LAWRENCE, Kan. - University of Kansas head volleyball coach Ray Bechard announced Wednesday another challenging schedule for the Jayhawks in 2007. Included on the upcoming KU slate are 15 matches against teams that advanced to the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
Those non-conference Kansas opponents who advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament include Michigan State, Missouri State and Oregon, while Big 12 foes Colorado, Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas are also on the KU schedule for 2007. Nebraska won the 2006 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship.
Kansas will open the 2007 season at the Oregon Invitational August 24-25. Besides Pac-10 foe Oregon, the Jayhawks will face Cal State-Bakersfield and Idaho State in Eugene, Ore. The competition doesn't get any easier for KU the following weekend as the Jayhawks head to East Lansing, Mich., and compete at the Spartan Invitational. Besides host Michigan State, Kansas will play Missouri State and Florida State.
"Opening up at Oregon, one of the top teams in one of the toughest conferences, will be a great way to get started," Bechard, who enters his 10th season at KU with a 148-127 record, said. "Michigan State and Missouri State were both NCAA Tournament teams last year and Florida State is out of the ACC, another tough league."
KU begins its 14-game home schedule Sept. 4 against UMKC in the Horejsi Family Athletic Center. That weekend, Sept. 7-8, Kansas will host the Jayhawk Invitational with contests against Saint Peters, Wyoming and Morehead State. Under Bechard, Kansas is 22-6 in home tournaments with six titles, including each of the last three seasons.
"Our own tournament also has a strong field with Wyoming of the Mountain West and Morehead State of the Ohio Valley each being conference contenders," Bechard said. "This non-conference schedule will be a great way to get ready for league play."
Big 12 competition starts Sept. 12 with a home contest against Kansas State in Horejsi. Other home battles in conference play include Texas Tech (Sept. 22), Nebraska (Sept. 26), Texas A&M (Oct. 6), Colorado (Oct. 10), Baylor (Oct. 17), Missouri (Oct. 27), Oklahoma (Nov. 3), Texas (Nov. 7) and Iowa State (Nov. 17).
"I think from top to bottom the Big 12 is very solid. We say that every year and the league's history in the NCAA Tournament shows that. It will be quite a challenge," Bechard said.
Kansas has advanced to the NCAA Tournament three of the last four seasons and looks to improve on its 10-19, 3-17 Big 12 record from 2006.
Kansas Volleyball 2007 Schedule
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME
Aug. 24-25 OREGON INVITATIONAL Eugene, Ore.
Aug. 24 Cal St.-Bakersfield 6:30 PM
Aug. 25 Idaho St. 2:30 PM
Aug. 25 Oregon 9:00 PM
Aug. 31-Sept. 1 SPARTAN INVITATIONAL East Lansing, Mich.
Aug. 31 Michigan St. 5:00 PM
Sept. 1 Florida St. 10:00 AM
Sept. 1 Missouri St. 4:00 PM
Sept. 4 UMKC LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Sept. 7-8 JAYHAWK INVITATIONAL LAWRENCE
Sept. 7 St. Peters 12:00 Noon
Wyoming 7:00 PM
Sept. 8 Morehead St. 12:00 Noon
Sept. 12 KANSAS STATE LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Sept. 15 @ Oklahoma Norman, Okla. TBA
Sept. 19 @ Missouri Columbia, Mo. TBA
Sept. 22 TEXAS TECH LAWRENCE 1:00 PM
Sept. 26 NEBRASKA LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Oct. 3 @ Iowa State Ames, Iowa TBA
Oct. 6 TEXAS A&M LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Oct. 10 COLORADO LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Oct. 13 @ Texas Austin, Texas TBA
Oct. 17 BAYLOR LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Oct. 20 @ Nebraska Lincoln, Neb. TBA
Oct. 24 @ Texas A&M College Station, Texas TBA
Oct. 27 MISSOURI LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Oct. 31 @ Baylor Waco, Texas TBA
Nov. 3 OKLAHOMA LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Nov. 7 TEXAS LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Nov. 10 @ Colorado Boulder, Colo. TBA
Nov. 14 @ Kansas State Manhattan, Kan. TBA
Nov. 17 IOWA STATE LAWRENCE 7:00 PM
Nov. 21 @ Texas Tech Lubbock, Texas TBA
Home matches in Blue and ALL CAPS