RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.36 (Volleyball)
— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) November 25, 2017
A post shared by Kansas Volleyball (@kuvolleyball) on Nov 25, 2017 at 7:15am PST
2017-18 Season Highlights
- During the 2017 season, Kansas volleyball (22-8) advanced to the program’s sixth-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, won at least 20 matches for the sixth-straight season and won at least 10 Big 12 Conference matches for the sixth-straight season.
- The 2017 senior class has had a profound impact on the program in the last four years, including a total of 101 wins, first-ever trips to the “Elite Eight” and “Final Four” in 2015 and a first-ever conference title in 2016. The seniors also helped guide KU to its first top-10 ranking in the AVCA Coaches Poll on Oct. 5, 2015, and spent the next 25 weeks in the top-10.
- Kansas ended the 2017 regular season with a top-25 ranking in the AVCA Coaches Poll for 45th-straight week. The Jayhawks received votes in the final poll of the season.
- KU’s .255 hitting percentage was the second-highest clip in program history.
- The Jayhawks won a program-record four matches against top-25 opponents in 2017.
- Head coach Ray Bechard completed his 20th season at Kansas in 2017. The four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year is the winningest coach in Kansas volleyball history and has led KU to all of its nine NCAA Tournament appearances.
- Three-time All-American Kelsie Payne leaves Kansas with three career records and two single-season records. The Austin, Texas, native ranks first in the KU record books in career kills (1,510), career kills per set (3.63), career hitting percentage (.334), single-season kills (496 in 2015) and single-season hitting percentage (.386 in 2015).
- Four-time All-American and three-time Big 12 Setter of the Year Ainise Havili is the all-time career assists leader at KU and the only player in Big 12 history to capture three-straight Big 12 Setter of the Year awards. She led Kansas to two of the most efficient offensive seasons in program history with a record .299 team hitting percentage in 2015 and a .255 clip in 2017. Her final career assists tally of 5,255 not only is the highest in KU history, but also the fifth-most in Big 12 Conference history. She is the only player in the Big 12’s top-10 list for career assists who played all four years of her career in the 25-point-set rally-scoring era — which offers less scoring (and assist) opportunities than the 30-point-set rally-scoring era (2001-07) and the side-out scoring era that ended following the 2000 season.
- Payne became KU’s first Big 12 Player of the Year in 2016, and was also the program’s first Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017.
- Two-time All-American Madison Rigdon owns the KU record for most aces in a three-set match during the rally-scoring era (since 2001) with six against Texas Tech on Oct. 8, 2016. In the KU record books, Rigdon stands second in career attack attempts (3,663), second in service aces (136), third in service aces per set (0.33), sixth in total points (1,495.0) and ninth in total kills (1,261).
- Seven Jayhawks graduated in May — Addison Barry, Kayla Cheadle, Havili, Tori Miller, Payne, Rigdon and Gabby Simpson. Simpson will begin her graduate studies during her final season of athletic eligibility this fall.