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Kansas State to Open Volleyball Season in Hawai'i


GO WILDCATS Senior tri-captain Liz Wegner leads the Wildcats into the 2001 season.
GO WILDCATS
Senior tri-captain Liz Wegner leads the Wildcats into the 2001 season.
GO WILDCATS

Aug. 29, 2001

KANSAS STATE TRAVELS TO HAWAII TO BEGIN SEASON

#19 Kansas State (0-0, 0-0 Big 12)

At the 14th annual Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic

Dates: August 31 - September 1, 2000

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Arena: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300)

TV: Local Telecast

Radio: None for Kansas State. Hawaii will have the broadcast for all of its matches, including K-State on its website (www.uhathletics.hawaii.edu), while UCLA will have the internet broadcast of all of its matches at www.uclabruins.com.

Tournament Schedule: (Remember to add 5 hours for CST) Fri., Aug. 31 - #7 UCLA vs. Michigan, 5 p.m., HST #19 Kansas State vs. #5 Hawaii, 7 p.m., HST

Sat., Sept. 1 - #19 Kansas State vs. #7 UCLA, 5 p.m. HST Michigan vs. #5 Hawaii, 7 p.m., HST

Sun., Sept. 2 - #19 Kansas State vs. Michigan, 5 p.m. HST #7 UCLA vs. #5 Hawaii, 7 p.m. HST

Coaches: Kansas State interim head coach Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic, '94) is in her first season at the helm of the Wildcats and overall... Hawaii head coach Dave Shoji (UC Santa Barbara, '69), is 741-141-1 in his 27th season at the helm of the Wahine... UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski (UCLA, '68) is 898-212 in his 35th season at the helm of the Bruins... Michigan head coach Mark Rosen (Cal State Northridge, '85) is 35-29 in his third season at the helm of the Wolverines.

Series Records: Kansas State's all-time series records vs. tournament teams

vs. Hawaii: 0-1 (0-1 in Honolulu) vs. UCLA: 0-1 (0-0 in Honolulu) vs. Michigan: First meeting

Projected Starters for Kansas State: # Name Ht Year Pos. Hometown

3 Lauren Goehring 6-0 So.-1L MB Fort Worth, Texas Recorded the fourth-highest hitting percentage (.354) in school history in 2000

5 Laura Downey 5-9 So.-1L S La Mesa, Calif. Making her first court appearance since 1999, redshirted in 2000

6 Jenny Pollard 6-0 Jr.-2L OH North Bend, Neb. Averaged 2.15 kills per game and 2.98 digs per game in 2000

8 Lisa Mimick 5-11 Sr.-3L OH Spencer, Neb. Ranked 16th nationally in digs per game in 2000

12 Liz Wegner 5-10 Sr.-3L OH Grand Island, Neb. Honorable mention All-American by Volleyball magazine, first team All-Big 12

14 Jayne Christen 6-4 Sr.-3L MB Tecumseh, Neb. Ranked third on the team with a .319 hitting percentage in 2000

For Openers: This will be Kansas State's second appearance in a tournament hosted by the University of Hawaii... K-State appeared in the Aston's Imua Wahine Challenge Tournament on Aug. 29-31, 1997, where the Wildcats finished as the runner-up to the host Wahine... Kansas State beat Illinois State, 3-1, in the opening match then took a 3-0 victory over San Francisco before falling in three games to Hawaii... The `Cats trail the series with both Hawaii and UCLA, 1-0, while this will be their first meeting with Michigan.

Record in Season Openers... Kansas State is 19-8 all-time in season openers since the program's inception in 1974... The Wildcats are 8-3 in opening matches since 1990... The team opened the 2000 campaign with an exciting 3-2 victory over NCAA Tournament-bound Utah State at the Washington State Cougar Challenge Tournament... This marks the third straight year Kansas State has started the season on the road... The Wildcats have started the season on the road in six of the last seven seasons.

Fritz Era Begins... A new era began on August 1 when four-year assistant coach Suzie Fritz was elevated to interim head coach after the resignation of head coach Jim McLaughlin to take the head coaching job at Washington... In her four years as Kansas State, Fritz has helped the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the round of 16 in 2000, and an impressive 82-43 overall mark... A 1994 graduate of Florida Atlantic, she came to K-State in 1997 after a two-year stint as an assistant at junior college powerhouse Barton County Community College, where she helped lead the team to a 111-14 record and two top 10 finishes.

Coaches' In Their Debut... Kansas State head coaches fare well in their opening matches, as the seven previous coaches hold a 4-3 record in their coaching debuts... The Wildcats' last three coaches - Patti Hagemeyer, Jim Moore and Jim McLaughlin - won in their coaching debuts at Kansas State... However, the previous three coaches - Mary Phyl Dwight, Ron Spies and Scott Nelson - lost in their debuts... The Wildcats' first head coach, Ann Heider, beat Fort Hays State, 2-0, in the program's first-ever match... Former head coach Jim McLaughlin earned his first victory as a women's head coach at K-State in a 3-1 win over Illinois State at Aston's Imua Wahine Challenge... Incidentally, his former assistant Suzie Fritz will start her tenure in the same place - Honolulu, Hawaii - McLaughlin started his K-State career in 1997.

`Cats Rank #19 in AVCA Preseason Poll... For the third consecutive year, the Kansas State earned a ranking in the preseason AVCA/USA Today Top 25, as the Wildcats checked in at No. 19 in the annual poll released August 14 by the organization... K-State earned its highest-ever preseason ranking in 2000 when the AVCA ranked the Wildcat No. 17 in its annual poll, while the program received its first-ever preseason ranking in 1999 when the coaches ranked the `Cats at No. 23... The team received 354 total points from the 65-member coaching panel to become one of three Big 12 teams to earn a ranking in the preseason poll, following top-ranked Nebraska and 18th-ranked Texas A&M... Four other league schools - Missouri, Colorado, Texas Tech and Baylor - all received votes votes in the poll.

Coaches Pick `Cats 4th in Big 12, Wegner All-Big 12... Despite returning five starters and seven letterwinners from a team that finished a program-best second in the Big 12 in 2000, Kansas State was picked by the league coaches to finish in a fourth-place tie with Missouri in its preseason voting... The Wildcats followed the unanimous selection to win the title - reigning national champion Nebraska - second place Texas A&M and third place Colorado, whom the `Cats swept in 2000 for the first time since 1987... For the second consecutive year, outside hitter Liz Wegner was selected to the preseason all-conference team... Wegner was a first team All-Big 12 selection in 2000.

Wegner Set for Senior Season... An honorable mention All-American and first team All-Big 12 selection as a junior, outside hitter Liz Wegner enters her final year at K-State with the chance at more stardom... The holder of 17 school records, Wegner need just 180 kills this season to surpass Kim Zschau for the all-time kills record at Kansas State... She also needs just 147 digs to become just the fifth member of the double-grand club (1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career)... In 2000, she became the first K-State player to tally 500 or more kills in back-to-back seasons, while she was the fastest player to tally 1,000 kills in a career.

Tough Schedule Awaits `Cats... Ten NCAA Tournament teams, including defending national Nebraska and Final Four participant Hawaii, highlight arguably the toughest schedule in school history... In addition to matches with the Cornhuskers and Wahine, the 26-match schedule features battles with 2000, NCAA Tournament participants Colorado, Houston, Missouri, Michigan, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA and Washington State... In all, the schedule includes 15 matches with 2000 NCAA Tournament teams and eight contests with team that were either ranked or received votes in the final USA Today/AVCA Top 25, including three in the Top 10... The 16 teams on the schedule had a composite record of 300-191 (.611) in 2000 and have combined for 136 appearances in NCAA Tournaments, 10 NCAA crowns, 14 overall national titles and 26 Final Four appearances... The Wildcats will start the season with arguably the toughest first three weeks in the nation, as seven of the team's first eight opponents made it to the NCAA Tournament last season, including two that advanced to the Final Four.

Ingram Added to Staff...With the elevation of Suzie Fritz to head coach on August 1, Justin Ingram was added to complete the coaching staff... Ingram comes to K-State after spending the last nine months as the head coach of the Whitesands Volleyball Club in Sarasota, Fla. ... He spent two years as an assistant at Houston in 1998 and 1999, helping the Cougars to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

New Additions All Around... During the offseason, there were two new additions to the Wildcat family... New head coach Suzie Fritz gave birth to her first child, Thomas Jon (T.J.) on January 23... Fritz is married to former Olympic decathlete and current K-State assistant track and field coach, Steve Fritz... Assistant coach Jason Watson and his wife, Larissa, gave birth to the couple's second child, Brandon, a week later on February 1.

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