The National Invitational Volleyball Championship figures to be good therapy for Kansas.
When the Jayhawks play in the 20-team postseason tournament Friday through Sunday in Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium, their near-miss of the Big Eight tournament will be the last thing on their minds.
Kansas finished the regular season 16-12, including 5-7 in the Big Eight for a fifth-place league finish. That left the Jayhawks out of the Big Eight tournament, for which a fourth-place finish was needed to qualify.
"It helps because it didn't end our season," KU coach Frankie Albitz said. "It's such an exciting tournament for teams."
KU's first match will be 11:30 a.m. Friday against Georgia Tech. The Jayhawks will meet Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Friday, Siena at 2 p.m. Saturday and Louisiana State at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Kansas is the top seed in pool D. Pool play will be Friday and Saturday, with matches at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each team will play two matches on Friday and Saturday to determine the four pool champions.
The semifinals will be 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by the championship match at 1 p.m.
Oklahoma is seeded first in pool A, which includes Utah, Stephen F. Austin, Hofstra and Morehead State.
Butler is the No. 1 seed in pool B, which also consists of Central Florida, Oregon State, Baylor and Hartford.
Sacramento State, the top seed in pool C, is joined by Northern Iowa, Arkansas State, Wright State and Lehigh.
Kansas received an automatic bid to the NIVC because it is a co-host.
"It's a pride factor for us," KU senior Cyndee Kanabel said. "I think the seed that we have proved we would have been able to make it without being the host team."
The Jayhawks are ranked 14th in the Mideast Region. KU also competed in the tournament in 1990.
"It's just a great experience for teams," Albitz said, "and we're really looking forward to it."
"It give us more experience," sophomore Lesli Steinert said, "because it give us that extra week together."