LAWRENCE (KSNT) – The theme of 2015 for the Kansas Volleyball team was “Unprecedented.” This year, they’re trying to define “Grit.”
Coming off a historic season in 2015, finishing 30-3 and appearing in their first Final Four in program history, the Jayhawks look to make some more noise this year.
“We made it to a pretty big stage last year,” said Kelsie Payne, junior right side hitter and Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year. “We kind off got a taste of what it’s like to be an elite program, and now that we’ve gotten that, it’s making is hungrier for this year.”
Well let the Jayhawks feed, as the squad will have five returning starters, many of them being All-Big 12 players.
“We have more than half of our starters back this year,” said Ainise Havili, junior setter, “We’ve been playing with each other for 3 years now, so definitely teams recognize us and try to key on that, but I think we can handle it.”
Kansas Volleyball has always been solid in the past few years, but after a breakout season last year, the Jayhawks will be feeling something new, and that is targets on their backs, but they’re okay with it.
“Every team is going to bring their best, just like we want to bring out best against every team we play,” said Tayler Soucie, senior middle blocker. “I think if we’re focusing on our side of the net and on our training, I think we’ll be all right.
After two weeks of preseason training camp, the Jayhawks seem to pick up right where they left off.
“We’re pleased about where we’re at,” said Ray Bechard, head coach. “Obviously we’re coming off a little bit of momentum from the last 3 or 4 years, so we got kids back that are excited.”
The Jayhawks will start their season with a match-up with Mississippi State on August 26th.