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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

KU volleyball gets regional awards

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Four Kansas University players made the first team of the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Midwest Region Team, Tayler Soucie was named the region’s Freshman of the Year, and Ray Bechard was tapped Midwest Region Coach of the Year for the second straight year.

Bechard last year became the first KU coach to earn the regional COY honor. He has led KU — 25-7 and headed to the first Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament in school history — to consecutive 25-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81.

“I’m excited that my assistant coaches, my volunteer coach and myself can all share in an award that represents all the hard work this coaching staff has done,” Bechard said.

KU’s regional first-teamers were: senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc, senior setter Eric McNorton; and junior outside hitters Chelsea Albers and Sara McClinton. Jarmoc is a three-time all-regional pick, while the other three are first-timers.

Soucie is KU’s first regional Freshman of the Year.

“I’m happy for the kids,” Bechard said. “It’s an extension of our weekend, I think. The team performed at a high level and we had a number of kids that stepped up. There’s some great momentum going within the program right now and when you advance to this level, you will have some opportunities for your team to get recognized.”

Kansas will face Washington at 7 p.m. Friday in Los Angeles.

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