After leading the Kansas volleyball team to its first Big 12 title in program history, junior outside hitter Kelsie Payne was picked as the conference's Player of the Year, highlighting a long list of Jayhawks to earn postseason honors, announced Monday.
Payne is the first KU player in program history to win player of the year honors, registering 383 kills, 97 blocks and 195 digs. She became a six-rotation player for the first time in her career and finished the regular season with five 20-kill performances and eight double-doubles.
Along with Payne's top honor, senior Cassie Wait was named the conference's Libero of the Year and junior Ainise Havili was chosen as the Setter of the Year. Ray Bechard was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year, leading the Jayhawks to a 26-2 record and a program-best No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Payne, Havili, Wait and junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon were selected first-team All-Big 12, while senior middle blocker Tayler Soucie was a second-team selection and outside hitter Jada Burse was picked for the All-Freshman team.
The fifth-seeded Jayhawks will play host to Samford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Horejsi Center.