Archive for Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Jayhawks crack poll, hit road to UMKC

September 14, 2004


Kansas University's volleyball team earned its first national ranking Monday following its three-match sweep at the Holiday Inn/Jayhawk Classic.

The 24th-ranked Jayhawks (7-0) will face their first test as a ranked program at 7 tonight when they travel to Kansas City, Mo., to battle Missouri-Kansas City at the Swinney Recreation Center. Kansas is 6-0 against the Kangaroos under seventh-year KU coach Ray Bechard and has won easily each time.

UMKC (2-4) is a very young squad, however, so Bechard said he wasn't sure what to expect this time around. All he knows is his squad should be in for a good battle.

"They do have some new personnel," he said. "And they're young enough in different areas for some kids to feel they have an opportunity against a Big 12 school to step up and validate who they are and what they're trying to do."

Bechard said he didn't expect the national accolades to swell the Jayhawks' heads and lead to a letdown in KU's final match before Big 12 Conference play begins Friday. He said KU was well aware the Kangaroos enter tonight's match riding a two-match win streak.

"Here's a match sandwiched in between a pretty emotional weekend at home and our Big 12 opener," he said, "and obviously the last thing we can do is overlook anybody, especially when you're playing on their home court. Anytime they can get Kansas over at their place, they're going to be as excited as can be."

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