MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State will launch its 2008 volleyball campaign on Fri., August 28th, in the first of 31 scheduled matches. The Wildcats are slated to match-up against 11 NCAA Volleyball Tournament participants from 2007, including five in tournaments prior to Big 12 Conference season.
K-State will open the year with two-straight tournaments on the road and open against Tennessee State, Duke and Purdue at an event hosted by the Boilermakers. The Wildcats will take on Tennessee State on opening day and conclude the tournament against Duke and Purdue on Saturday. K-State will be facing both Tennessee State and Duke for the first time and holds a 1-1 series record versus Purdue. All three opponents were part of the 2007 tournament field, with Tennessee State falling in the first round and Duke and Purdue advancing to the second round.
The Wildcats will then take part in a three-day event hosted by the University of Portland in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 4-6. On Thursday, K-State will face UC Irvine and then move on to a two-match Friday against Arizona State and Portland. The Wildcats will end the weekend with a battle versus South Florida on Sat., Sept. 6th. KSU has earned a 2-3 record against UC Irvine, Portland and South Florida and will be taking on the Sun Devils for the first time.
In their home opener, K-State will greet Cal State Bakersfield on Sept. 8th for a 7 p.m. match in Ahearn Field House. The Wildcats will keep the welcome mat rolled out as they then host their annual home tournament which will stretch over Fri., Sept. 12th and Sat., Sept. 13th. Cornell will join NCAA tourney teams Liberty and Northern Iowa for a round-robin event that will feature two matches on Friday and four on Saturday. K-State will face Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. on Friday, Cornell at noon Saturday and close the tournament versus Liberty at 7 p.m. In school history, the Wildcats have obtained a 5-3-1 record versus UNI and will have a first-time match-up against both Cornell and Liberty.
K-State, who took third in the conference last season with a 14-6 record, will open Big 12 play with a series of two home contests including a league-opening brawl versus Nebraska on Wed., Sept. 17th. The Cornhuskers are coming off of a 2007 campaign in which they fell to California for a trip to the semifinals. K-State will face Colorado the following Saturday, Sept. 20th, and look to continue a streak of two wins over the Buffalos.
During the final week of September, K-State will have its first conference road match as the Cats travel to College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M on Sept. 24th. Three days later, K-State returns to Ahearn Field House to face Baylor at a to-be-determined time for a Wildcat Weekend as football takes on UL-Lafayette.
The month of October will pose a threat with five out of eight matches away from Manhattan and opens with three out of the first four being contested on the road. The Wildcats will start with a renewal of the Sunflower State rivalry on Oct. 1st as K-State travels to Lawrence, Kan., to face Kansas. KSU will then make a trip to Austin, Texas, to take on the 2007 Regional Finalist Longhorns on Oct. 4th.
On Oct. 8th, K-State returns home to face 2007 tournament participant Missouri in a Wednesday match-up. That Saturday, the Wildcats again hit the road to travel to Oklahoma in Norman. After having their first of two off days, the Cats will face Texas Tech in Ahearn on Sat., Oct. 18th.
The next week, K-State will again play road warriors with a pair of away challenges. On Wednesday, the Wildcats travel to Ames, Iowa, to face Iowa State for the first time of the season. The Cyclones are coming off of arguably their best season in school history after advancing to Regionals of the NCAA Tournament. The Cats then turnaround and travel to Waco, Texas, to take on Baylor in a Saturday showdown.
The second half of conference play begins with a three-match home stand and opens versus Texas A&M on Oct. 29th. The Saturday match will feature the final installment of the season against in-state rival Kansas. The final home match of the stretch will pit the Wildcats against the Sooners on Nov. 5th.
The Wildcats return to the road on Nov. 8th as they face Nebraska and remain in flight to face Colorado in Boulder, Colo., on Wed., Nov. 12th. The Longhorns will be welcomed to Ahearn on Nov. 15th as part of a Wildcat Weekend when the Wildcat football team will face Nebraska.
Down the homestretch prior to tournament play, K-State will play at Missouri on Wed., Nov. 19th before enjoying their final break on Saturday. In the final week, K-State will host Iowa State for Senior Night on Wed., Nov. 26th. To close the season, the Wildcats travel to Lubbock, Texas, to face Texas Tech on Nov. 29th.
The 2008 NCAA Tournament will feature first and second rounds with possible dates ranging between Dec. 4th and 7th and continue on to Regionals being hosted Dec. 11th-14th. The Qwest Center Omaha in Nebraska will play host to the semifinals and championship game on Dec. 18th and 20th, respectively.
Broadcast dates for radio and television will be announced at a later date.