Three Former Wildcats to Play in New Pro Volleyball League
Jan. 17, 2002
Manhattan, Kan. - Kansas State will have three former players involved in the newly-formed United States Professional Volleyball League when the inaugural season of the four-team league kicks off in February.
Kelle Branting (1997-2000), Dawn Cady Sullivan (1996-99) and Kim Zschau (1995-98) will all play for the Grand Rapids Force franchise and compete against three other teams, the Chicago Thunder, Minnesota Chill and St. Louis Quest. The league intends to announce six more teams for the 2003 season and continue to expand by four teams until the league reaches at least 20 teams. The Force will kick off the 18-match regular season on Feb. 6 at home against Chicago. The team will play all home matches at the Delta Plex in Grand Rapids.
The league, which is based out of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., was founded by William Kennedy, the founder and CEO of the Kennedy Group of Companies, a consortium of independent customized home builders, land developers and property managers throughout the United States. He has worked the last five years to make a serious commitment to develop a professional league in the United States. The mission of the league is three-pronged (1) to promote the booming popularity of volleyball, (2) offer professional athletic career opportunities and (3) create new role models for young women.
Branting ranks among the best middle blockers to ever play at Kansas State, as she holds the school record for kills by a middle blocker with 1,184 in her four-year career. She also ranks among the top 10 in seven career categories, including second in games played (445), third in block assists (408) and fourth in hitting percentage (.295). She was named first team All-Big 12 and All-Central Region as a senior in 2000 en route to helping the Wildcats to their first-ever appearance in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Cady Sullivan was the first player in school history to be named an All-American when she was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) team as a second team choice as a senior in 1999. She led the Wildcats to their most successful four-year period in school history with an 86-43 overall record and was apart of the first senior class at K-State to make four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The holder of eight school and four Big 12 records, she was also named an honorable mention All-American by Volleyball magazine, All-Central Region and a unanimous first team All-Big 12 selection. A three-time first team Academic All-Big 12 honoree, she was selected as the state of Kansas 2000 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Zschau became the first Wildcat outside hitter since Shawnee Call in 1988 to earn first team All-Big 12 honors when she was named unanimously in 1998. The school's single-season (455) and career (1,578) leader in digs, she saw both her career records in kills (1,646) and total attacks (4,632) fall to Liz Wegner this past season. The school's all-time leader in games played with 457, Zschau is one of just five players in school history to tally over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career.
To find out more information about the U.S. Professional Volleyball League, please contact Michael Miazga, Director of Media and Public Relations at (888) THE-USPV or visit the league's website at www.uspv.com.