Kansas opens 2018 season with exhibition against UMKC Saturday
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas volleyball opens the 2018 season with an exhibition contest against UMKC on Saturday inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center. First serve is set for 1 p.m. Central on ESPN+ with Leif Lisec (play-by-play) and Jill Dorsey-Hall (analyst) calling the action.
- The 2018 season marks the program’s 43rd season and 21st under head coach Ray Bechard. In his time with the Crimson and Blue, Bechard has compiled a 374-240 record and guided Kansas to all of its nine NCAA Tournament appearances. Bechard is the winningest coach in program history.
- The Jayhawks and Roos are meeting for the second-straight season during exhibition play. During the regular season, Kansas leads the all-time series with UMKC, 34-1.
- UMKC head coach Christi Posey was an assistant coach at KU for 11 seasons under Ray Bechard.
- KU begins the 2018 campaign receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
- The Jayhawks were picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll behind Iowa State, Baylor and preseason favorite Texas.
- Kansas returns eight letter winners and three starters from the 2017 season. Returning starters for the Jayhawks include libero Allie Nelson, middle blocker Zoe Hill and outside hitter Jada Burse. Burse and lefty setter/hitter Gabby Simpson, a senior transfer from Colorado, are Preseason All-Big 12 honorees. After missing the 2017 season with a knee injury, 2016 starter Patricia Montero returns to KU’s rotation of outside hitters.
- Kansas posted a 22-8 overall record during the 2017 regular season and an 11-5 record during Big 12 play to earn a sixth-straight berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks ended the 2017 season receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll after being ranked in the top-25 for 45-straight weeks prior to the end of the season. KU has finished each of the last six seasons with at least a top-20 RPI ranking, finishing 2017 with a No. 20 ranking in the RPI.
- The Jayhawks will play 10 matches against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams this season.
- This year marks the 20th and final season inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center. Following the final home match of the season, the process will begin to tear-down the old “athletics center” and build-up the new Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena on the same cherished site that KU volleyball fans know and love.
- Season tickets to KU volleyball home matches inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center are sold out for the third-straight season.
The Jayhawks begin the 2018 regular season with a two-match series against Arkansas starting on Friday, Aug. 24 in Fayetteville, followed by KU’s home opener against the Razorbacks on Sunday, Aug. 26 in Lawrence.
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