After a program first Big 12 championship, Kansas released a schedule that will test itself in the non-conference before they get into Big 12 play.
Following an exhibition with UMKC, the Jayhawks will start the season in Raleigh, North Carolina in the Wolfpack Invitational. They’ll take on NC State twice with a match against Missouri State sandwiched in between.
“The fact that we are playing NC State twice on its home floor will be a great challenge for our team opening up,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said in the Kansas release. “Then you sandwich those matches with a Missouri State team most-likely favored to win a competitive Missouri Valley Conference – it shapes up to be a challenging opening weekend.”
From the Wolfpack Invitational to the Wolverine Invitational, KU will stay on the road for three matches in Orem, Utah to play Utah Valley, Long Beach State and Montana.
The first home match won’t come until September 4th, as KU plays host to Kentucky. The two basketball blue-bloods have become volleyball stalwarts in recent years as both made the NCAA Tournament second round in 2016. That will kick-start a home stand that also features the Kansas Invitational and a loaded cast of Belmont, Purdue and Creighton – the last two of which gave Kansas two of its three losses in 2016.
“We have the most competitive home non-conference schedule that we have ever had, paired with challenging lineup of matches away from home,” Bechard said in the KU release. “That jumps out at me initially – the opportunity we have to entertain some really good teams and to make a large footprint on the national stage.”
After one more road tournament in northern California, Kansas will start the Big 12 slate. It’ll get going with Sunflower Showdown rival Kansas State on September 23rd as the two sides square off in Manhattan. They’ll get the Wildcats at home on November 8th as one of five Big 12 opponents (and therefore 10 matches in the round-robin style Big 12) that also includes Iowa State, TCU and Baylor. The two circled matches once again will be against Texas, who Kansas took the Big 12 crown from in 2016. They’ll face the Longhorns in Lawrence on October 11th with the rematch in Austin on November 15th.
In total, Kansas will see nine opponents who made the NCAA Tournament in 2016. Of those nine, seven made at least the second round with two going to the Regional Final. It’ll also total 14 matches against the bunch with two per Big 12 foe.
Date – Opponent
Aug. 19 – UMKC (exhibition)
Aug. 25 – at NC State (Wolfpack Invitational)
Aug. 26 – vs. Missouri State (Wolfpack Invitational)
Aug. 26 – at NC State (Wolfpack Invitational)
Aug. 31 – at Utah Valley (Wolverine Invitational)
Sept. 1 – vs. Long Beach State (Wolverine Invitational)
Sept. 2 – vs. Montana (Wolverine Invitational)
Sept. 4 – KENTUCKY
Sept. 8 – BELMONT (Kansas Invitational)
Sept. 8 – PURDUE (Kansas Invitational)
Sept. 9 – CREIGHTON (Kansas Invitational)
Sept. 15 – vs. San Jose State (Santa Clara / San Jose State Tournament)
Sept. 15 – at Santa Clara (Santa Clara / San Jose State Tournament)
Sept. 16 – vs. Idaho (Santa Clara / San Jose State Tournament)
Sept. 23 – at Kansas State *
Sept. 27 – IOWA STATE *
Sept. 30 – TCU *
Oct. 4 – at West Virginia *
Oct. 7 – at Oklahoma *
Oct. 11 – TEXAS *
Oct. 18 – at Baylor *
Oct. 21 – TEXAS TECH *
Oct. 25 – OKLAHOMA *
Oct. 28 – at Iowa State *
Nov. 4 – at TCU *
Nov. 8 – KANSAS STATE *
Nov. 11 – BAYLOR *
Nov. 15 – at Texas *
Nov. 17 – at Texas Tech *
Nov. 25 – WEST VIRGINIA *