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Sports update

Jayhawk sports updates

Photos by Brie Severns

Led by sophomore All-American outside hitter Caroline Bien and 25th-year coach Ray Bechard, volleyball enters the season ranked No. 23, trailing only Texas (2) and Baylor (16) among Big 12 teams. The Jayhawks last year advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015. Two stars of that team, Ainise Havili, d’18, and Kelsie Payne, c’18, will have their jerseys retired Sept. 17 in Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena. …

Junior soccer defender Mackenzie Boeve was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in KU’s 1-0 victory over Northwestern Aug. 21. … Ochai Agbaji, c’22, selected 14th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA draft, in July was named Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year. … LSU assistant Dan Fitzgerald, a respected recruiter and developer of future major league talent, on June 15 was named KU baseball coach. “I have been very diligent in waiting for the right opportunity to lead a program,” Fitzgerald says, “and this was the perfect destination for me and my family.” … Alexandra Emilianov, b’22, on June 11 closed her stellar discus career with a second-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. … Representing his home country of Greece, freshman discus thrower Dimitrios Pavlidis on Aug. 6 placed fourth at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia.

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