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Kansas Volleyball picked second in Big 12; Kelsie Payne Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year

The Jayhawks will field a national-title contender in 2017.

Kansas Volleyball Kelsie Payne Ainise Havili
Kansas Volleyball Kelsie Payne Ainise Havili

The preseason coaches poll is out, and Kansas was picked to finish second in the Big 12 behind Texas for the 2017 season.

The Jayhawks picked up three first-place votes, finishing just three points behind Texas in the poll. UT picked up the other six first-place votes.

Earlier this week, Kansas placed three players on the Preseason All-Big 12 team: Kelsie Payne, Ainise Havili, and Madison Rigdon. All were unanimous selections.

Additionally, Kelsie Payne was selected as the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year for 2017. Payne was also the Big 12 Preseason POY last year, and she lived up to the billing as she earned the postseason POY as well.

Last year, the Jayhawks won the Big 12 outright over Texas, going 15-1 in Big 12 play. They will look to repeat this year; with such a strong squad returning, Kansas should be a top-10 team all year, if not top-5 and one of the favorites to make a run at a national title. The NCAA Volleyball Final Four will be played in Kansas City this year in mid-December.

The 2017 season kicks off with an exhibition match against UMKC on Saturday, August 19, at 1 PM. KU will open the season on the road at NC State. Their first official home game is scheduled for Friday, Sept 1, at 3 PM vs Long Beach State.