Kansas Volleyball Celebrates Sweet Season at Annual Banquet

Photo Gallery

LAWRENCE, Kan. – A year ago, the Kansas volleyball team gathered at its annual banquet to celebrate the best season in program history. On Sunday, the team met again – this time to celebrate an even bigger season at the 2013 Kansas Volleyball Banquet inside the Kansas Union.

Jim Marchiony, the Associate Athletics Director of Public Affairs and the volleyball sport administrator, started the festivities by recognizing the parents of the infamous seven-member senior class. The most decorated and successful group of players in Kansas volleyball history ended their careers at the program’s first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in December. With one last opportunity to have that group and their parents in the same room, Marchiony had a simple message.

“Ya done good,” Marchiony smiled.

He then thanked them, and the rest of the team and their families, for the jobs they did raising the 15 young ladies on the team.
Kansas Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger took the mic and reiterated the same message, but added his gratitude to the team for setting a good example with their fight and passion, as well as with their dedication to school and for holding themselves to high standards.

Head coach Ray Bechard, who was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year and the AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year for the second-straight year, then took to the podium. The 16-year coaching veteran thanked each and every member of his support staff who helped along the way, from academic counselor Dr. Scott Ward to the director of the KU volleyball band.

After enjoying a catered brunch, family, friends, staff and teammates relived the season through highlight and blooper videos, before wrapping up the event with pictures and hugs.

Team Honors and Accomplishments

  • NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16: First Sweet 16 appearance in program history
  • No. 14 Overall National Seed: Second-consecutive season to 1) earn an NCAA Tournament national seed and 2) host the first and second round in Allen Fieldhouse
  • Best Big 12 Finish: Kansas bested its third-place finish in 2012 by claiming second place in the conference for the first time in league history in 2013
  • Tied highest AVCA ranking (No. 17) in program history: Ranked or receiving votes on 13 of the 16 national polls released in 2013; No. 17 on final poll
  • NCAA RPI: KU completed the year at No. 12 in the RPI and has not been outside of the top-20 in two full seasons 

National Awards

  • AVCA All-America Third-Team: Caroline Jarmoc (second All-America honor)
  • AVCA All-America Honorable Mention: Chelsea Albers, Sara McClinton, Erin McNorton
  • AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year: Ray Bechard (second-straight)
  • AVCA Midwest Region Freshman of the Year: Tayler Soucie (first in program history)
  • AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team: Chelsea Albers, Caroline Jarmoc, Sara McClinton, Erin McNorton
  • Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District Second Team: Sara McClinton, Erin McNorton

Conference Awards

  • Big 12 Coach of the Year: Ray Bechard (second-straight)
  • Big 12 Setter of the Year: Erin McNorton
  • All-Big 12 First Team: Chelsea Albers, Caroline Jarmoc, Sara McClinton, Erin McNorton (first time three or more Jayhawks on First Team)
  • Big 12 All-Freshman Team: Tayler Soucie
  • Academic All-Big 12 First Team: Chelsea Albers, Caroline Jarmoc, Jaime Mathieu, Sara McClinton, Erin McNorton, Brianne Riley, Amy Wehrs and Kara Wehrs (led Big 12 with eight First Team selections) 

Team Highlights

  • The 2013 Jayhawks became the first team in program history to advance to the Regional Semifinals or “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Tournament after defeating Wichita State in the opening round and then Creighton in round two. KU eventually fell to No. 5-overall seeded Washington, who went on to advance to the Final Four.
  • Kansas posted its highest conference finish in the Big 12 era (12-4, 2nd place), trailing only Texas’ perfect 16-0 mark.
  • KU’s offense broke the program record for attack percentage (.254), downing the previous record of .246 set in 2003. The .254 mark checked in at second in the Big 12.
  • Aside from attack percentage, the Jayhawks also broke the program record for block assists in a single season (522) and tallied the fourth-most kills (1,801) and second-most assists (1,694) in program history.
  • The Jayhawks led the Big 12 in assists (13.55) and kills (14.41) per set, which ranked 12th and 15th in the NCAA, respectively.
  • While not known for acing teams, ranking ninth in the league, the Jayhawks were also not known for giving up aces. The Jayhawks led the conference in service aces allowed, averaging only 0.70 aces per set.

Individual Highlights

  • Redshirt senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc closed her career as the all-time blocking leader at Kansas and the only Jayhawk to post 100+ blocks in each of her four seasons. Jarmoc leaves Lawrence as the all-time blocks leader at Kansas (555).
  • On the offensive side, Jarmoc’s 1,333 career kills rank second all-time at KU, while she holds the program record for single-season (.386, 2012) and career (.327, 2010-13) attack percentage.
  • Senior libero Brianne Riley tightened her hold on the KU career digs record, becoming the first Jayhawk to surpass 2,000 career digs. Her 2,053 digs rank fourth all-time in the Big 12 record book.
  • Senior setter Erin McNorton dished out 1,517 assists in 2013 – just eight short of the most by a Jayhawk in a season (Julie Woodruff, 1,525, 1991). Her 3,089 career assists rank sixth all-time at Kansas.
  • Junior outside hitter Chelsea Albers finished the season with 339 kills, 293 digs and 110 blocks, making her the first Jayhawk to post the impressive 300-kill, 200-dig, 100-block season since former standout Cyndee Kanabel did so in 1993 (367 kills, 283 digs, 110 blocks).
  • Freshman middle blocker Tayler Soucie broke the Kansas record for most blocks in a debut season with 135. Not merely a standout among rookies, Soucie led the Jayhawks with a .339 attack percentage and 1.19 blocks per set, which ranked fourth and fifth in the Big 12, respectively. Her 12 block assists at then-No. 24 Creighton (9/10) broke KU’s single-match record.