🏐 MATCH PREVIEW: vs. Baylor

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball begins its 2020 Big 12 only slate against Baylor Friday, Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. before concluding the opening weekend Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. in the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.

The Jayhawks return seven from last season’s team with the addition of 10 newcomers, including three transfers.

KU will be forced to replace the efforts of Ashley Smith, Zoe Hill and Allie Nelson. Nelson played a crucial role as libero in her four years in Lawrence, finishing seventh in program history with 1,273 digs. Lacey Angello, Kennedy Farris and Audri Suter each will look to make an impact as defensive specialists along with the addition of newcomer Molly Schultz.

Replacing Hill will be an equally tough task for KU as she recorded 383 blocks to finish seventh all-time in total blocks at Kansas. KU returns Gracie Van Driel and Rachel Langs in the middle. Langs holds the Kansas single-game record with 14 total blocks, and ranks 23rd in program history with 213 blocks. Joining Langs and Van Driel, are Caroline Crawford, the Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and Kaiti Parks.

The outside hitters will look much different than last season’s team, featuring six newcomers that will join Riley Foltz, who redshirted last season. Karli Schmidt, Kim Whetstone and Ayah Elnady all enter the program for their first season of collegiate competition, while Jenny Mosser, Anezka Szabo and Paige Shaw all transferred into the program after last season.

Fans are encouraged to follow Kansas volleyball on social media or visit the live stats page to get updates about each match as the two matches are not available to watch or listen. Also, fans are not permitted at KAI events in September based on medical recommendations by the University of Kansas Pandemic Medical Advisory Team.


Date: Friday, Sept. 25
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Stadium: Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena
First Serve: 6:30 p.m. (CT)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast


Date: Saturday, Sept. 26
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Stadium: Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena
First Serve: 4 p.m. (CT)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast

• Kansas is set to open the 2020 season against Baylor Sept. 25-26, playing two matches over two days. The Jayhawks return seven from last season’s team, including setter Sara Nielsen, who recorded 879 assists in 2019. Joining the seven returners are 10 newcomers, including three transfer hitters – Anezka Szabo, Paige Shaw and Jenny Mosser.

• Baylor finished last season with a No. 3 ranking in the final AVCA Poll, and its first trip to the NCAA Final Four. The Bears finished 29-2 and were co-champions of the Big 12 with Texas. Baylor was picked to finish second in the Big 12 preseason poll, which is voted on by the conference coaches, while a trio of Lady Bears (Yossiana Pressley, Marieke van der Mark, and Hannah [Lockin] Sedwick) earned Preseason All-Big 12 Honors. Pressley was picked as the Big 12’s Preseason Player of the Year, and is the defending AVCA National Player of the Year, and Baylor’s first Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year in program history.

• Freshman middle blocker Caroline Crawford was named Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Crawford was also named the 2019 Kansas 5A State Player of the Year.
• In 2018, Crawford aided USA’s U18 team to a gold medal at the 2018 NORCECA Women’s U18 Continental Championship in Honduras, and one year later was a member of the gold medal team at the 2019 Women’s U18 World Championship in Egypt.

• Eight Jayhawks hail from the state of Kansas, including three from Lansing, Kansas. Karli Schmidt, Caroline Crawford, Lacey Angello and Kennedy Farris each attended Lansing High School.

• The 2020 recruiting class earned a No. 10 ranking by Volley High and a No. 11 ranking by PrepVolleyball. The freshmen class includes: Caroline Crawford, Ayah Elnady, Elise McGhie, Kaiti Parks, Karli Schmidt, Molly Schultz and Kim Whetstone.

Kansas travels to Austin, Texas to play two matches Oct. 1-2 on the Longhorn Network.