MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State volleyball team will play another strong schedule in 2010 with a number of exciting matches against traditional powers during nonconference play. Then the Wildcats will face a Big 12 Conference schedule that saw five teams reach the Regional Semifinals of the NCAA Tournament last season while the Wildcats look to return to postseason play themselves. K-State will play a total of 11 teams from the NCAA Tournament beginning with UCLA and Hawaii at the Hawaii Chevron Classic.
K-State returns to Hawaii for the first time since playing in the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic in 2007 where the Wildcats went 1-2 defeating Louisville and falling to No. 16 Hawaii and No. 5 UCLA. This year's Chevron Classic is set for August 27-29 and will open with K-State taking on UCLA. The Wildcats will be looking for their first win over all three teams at the tournament as K-State is 0-3 all-time against the Bruins of UCLA, 0-4 against Hawaii and lost its only meeting with San Diego.
"We have always taken an aggressive scheduling approach during the pre-season and feel as though it helps us prepare for one of the most competitive leagues in the country, the Big 12," said K-State coach Suzie Fritz. "This year is no different and our pre-season schedule will present us with excellent opportunities to develop and compete. We're excited about the opportunity to return to Hawaii. They have one of the most supportive and exciting environments in women's collegiate volleyball."
Following the Hawaii Chevron Classic, K-State will return home for a four-match homestand including the annual Varney's Kansas State Invitational. K-State's first home match will be against South Dakota on Tuesday, September 1.
This year's Kansas State Invitational is slated for September 3-4 and brings Oral Roberts, Loyola-Marymount and Georgia Tech to Manhattan. Georgia Tech lost to Baylor in the first round of last season's NCAA Tournament. It will be the first meeting between K-State and Loyola-Marymount while the Wildcats have tangled with Oral Roberts 22 times and faced Georgia Tech just once with the Yellow Jackets getting the win in 2002.
After hosting their own tournament, the Wildcats head to the Kentucky Invitational on September 10-11 to take on another group of Wildcats who reached the Regional Semifinals before being eliminated by the Florida State Seminoles, who will also be at the tournament. K-State will also face Virginia Commonwealth while in Kentucky.
Then it's time to open Big 12 Conference play with the Wildcats opening at home against in-state rival Kansas on September 15.
Fritz said the Big 12 is coming off another great season that saw six teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament and five reach the Sweet 16. She is sure the Big 12 will not disappoint in 2010 and her Wildcats are ready for the challenge.
"I have been at K-State now for almost 14 years and the league has gotten stronger with each passing year," Fritz said. "Every team in the Big 12 is capable of competing at the highest level on any given night. It is a tremendous league and we will have some significant challenges to overcome our youth and inexperience but are looking forward to the tests that lie ahead."
The home schedule will feature two Wildcat Weekends beginning with the Kansas State Invitational. The Wildcats will be hosting UCLA in football on September 4 for a weekend full of exciting K-State action. On September 25, the Wildcats will play Central Florida in football and play host to Missouri in volleyball at Ahearn Field House.
Other matches of note include K-State's home match against Nebraska on October 16. Defending Big 12 Champion Texas comes to Ahearn on October 9, and Iowa State visits Manhattan on October 27.
Season tickets will go on sale this summer with reserved seats available for $85. General admission season tickets are $50 and youth tickets are priced at $40 for general admission. - k-statesports.com -