IRVING, Texas – Fresh off the program’s first-ever Big 12 Conference title in 2016, the 2017 Kansas volleyball team is voted second with three first-place votes in the Big 12 volleyball preseason poll released on Thursday. The Jayhawks totaled 59 points in the poll, just three shy of league favorite Texas.
“We are highly thought of in these rankings – that is a reflection of the careers our players have had to this point and the respect that other coaches have for them,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “As we all know, the results that we will work for from August to December are of utmost importance.”
KU’s three first-place votes in the preseason poll are the most in program history. The Jayhawks were also picked to finished second before the 2014 and 2016 seasons – both times with one first-place vote.
“We have great coaches in this conference,” Bechard continued. “We have administrators and universities that are putting serious resources into volleyball and that has resulted in this season building up to be one of the most competitive in Big 12 history.”
On Wednesday, KU’s returning All-American seniors Kelsie Payne, Ainise Havili and Madison Rigdon were unanimous selections to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Payne was voted the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year for the second-straight season.
The Jayhawks open the 2017 season with an exhibition match against UMKC on Aug. 19 at Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The regular season opens on the road against NC State at the Wolfpack Invitational on Friday, Aug. 25.
|BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL|
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