Courtesy: KU Athletics
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kansas volleyball will begin the 2017 season ranked No. 8 in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll released on Wednesday. The reigning Big 12 champion Jayhawks have been ranked 32-straight times in the AVCA poll.
Kansas will face four teams ranked in the preseason rankings, including No. 1 Texas, No. 9 Creighton, No. 14 Kentucky and No. 25 Purdue. The Jayhawks face Creighton, Kentucky and Purdue all during the same week, starting Sept. 4 against UK, followed by back-to-back matches against the Boilermakers and a Bluejays on Sept. 8 and 9, respectively. The Jayhawks and Longhorns will face twice during Big 12 Conference play on Oct. 11 at home and Nov. 15 on the road.
In addition to Kansas and Texas in the preseason top-10, three Big 12 teams received votes in Wednesday’s poll (Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas State)
KU has now been ranked in the top-10 for 26 of the last 27 AVCA polls. Last season, KU maintained a top-10 national ranking throughout the regular season until an early loss in the NCAA Tournament brought the Jayhawks’ final ranking to No. 12.
In head coach Ray Bechard’s 20th season at KU, the Jayhawks return a trio of All-Americans, including Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Kelsie Payne, Ainise Havili and Madison Rigdon. Kansas opens the 2017 season with an exhibition match against UMKC on Aug. 19 at Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The regular season begins on the road against NC State at the Wolfpack Invitational on Friday, Aug. 25.