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Archive for Sunday, August 26, 2001

KU Volleyball

August 26, 2001

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"It resembled a practice," said Bechard, who is entering his fourth year as KU's head coach with a 47-45 record. "It would have been a better opportunity to play against new competition."

The game between former players and current Jayhawks was ready to go until Bechard -- like several other Division I coaches -- received a letter informing him such an event would violate NCAA rules.

Any team that plays an official match before Sept. 1 is not allowed to play competitively the weekend prior to its opener. Since the Jayhawks open their season next Friday at a tournament in Charlotte, N.C., they couldn't play Saturday.

"Yeah, it's kind of a bad deal," said setter Molly LaMere, the lone senior on this season's squad. "We've been playing each other everyday in practice. But that's the rule so we tried to make the best of it and it was pretty fun."

The Jayhawks split into two teams and played three games to 30 points and one game to the regulation score of 15.

There were no red or blue jerseys, as all the Jayhawks were dressed in their home uniforms and Bechard regularly switched players from side to side and off the bench in the scrimmage that lasted an hour and a half.

Despite any official victor, all the players were energetic throughout and even more so in the final game that saw the team LaMere headed pull out a 17-15 victory.

"Well, tonight showed us we can definitely improve a lot," LaMere said. "But we did some things, switched some other things around and were able to get in a good work out."

Saturday also marked the first time KU officially played with two other rule changes. A ball that hits the net on a serve is now live. Also NCAA has incorporated rally scoring. Every ball served produces a point being scored.

Bechard believes such rules could actually help the Jayhawks, who are looking for their third straight winning season for the first time since 1991-1993.

"There are times when I think it will help us," said Bechard. "It seems to help a pass and serve team that is able to control each possession."

The Jayhawks don't have a set starting lineup yet.Some of the Jayhawks' seven freshman are in the mix to replace six letterwinners that graduated.

"Three or four enter into the mix," Bechard said. "But we'll get a better feel for things in that first tournament."

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