Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Wandering Coach, Locker-Room Splash Part of Biggest Win in KU Volleyball History

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Wandering Coach, Locker-Room Splash Part of Biggest Win in KU Volleyball History

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- Ray Bechard laughs and calls it his Valvano moment.

Shortly after his Kansas volleyball team's 3-2 victory over No. 1 USC on Saturday in San Diego -- a win that propelled his program to its first Final Four -- the 18th-year coach was shown on television running and jumping by himself, looking for someone to hug. It was similar to the famous 1983 video of former NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano running around after winning the national championship over Houston.

"Everybody's out there in the dogpile, and finally I found some coaches," Bechard said with a smile. "It was just spontaneous joy."

The party wasn't over after that.

Shortly after KU's 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 15-13 victory, players gathered in the locker room and chanted "Coach B" while waiting for his return. When he arrived, they stood on benches, raised up a blue Powerade cooler and doused him with water for the first time all season.

"Everything was soaked, but it was so worth it," KU libero Cassie Wait said. "It was electric in there."

After a mostly restless night, KU's players returned to Lawrence on Sunday afternoon and were welcomed back by 200 fans at their home in the Horejsi Center.

Ninth-seeded KU will play No. 4 Nebraska at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Final Four in Omaha, Neb.

"We're going to get right back to work tomorrow," junior Maggie Anderson said in an address to the crowd, "because we are not done."

KU's late-night victory had plenty of drama. After taking the first two sets, KU dropped the next two and fell behind 13-9 in the fifth and decisive set before taking a timeout. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.