Ashlyn Driskill, a current graduate student in the KU School of Business’ MBA program and a member of KU Volleyball’s 2015 Final Four team, made her television debut Saturday night when House Hunters documented her and her husband’s search for a Kansas City home. She sat down with us in February for a Q&A about the experience, but after the episode premiered we asked a couple more questions about the show and got an update on the house (pictures included!).
Did they let you see the final version before it premiered?
No, they did not let us see even a scene from the episode before it aired! That’s why we were so nervous to announce the air date, we had no clue what it was going to look like.
What did you think of the final cut of the episode?
I think the final cut was great! They did a really good job of making everything look smooth and natural because it definitely did not feel like that during the filming process. They did cut clips that I was hoping would make the episode. We filmed for six full days and it’s crazy to think they were able to cut it down to 30 minutes. We would retry a scene four to five times because the crew thought it would be great, but we never got to see it!
What did your friends and family say?
All our friends and family loved the episode! Our realtor had a watch party the night it was aired and invited many of his clients. Everyone thought we were going to pick house #3, which was actually our least favorite, so I guess you could say our acting skills aren’t too bad!
How is the MBA going?
My MBA is going great. I decided to choose a focus in Management and will be graduating in December.
How did the remodeling turn out?
The remodel turned out great! It took a little longer than we initially planned and still have plenty of more things to do. Right when we closed on the house we did a whole kitchen remodel and had a full remodel of the downstairs bathroom. We did the exterior work all ourselves! It was a blast to do it, but took a lot of manual labor. We painted, made shutters, put up the privacy fence and did all new landscaping.
Knowing all that you do now, would you do it again? Is a career in TV in your future?
I think it would be fun to do it again since I know how the process goes, but I definitely don’t have a future career in TV. I’m not a fan of a camera being six inches from my face all day and I do not have the personality for it. My realtor, Brett Budke, who is also a KU alumnus, would be perfect in a career in TV!
In case you missed it, search for “Young Couple Seeks Kansas City Starter Home” on your cable provider or on demand.
Ric Averill retired at the end of December as artistic director of the Lawrence Arts Center, where he worked for more than 16 years. But Averill, f’72, g’85, clarified that he’s not retiring from the arts. Read full article.
Former KU volleyball standout Sara Matthews was named head volleyball coach at the University of Delaware. Matthews, d’02, served the last two seasons as an assistant coach at TCU and has also previously served on the staffs at USC and West Virginia. She was a Jayhawk Scholar in 1999, and earned Big 12 All-Academic First Team honors in 2000. Read full article.
Kathleen Warfel, c’79, is among the three actors starring in Israel Horovitz’s My Old Lady, which opened Jan. 11 at Union Station’s H&R Block City Stage, who reminisced about their careers and shared tips for success. Read full article.
A year ago Austin Barone finished up a 21-hour semester, having crammed in enough hours to graduate in December. This year, his startup business, Just Play Sports Solutions, has clients nationwide. Barone, b’16, is a former kicker on the KU football team and credits The Catalyst, KU’s student business accelerator with helping boost his business. Read full article. Have you seen a story featuring a Jayhawk? Send it our way so we can include it in a future post! Email us at email@example.com.
“What a great day to be a Jayhawk!” coach David Beaty shouted, his raspy voice barely audible amid the chaos that swarmed across Memorial Stadium’s field after KU upset Texas, 24-21, in an overtime thriller that gave Beaty his first Big 12 victory and the Jayhawks’ first in the conference since 2014.
Beaty of course was spot-on with the sentiment, but the time element was off. While football’s first victory over Texas since 1938 scored the national headlines, it was more than a great day to be a Jayhawk: From Sunday to Sunday, it was a week for the athletics ages.
Soccer sets the tone
Soccer set the tone on Sunday, Nov. 13, at Rock Chalk Park, when junior Lois Heuchan scored 40 seconds into double overtime to give the Jayhawks a 1-0 victory over Missouri in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (The Jayhawks’ second-round loss, 2-0 Nov. 18 at North Carolina, was only their third loss since mid-September.)
Men’s basketball was up next, as the Jayhawks avoided their first 0-2 start since 1972 by beating top-ranked Duke, 77-75, Tuesday in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Frank Mason’s game-winning field goal with 1.8 seconds remaining was one of KU’s most thrilling shots since Mario Chalmers nailed a three-pointer to send the 2008 national championship game into overtime.
“That was quite a play we called: ‘Just get out of his way,’” coach Bill Self said afterward. “He’s a stud.”
Recruit chooses Kansas
Billy Preston, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Los Angeles kept the buzz going Friday afternoon when he released a video announcing his college selection. Dressed in uniforms from his four finalists—KU, Indiana, USC and Syracuse—Preston played a magic-of-film one-on-one game against himself, at the end of which he turns to the camera and announces, “Rock Chalk, Jayhawks.”
Just a few hours later, Preston’s future team beat Siena, 86-65, running Self’s home record to 207-9 and passing Ted Owens on the list of all-time victories in Allen Field House.
“He’s a special coach and this is a special place,” sophomore forward Carlton Bragg Jr. said afterward. “You put those two things together and special things happen.”
Volleyball clinches championship
About 13 hours later, at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, volleyball began its final regular-season home match. Although they played without junior All-American Kelsie Payne, who injured an ankle in KU’s five-set victory Nov. 16 at West Virginia, the Jayhawks fought through another tough five-setter to defeat Iowa State and clinch at least a share of their first Big 12 championship.
“It could have been a disaster, or it could have been the best day ever, and they decided to make it the best day ever,” said coach Ray Bechard. “Our seniors weren’t going to let us lose.”
Swimmer hits career-best mark
Saturday’s action was not limited to Lawrence: freshman Jenny Nusbaum won the 200-yard freestyle at the Kansas Classic swim meet in Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium with a career-best mark of 1 minute, 48.97 seconds, and she helped her team to a 7.34-second victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay.
Cross-country makes history
On a wintry morning in Terre Haute, Indiana, sophomore Sharon Lokedi ran fifth at the NCAA cross-country championships, the best NCAA finish in the history of KU women’s cross-country and the best by any Jayhawk since John Lawson won the men’s meet in 1965.
“When it’s cold and windy like it was today, you never know what might happen in a race like this,” Lokedi said. “So my plan was just to stay up at the front, stay with the leaders and be ready for anything.”
Football upsets Texas
On a chilly afternoon and evening in Memorial Stadium, the football ’Hawks offered the first hint of a possible upset by taking a 10-7 lead into halftime against Texas. But, KU came out flat in the third quarter, and when D’Onta Foreman scored his second touchdown of the second half with 13:34 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Longhorns a 21-10 lead.
The game looked hopelessly out of reach to fans and commentators, but players never saw it that way.
“They are some resilient tough dudes,” Beaty said. “They kept believing. They kept working.”
With 10 minutes remaining in regulation, redshirt freshman quarterback Carter Stanley jolted the KU offense to life with a 20-yard run, which was immediately followed by a 15-yard run by freshman running back Khalil Herbert that set the Jayhawks up at the Texas 45 yard line. Herbert scored seven plays later on a 1-yard run, and sophomore receiver Steven Sims Jr. converted a two-point conversion to push KU to within three, 21-18, with 7:48 remaining.
Freshman safety Mike Lee halted a Texas scoring threat on the ensuing drive when he forced Foreman to fumble at the KU 13-yard-line. Senior defensive end Cameron Rosser pounced on the loose ball, the Longhorns’ fifth turnover of the game. KU then gave the ball back on downs, but when Texas tried to close the game out by converting on fourth and 5 from the KU 32, sophomore linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. scored the biggest of his game-high 16 tackles by stopping Foreman 2 yards short.
The Jayhawks took over on their own 29 with 58 seconds remaining. Three receptions by senior running back Ke’aun Kinner and a 15-yard penalty against Texas set KU up at the Longhorns’ 19, where, with seven seconds left in regulation, senior Matthew Wyman tied the game with a 36-yard field goal.
On the second play of overtime Lee again stepped up big, intercepting a Texas pass. Needing only a field goal to win, KU pushed forward behind five Kinner rushes, allowing Wyman to win the game with a 25-yard field goal.
The season finale awaits Saturday at Kansas State, but that rivalry’s renewal was on nobody’s mind as the Jayhawks celebrated madly.
Well, almost nobody’s.
“We have a huge, huge mountain to climb to get ready to play those guys,” Beaty said. “But it’s going to be a lot easier and a lot more fun preparing tomorrow with the result we got today.”
Women’s basketball team closes week with a win
And still more was yet to come: Women’s basketball closed out the remarkable week that was with a 68-58 victory at Memphis, the Jayhawks’ first win of the season and the first regular-season road victory for second-year coach Brandon Schneider.
Updated 8/26/2014: The #IceBucketChallenge has been sweeping newsfeeds across the country, and members of the University of Kansas community have accepted the challenge—including men’s basketball coach Bill Self:
Not familiar with this bizarre-but-funny social media phenomenon? No, it’s not a way to keep cool during the warm summer months. The challenge began as a creative way to spread awareness of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and quickly went viral. Participants are doused, on video, with buckets of ice water and then post said video to their social networks while nominating their friends to take the challenge.
Those who choose not to take the challenge are encouraged to make a donation to an ALS charity, but it’s obvious that many of the people getting drenched are also making donations. The most popular beneficiary is the ALS Association at alsa.org. Those looking to support ALS research at KU can contribute at www.kuendowment.org/neurology.
The NCAA volleyball tournament returns to Allen Field House for the second-consecutive year with Friday’s first-round matches between Kansas and Wichita State and Arkansas and Creighton. More than 8,000 fans turned out for the two tournament rounds last year, making Allen Field House the best-attended site for the tournament’s opening weekend. And this time, fans will get to see the Jayhawks seek to avenge their second-round upset loss to Wichita State.
After posting the best win percentage in school history in 2012, this year’s Jayhawks finished the regular season second in the Big 12 at 12-4, trailing only Texas, the defending national champs. As the top seed in its pod, KU, ranked No. 21 in the most recent national poll and seeded No. 14 overall in the tournament, faces an unusually strong pod fourth seed in Wichita State. The Shockers tied for the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title and won the MVC Tournament, and are 28-6 overall.
The Jayhawks are led by Ray Bechard, who in his 16th season was named Big 12 Coach of the Year for the second-consecutive year. Senior Erin McNorton, the Big 12’s assists leader the past two seasons, was unanimously voted Big 12 Setter of the Year. Also named All-Big 12 First Team were senior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc and junior outside hitters Sara McClinton and Chelsea Albers. Tayler Soucie, the league’s fifth-best blocker, was named to the All-Big 12 freshman team.
The first match, Creighton vs. Arkansas, begins at 4 p.m. Friday, followed at 6:30 by KU vs. Wichita State. The two winners meet Saturday at 6:30, and that winner advances to the Los Angeles Regional Dec. 13-14 at the University of Southern California.
Tickets purchased in advance are $12 for reserved seats for all sessions and $10 for general admission. On game days, reserved tickets are $7 reserved and $6 general admission. KU students and children 2 and under are admitted free for all sessions.
Have you seen the Harlem Shake videos taking the internet by storm? It’s the latest internet meme to go viral, and various groups in the KU community have created their own version, including the men’s basketball team, the volleyball team and even the student body.
What is it? It’s basically a video lasting around 30 seconds that features an excerpt from the song “Harlem Shake.” The video often starts with one person dancing with a group of people sitting or standing around the dancer and pretending not to notice the activity. After about 15 seconds, the video switches to the entire crowd dancing for the remainder of the video, often wearing crazy costumes. In a word, it’s silly.
A better question is “why is it.”
Here’s a roundup of the Harlem Shake videos we found that feature KU students.
KU volleyball team
KU men’s basketball team
Big Jay and the KU student section at the KU vs. Texas game
KU rowing team
KU students on Wescoe Beach (click here to read the Kansan coverage)
Who have we missed? Let us know by tweeting to us (@kualumni) or dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The KU women’s volleyball team enjoyed unprecedented success this season, earning a No. 11 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and finishing the year with a 26-7 record- the best winning percentage in the program’s history.
Last weekend, the program hosted the NCAA First and Second rounds for the first time in KU history. The Jayhawks beat Cleveland State in the first round and ended their historic season with a loss to Wichita State in the second round.
Alumnae of the KU volleyball program gathered before the NCAA Tournament
Before the match, KU Alumni staff members Mike Davis and Caitlin Wise had a chance to chat with several former players: Nancy (Bell) Dorsey, d’02, g’04; Ana (Kreimer) Horbelt, d’00; and Amy (Myatt) Macrorie, d’02, g’05.
Dorsey is currently a teacher and volleyball coach at St. James Academy in Lenexa, and her friends were quick to share that Dorsey’s team had just won its fifth straight state title, while Dorsey herself was named Class 5A Coach of the Year.
The three former players shared how excited they are about the Kansas volleyball program’s success, their pride in being Jayhawks and that no matter how much time has passed, the teammates are able to pick right up as though they just saw each other yesterday.
Dorsey hopes to have alumni reunions for her high school teams in the future, so her players can experience the same type of camaraderie that the KU teammates enjoy so much.
“The reminiscing is the best part about coming back.”