Lima averaged 3.15 kills per game on a .313 attack percentage and added 2.03 digs per game in 2003 as the Jayhawks finished 22-11 overall and 13-7 in the Big 12 (tied for third). After earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors in 2002, Lima was named to the All-Big 12 First Team again in 2003 and became the first Jayhawk to earn the league honor two years in a row. Lima was also the first Jayhawk to be named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region Team.
Caten (pronounced ka-TAIN), a 6-3 outside hitter, spent her freshman and sophomore seasons at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan. She averaged 3.35 kills and a .415 attack percentage as a sophomore and posted 4.49 kills and 2.17 digs in her freshman season with the Cougars.
Caten was named a NJCAA First-Team All-American as a sophomore in 2003 and Second-Team All-American in 2002. In addition, Caten earned NJCAA First-Team All-Tournament honors after leading the Cougars to the 2003 NJCAA National Championship.
Brown, a 6-2 primary setter and outside hitter, is a three-time all-league selection out of Baldwin High School. She earned all-state and All-American Fab 50 honors, was named the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year and led Baldwin to a second-place class 4A state finish in 2003. As a senior, Brown led Baldwin High in kills, assists and attack percentage and finished the season leading state of Kansas in attack percentage and ranked in the top five in passing efficiency.
Kansas head coach Ray Bechard and the Jayhawks opened practice Monday at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center with 10 returning letterwinners and five newcomers present and accounted for. Lima, junior setter Andi Rozum, senior middle blocker Ashley Michaels, senior libero Jill Dorsey and sophomore outside hitter Jana Correa return healthy from the 2003 starting lineup.
KU made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2003, sweeping Long Beach State before bowing to No. 4 Pepperdine 3-1 in the Second Round.
Big 12 Conference Preseason Team:
Josi Lima, Kansas
Melissa Munsch, Texas A&M
Melissa Elmer, Nebraska
Gabby Guerre, Kansas State
Lindsay Hunter, Missouri
Bethany Howden, Texas
Big 12 Conference Preseason Player of the Year: Melissa Elmer, Nebraska
Big 12 Conference Preseason Freshman of the Year: Emily Brown, Kansas & Sara Paven, Nebraska Big 12 Conference Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Paula Caten, Kansas