The 2019 Kansas volleyball regular-season schedule includes 11 matches in the new Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. In all, the Jayhawks will play 18 matches against teams that finished the 2018 season in the NCAA Volleyball RPI top-100, and eight matches against teams that made the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
The Jayhawks are set to play their first season in the new, 30,000-square-foot arena, which will feature seating for 2,400 fans and a 2,500 square-foot hospitality mezzanine with loge seating overlooking the court.
Fans wanting to experience the new arena and the 2019 fall schedule can purchase tickets by visiting KUAthletics.com and accessing the tickets tab or by calling the ticket office at 800.34.HAWKS.
Kansas opens up play with an exhibition at Wichita State in Charles Koch Arena, Saturday, Aug. 17. The Shockers finished the 2018 season 14-18, 8-10 in American Athletic Conference play.
The Jayhawks will play 10 nonconference matches, three of them in HFVA. KU opens regular-season at Kansas City (formerly UMKC) on Friday, Aug. 30, before traveling to Omaha (formerly University of Nebraska, Omaha) for a single match on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
“The nonconference schedule allows us to compete against really good teams in different regions,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “We travel to UCF (Central Florida) where we will also play South Carolina and then compete at UNLV where we will also play Arizona State. Prior to our travel to Orlando and Las Vegas, we play strong competition from our region in Kansas City (formerly UMKC), Omaha and an exhibition against Wichita State. All of these opportunities provides us valuable road experience.”
After its two matches against local competition, Kansas heads to Orlando, Florida, to play in the UCF Tournament against Albany, Friday, Sept. 6, South Carolina, Saturday, Sept. 7, and tournament host UCF, Sunday, Sept. 8. UCF finished the 2018 season ranked No. 13 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, and was a 2018 NCAA Tournament participant.
The Jayhawks return home to open the new arena, Sept. 12-15, hosting the Kansas Invitational. KU will play Morehead State on Thursday, Sept. 12, before playing Arizona on Friday, Sept. 13. Arizona finished 2018 ranked No. 39 in the RPI after a 22-10 season.
After a one-day break KU concludes the tournament against Syracuse on Sunday, Sept. 15.
“To bring quality opponents into our new arena for the first time — Syracuse, Arizona and Morehead State — it is going to be a great way to start the new era of Kansas volleyball in the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena,” Bechard said.
In its final tuneup before Big 12 action, Kansas travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Rebel Challenge in the Cox Pavilion at UNLV. The Jayhawks clash with Arizona State Friday, Sept. 20, before playing tournament host UNLV Saturday, Sept. 21.
BIG 12 SCHEDULE
“It sounds like I am on repeat, but the Big 12 has teams with new momentum at programs with new coaching staffs that are starting to take hold,” Bechard said. “Texas is going to contend for the national championships, while a bunch of teams will start the season as a top-25 team.”
KU opens up Big 12 play against Baylor in Lawrence Saturday, Sept. 28, before a two-match road swing at Iowa State Wednesday, Oct. 2 and Oklahoma Saturday, Oct. 5.
After hosting West Virginia Thursday, Oct. 10, the Jayhawks travel to Lubbock, Texas, to play Texas Tech Wednesday, Oct. 16, before a home match against TCU Saturday, Oct. 19.
The first edition of the Dillions Sunflower Showdown with Kansas State will take place in Manhattan, Kansas, Wednesday, Oct. 23. KU then hosts reigning Big-12 Champion Texas Saturday, Oct. 26.
Two more matches in HFVA — against Oklahoma Saturday, Nov. 2, and Texas Tech Wednesday, Nov. 6, round out a three-match homestand for the Jayhawks.
KU continues the Big 12 grind at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 9, and Baylor in Waco, Texas, Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the second of three Texas trips this season.
The Jayhawks then host in-state rival K-State on Saturday, Nov. 16, in the Lawrence edition of the Dillions Sunflower Showdown before traveling to Austin to battle Texas in Gregory Gymnasium Saturday, Nov. 23.
“The schedule is full of challenges, but also full of opportunities,” Bechard said. “We look forward to opening our new arena and the season ahead.”
In the final week of the season, KU hosts Iowa State Wednesday, Nov. 27, before traveling to Morgantown, West Virginia, for the regular-season finale at West Virginia Saturday, Nov. 30.