Jayhawks Well-Represented on AVCA Regional Honors
LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 9 Kansas Volleyball added to its list of unprecedented accomplishments this season as head coach Ray Bechard was named American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Midwest Coach of the Year and threeJayhawks were named to the AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team and, the Association announced on Tuesday.
Bechard earns AVCA Regional Coach of the Year award for the third time in the last four years after being recognized for his efforts in 2012 and 2013. Also the 2015 Big 12 Coach of the Year, Bechard is leading 9th-ranked Kansas into its second all-time appearance in the NCAA Championship Regionals with a program-record .933 winning percentage (28-2).
KU’s AVCA All-Midwest Region honorees include sophomore setter Ainise Havili, sophomore right-side hitter Kelsie Payne, and junior middle blocker Tayler Soucie. The same three Jayhawks were named to the All-Big 12 First Team.
Havili, the Big 12 Setter of the Year, earns AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team honors for the second consecutive season, becoming just the third Jayhawk to earn first-team all-region honors in multiple seasons.
The Midwest region is the largest region in the AVCA and is comprised of 40 teams from eight conferences – Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big Sky, MAC, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Summit League, and WAC.
Coach Bechard and the trio of Jayhawks will now be considered for AVCA National Coach of the Year and AVCA All-America status, respectively. The AVCA All-America Teams will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 16, and the AVCA National Coach of the Year will be announced Thursday, Dec. 17.
No. 9-seed Kansas faces Loyola Marymount in the NCAA Championship round of 16 on Friday (7:30 p.m. CT, ESPN3) at Jenny Craig Pavilion on the campus of the University of San Diego.
KU’s AVCA Region Coaches of the Year
Ray Bechard – 2012, 2013, 2015
KU’s AVCA All-Region First Team honorees
Chelsea Albers – 2013, 2014
Ainise Havili – 2014, 2015
Caroline Jarmoc – 2012, 2013
Josi Lima – 2003
Sara McClinton – 2013
Erin McNorton – 2013
Kelsie Payne – 2015
Tayler Soucie – 2015
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.