LAWRENCE, Kan. – Head coach Ray Bechard has announced the 2022 Kansas Volleyball schedule, which will feature 28 matches for the Jayhawks, including 15 against NCAA Tournament qualifiers from a year ago. KU will play 12 non-conference matches before playing 16 against Big 12 Conference foes.
Kansas opens the season with two road tournaments. The Jayhawks will first play in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Utah Classic on Aug. 26-27, taking on Utah Valley, Utah and Loyola Marymount. The second weekend takes KU to West Point, New York, for the Black Knights Invitational on Sept. 2-3, where KU will face Temple, Army and UConn.
Following a non-conference road trip to Kansas City on September 7, the Jayhawks will host consecutive tournaments, with the Kansas Invitational on Sept. 8-9, followed by the Jayhawk Classic on Sept. 15-17. KU’s first home match of the year will be against Wichita State on Sept. 8, followed by a match against UNLV on Sept. 9. Opponents on the second weekend include Lipscomb, UCF and Omaha, which will conclude non-conference play.
“I like the way our schedule sets up, allowing us to play some strong non-conference competition early in the season,” Bechard said. “Our opening weekend includes a pair of NCAA Tournament teams in Utah Valley and Utah and we are thrilled about the opportunity for our team to go to Army. At home, we have two strong tournaments with programs that will bring a great volleyball brand to Lawrence. Those matches will be a great way to get us prepped and ready for an exciting Big 12 schedule.”
Big 12 Conference play begins in late September, as Kansas will face each of the other eight teams twice, once at home and once on the road, to determine the league champion. Conference play opens at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena on Sept. 21, as reigning Big 12 Champion Texas comes to town. The Jayhawks will then travel to Kansas State (Sept. 24) and Oklahoma (Sept. 28), before returning home to host Baylor on Oct. 1.
KU travels to Iowa State on Oct. 7 before hosting back-to-back matches against TCU (Oct. 12) and Texas Tech (15). The Jayhawks have a week off in between trips to West Virginia (Oct. 19) and TCU (Oct. 26), then play two straight at home against Oklahoma (Oct. 29) and Kansas State (Nov. 2).
The stretch run includes three road games and two at home as KU goes to Baylor on Nov. 5 prior to hosting West Virginia on Nov. 12. The next road trip is to Austin to face Texas on Nov. 16 in advance of Senior Day in Lawrence against Iowa State on Nov. 19. Kansas will then close out the regular season at Texas Tech on Nov. 25.
“We will be competing against high-level teams in a Big 12 Conference that had seven teams in the NCAA Tournament last year, which was the most for the league in more than a decade,” Bechard said. “I don’t see any reason why the league won’t grow and mature from that, so I expect our league to be more competitive than ever this fall.”
Kansas returns 10 players who competed during the 2021 season, including seven who appeared in at least 75 sets. The Jayhawks also have a pair of returning All-Big 12 selections in Caroline Bien and Camryn Turner. Bien, a sophomore outside hitter, was named the 2021 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and an All-Big 12 First Team selection before going on to become the AVCA Regional Freshman of the Year and an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American. Turner, a sophomore setter, also earned a spot on the 2021 All-Big 12 Rookie Team.
The Jayhawks finished with a record of 18-12 in 2021, including a share of third place in the Big 12 standings at 8-8. KU was then picked for its 10th NCAA Tournament in program history and headed to Omaha, Nebraska, where the Jayhawks defeated No. 19 Oregon and No. 20 Creighton to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the third time in program history.