April 26, 2011
2011 Schedule in PDF Format
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team is wrapping up spring practices this week in preparation for the 2011 season that will feature matches against eight NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. K-State volleyball coach Suzie Fritz announced her team’s 2011 schedule on Tuesday and is set to begin the campaign in Atlanta, Ga.
“We have put together a very competitive schedule with opportunities to play some of the top teams from good volleyball conferences such as the ACC, WAC, Missouri Valley and West Coach Conference,” Fritz said. “I feel strongly that our nonconference schedule will help us prepare for the rigors of the Big 12 Conference and all that it brings.”
The Wildcats will again face tough competition in the Big 12 Conference and will have the chance to fill their schedule with more nonconference matches with the new format for conference play. Instead of having one Wednesday and one Saturday off during conference play, teams now will have three Wednesdays and one Saturday off.
K-State will take on nonconference opponents from the ACC, Missouri Valley, West Coast Conference and the Western Athletic Conference among others. The Big 12 had a total of five teams make the NCAA Tournament last season with four of them advancing to the Regional Semifinals and one to the Semifinals.
The Wildcats open their season at the Georgia Tech Classic on August 26 and 27 to take on host Georgia Tech along with Louisville and Tennessee Tech. Louisville reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season after sweeping Middle Tennessee and losing in four sets to Purdue.
Following the trip to Atlanta, the Wildcats will play host to Missouri Valley member Creighton on August 30. The Blue Jays pulled off an upset over Iowa State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season before losing to Minnesota in the second round.
After playing Creighton, the Wildcats will host the annual Varney’s Kansas State Invitational at Ahearn Field House on September 2 and 3. K-State will take on BYU, Georgia Southern and Idaho over the two days of action. That tournament will also feature the only “Wildcat Weekend” of the season as fans will receive discounted admission to the match against BYU with their ticket to the football game against Eastern Kentucky. Georgia Southern brings in NCAA Tournament credentials after losing in the first round to Florida State.
The Wildcats will hit the road for another tournament to take on another NCAA Tournament participant when they travel to participate in the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational hosted by Missouri State on September 8-10. The Bears were swept in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Auburn in 2010 to be the fourth team on the schedule K-State will face from the postseason last year. The Wildcats will also take on Hofstra and South Dakota State during the event in Springfield, Mo.
Following the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational, the Wildcats will play their final home nonconference match when they take on Drake on September 12. Then, it is off to the west coast for a tournament hosted by St. Mary’s.
The Wildcats will play in the Gaels’ home tournament September 15-17 to face Sacramento State, Utah Valley State and St. Mary’s to close the nonconference schedule.
K-State will receive one of its Wednesday byes to start the conference season before taking on Baylor at home on September 24 in its first Big 12 action.
The Wildcats will then have five straight matches before receiving another bye taking on Baylor (9/24), at Missouri (9/28), at Texas A&M (10/1), Iowa State (10/5) and at Texas Tech (10/8) over that stretch.
Fritz said her team will bring a lot of youth to the court this season but has a number of starters returning. She added the new Big 12 format allows teams more rest during the grueling conference schedule, which will come in handy for all teams.
“We have a young team, with no returning seniors that will need to gain as much competitive experience as possible in a short period of time,” Fritz said. “With the new Big 12 schedule, I think that the schedule does a lot of positive things for us. It allows us an extra preseason opportunity prior to beginning the conference season, and allows for two additional byes to utilize for training and recovery when we need it. We have made significant progress this spring, but have a lot of work to do to be ready by the fall. I know that our team is committed to putting in their time this summer to prepare themselves and looks forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
K-State’s home conference matches include three against NCAA Tournament teams in October taking on Iowa State (10/5), Texas (10/15) and Missouri (10/26). Oklahoma will be the final postseason team to come to Ahearn on November 9. The Wildcats will take on in-state rival Kansas in Lawrence on October 19 and at home on November 23 for the final regular season match of the season.
Season tickets will go on sale soon with a 4-PACK available for $120. Fans can purchase reserved chairback seats for $85. A number of other options are available too for all the exciting action in Ahearn Field House this fall. When tickets go on sale, they can be purchased online at kstatesports.com or by calling the Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS.