Newcomers/Freshman Team in 2011, Big 12 All-Tournament Team in 2015 and was a three-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week during her career. Salazar added three all-region selections from United Soccer Coaches and capped her career with an All-American Third Team selection from the outlet in 2015. Salazar remains fifth in Kansas Soccer history with 68 points and third in school history with 28 goals scored during her time as a Jayhawk. On the international stage, Salazar competed for the Colombia National Team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in both 2011 and 2015, and she was on the national team for the Summer Olympics of 2012 and 2016.

Vollmer (Hamilton, Missouri) was a standout competing in multi-events for Kansas Track & Field from 2011-15 and helped the Jayhawks claim the first outdoor National Championship in program history in 2013. She became the first individual national champion in program history as she claimed the top spot in the heptathlon at the 2013 Outdoor National Championships with a school-record of 6,086 points. Vollmer maintains her school record and has six of the top-10 performances in school history for the heptathlon, and still holds the indoor pentathlon school record. Vollmer was a three-time All-American, earning indoor honors in 2013 and both indoor and outdoor in 2015, she was a four-time Big 12 Champion, winning the pentathlon in 2013 and 2015 and the heptathlon in 2013 and 2014.

The 2011-12 Kansas Women’s Track & Field team had great success, including runner-up finishes at the NCAA Indoor National Championships and Big 12 Outdoor Championships. The Jayhawks also placed third at Big 12 Indoor and fourth at NCAA Outdoor Championships. Kansas had two indoor national champions as Diamond Dixon topped the field in the 400-meter dash and Andrea Geubelle won in triple jump. The Jayhawks also had six individuals claim indoor All-American honors and nine outdoor All-Americans, in addition to the 4×400-meter relay team earning All-America recognition both indoor and outdoor.

In 2012-13, the Kansas Women’s Track & Field team took its success to another level as it claimed the 2013 NCAA Outdoor National Championship while finishing as the runner-up at Indoor Nationals. The Jayhawks swept the indoor and outdoor Big 12 Championships and had four combined individual national championships. Natalia Bartnovskaya won the pole vault crown at indoor nationals, while Andrea Geubelle won the indoor national title in both long jump and triple jump. Lindsay Vollmer claimed the outdoor national championship in heptathlon. Kansas had a combined 20 All-American performances from individuals, with 10 each at indoor and outdoor nationals. The 4×400-meter relay team again earned All-American honors at both national championships and the 4×100-meter relay team added an All-America performance at outdoors.

The 2015 Kansas Volleyball team started out the season unranked, but steadily climbed as the Jayhawks put together one of the best seasons in program history. Kansas finished second in the Big 12 with a 14-2 league record and went into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 9 overall seed. The Jayhawks defeated Furman and arch-rival Missouri in the first weekend of the tournament, before going to California and defeating Loyola Marymount and No. 1 seed USC to advance to the first Final Four in program history. Led by sophomore All-Americans Ainise Havili and Kelsie Payne, the NCAA semifinalist Jayhawks set a program record for winning percentage, finishing 30-3 (.909) and received a final ranking of No. 4 in the AVCA Top 25. KU’s three losses were against the two teams that competed in the NCAA Championship final – Texas and Nebraska.

The 2019 Kansas Tennis team reached unprecedented heights as the Jayhawks won the Big 12 Tournament Championship and advanced to its fourth-straight NCAA Tournament. Kansas compiled an overall record of 21-5, including a 7-2 record in Big 12 Conference play, and KU won 10-straight matches before falling to Stanford in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks were undefeated on their home courts that season, going 16-0 at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. Behind three First Team All-Americans, Nina Khmelnitckaia, Janet Koch and Anastasia Rychagova, Kansas finished ranked No. 8 in the final USTA ranking and No. 13 in the final ITA ranking for the season.