No. 25 K-State Concludes Homestand Against Arkansas State Sunday
Sept. 6, 2002
ARKANSAS STATE (3-2) VS. (25) KANSAS STATE (3-1)
Sunday, September 8, 2002 * Ahearn Field House (5,000) * Manhattan, Kan.
*First Serve: 12 p.m. (CST)
*Radio: Can be heard on the radio at 1350 AM KMAN in the Manhattan area or over the internet at www.k-statesports.com or at www.1350kman.com. Brian Smoller will handle the play-by-play with Lori Martini providing the analysis.
*The Records: Kansas State has a 3-1 record and has won three straight since a 3-2 loss to No. 18 Colorado State on August 30 to open the season... Arkansas State boasts a 3-2 record and has lost two in a row since opening the season with three consecutive wins.
*Rankings: Kansas State dropped three spots from No. 22 to No. 25 in the AVCA/USA Today Top 25 poll released Monday... Arkansas State is not ranked.
*K-State Coach Suzie Fritz: Fritz (Florida Atlantic, '94) is in her second year at Kansas State. She owns an overall record of 23-9 (.719) with the Wildcats.
*ASU Coach Craig Cummings: Cummings (Cal Poly SLO, '82) is in his seventh year at Arkansas State. He owns an overall record of 127-72 (.638) with the Indians and is 208-182 (.533) in 13 years as a head coach.
*Series: The series is tied at 1-1. ASU won the first meeting on October 30, 1993 by a score of 3-2, while K-State won the last meeting, 3-1, on September 15, 1995.
K-STATE CONCLUDES SHORT TWO-MATCH HOMESTAND AGAINST ARKANSAS STATE
The 25th-ranked Kansas State women's volleyball team (3-1, 0-0 Big 12) concludes its brief two-match homestand on Sunday, as the Wildcats play host to Arkansas State (3-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) at Ahearn Field House beginning at 12 p.m. ... The two teams will be meeting for the first time since 1995 when the Wildcats posted a 3-1 win over the Indians at the Stephen F. Austin Invitational... This will be the third meeting between the two schools with the series tied 1-1. Kansas State has won three in a row, all in three games, since dropping the season opener to host and No. 18 Colorado State on August 30 at the University Park Holiday Inn Classic... The Wildcats are coming off an impressive 30-20, 30-14, 30-21 drubbing of in-state rival Wichita State on Tuesday in the home season opener... The team now holds a 24-3 record in home openers since 1977, including its current 10-match winning streak that dates to 1993... Senior co-captain Jennifer Pollard led a balanced K-State attack in the three-game sweep with seven kills on .438 hitting, while juniors MB Lauren Goehring and OH Cari Jensen each chipped in six kills apiece. Arkansas State enters Sunday's match with a 3-2 record after dropping a four-game match to Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday at home... The Indians, members of the Sun Belt Conference, won three in a row to begin the season before losing to TCU in the ASU Classic title match and then to SEMO on Tuesday... Sophomore OHs Tessa Millikan and Caitlyn Mitchell were named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament team last weekend... Sophomore MH Heather Malaschak paces the team in kills/game (3.17) and blocks/game (0.89), while junior L Denay Oesterblad leads in digs/game (4.30). The match against Arkansas State will be the last before a brutal stretch of matches against teams ranked or receiving votes in the latest AVCA Top 25 poll... Kansas State begins play at the South Florida Adidas Invitational on Friday, September 14 against the host USF Bulls (2-2) before concluding play on Saturday against No. 12 Michigan State (3-0) and ACC foe Georgia Tech (3-1)... The Wildcats then return home on September 18 to face No. 2 Nebraska (2-1) on in the Big 12 opener for both clubs.
RECAPPING WICHITA STATE... Kansas State used impressive serving and defense to sweep Wichita State for the fifth straight time on September 3 by scores of 30-20, 30-14, 30-21... The Wildcats tied a season-high with 10 service aces, including three each from sophomore Michaela Franklin and redshirt freshman Katie Stanzel, and took advantage of 11 service errors by the Shockers... Defensively, K-State held four WSU players to a negative hitting percentage and, in all, held the Shockers to a paltry .028 hitting percentage on the night... The team used a balanced offensive attack with five players tallying five or more kills paced by senior co-captain Jennifer Pollard's match-high seven kills on .438 hitting... Sophomore S Gabby Guerre added a solid all-around effort with five kills on .500 hitting to go with 28 assists, one ace, seven digs and three blocks.
KANSAS STATE FALLS TO No. 25 IN AVCA POLL... After starting the season with a 2-1 record, Kansas State dropped three spots from No. 22 to No. 25 in the latest AVCA/USA Today poll released on Monday... The ranking is the lowest since also ranking No. 25 in the November 5, 2001 poll... The team finished the 2001 season with a ranking in each of the last five weeks of the poll, including a season-best 18th in the final poll, the program's fourth straight final Top 25 ranking.
'CATS FINISH AS RUNNER-UP AT CSU UNIVERSITY PARK CLASSIC... Kansas State finished as the runner-up to host Colorado State at the University Park Holiday Inn Classic held over the weekend in Fort Collins, Colo. ... The Wildcats posted a 2-1 record, losing a five-game heartbreaker to the host Rams before sweeping matches against Connecticut and Western Michigan to conclude the tournament. For their stellar efforts, junior MB Lauren Goehring and junior L Laura Downey-Wallace were named to the all-tournament team with Goehring garnering most valuable player honors... Goehring posted 3.18 kills/game on .460 hitting percentage in the three-match tournament, the fifth-highest hitting percentage by a player in the 16-year history of the tournament... Downey-Wallace was the tournament's top libero, averaging a tournament-best 3.82 digs/game... Downey-Wallace, who's sister, Karrie Larsen is an assistant coach at Colorado State, totaled double-digit dig totals in all three matches, including a near career-best 20 digs against the Rams.
OTHER NOTES OF INTEREST TO START THE YEAR... For the second consecutive year, Kansas State opened the season with a five-game loss to a nationally-ranked opponent on their own floor... The Wildcats lost a five-game heartbreaker at No. 18 Colorado State on Friday evening after losing a five-gamer at No. 5 Hawaii to begin the 2000 season... K-State has started the season against a Top 20 opponent in three of the last four years (at No. 3 Long Beach State in 1999, No. 5 Hawaii in 2001 and No. 18 Colorado State in 2002)... The Wildcats are now 19-10 all-time in season openers.
A LOOK AT ARKANSAS STATE... Arkansas State currently lists a 3-2 record on the season... The Indians won three in a row to begin the season before losing to TCU (August 31) and SE Missouri State (September 3) earlier this week... The team lost their own ASU Classic to the Horned Frogs in three games... Sophomore OHs Tessa Millikan and Caitlyn Mitchell were named to the all-tournament team... Sophomore MH Heather Malaschak paces the team in kills/game (3.17) and blocks/game (0.89), while junior L Denay Oesterblad leads in digs/game (4.30)... The team returns six letterwinners and four starters from 2001, in which, the Indians posted an 8-20 overall record and 3-11 mark in Sun Belt Conference play... The team finished fifth in the Western Division of the league...The Indians are coached by seventh-year head coach Craig Cummings, who has a 127-72 (.638) mark at ASU He is 208-182 (.533) in 13 years as a head coach... Cummings is a 1982 graduate of Cal Poly SLO.
UP NEXT: USF ADIDAS INVITATIONAL... Kansas State begins one of its toughest stretches of the season next weekend, as the Wildcats travel to Tampa, Fla., to participate in the USF Adidas Invitational held at the Corral adjacent to the Sun Dome... The team will face three teams either receiving votes or ranked in the AVCA/USA Today Top 25, highlighted by No. 12 Michigan State... The Wildcats will begin the tournament against host South Florida (2-2) on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. CST... The Bulls were 21-9 a year ago and their two losses so far have been to Michigan and No. 8 Pepperdine... On Saturday, K-State will face the No. 12 Spartans, currently 3-0 on the season, at 12 p.m. before closing out against Georgia Tech (3-1) at 4 p.m. ... Both teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year
PURPLE DEFEATS WHITE, 3-0, IN ANNUAL PUBLIC SCRIMMAGE... Kansas State held its annual Purple and White scrimmage on August 25 before a festival crowd at Ahearn Field House... The Purple squad, made mostly of starters, posted a 30-25, 30-26, 30-19 victory over the White... Junior MB Lauren Goehring led the Purple team with 16 kills on .450 hitting, while sophomore OH Cari Jensen added 12 kills... Freshman OH Jamie Perkins led the White squad with 14 kills... Junior L Laura Downey-Wallace (Purple) paced both squads with 18 digs, while senior S Kristen Foote (White) and junior DS Kris Jensen (Purple) tapped in 10 digs each.
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL ALUMNI MATCH... Before the annual Purple and White scrimmage, Kansas State held its annual Alumni match, which attracted a number of former players, including including Jayne Christen (1998-2000), Kelli Luther (1995-96), Lisa Mimick (1998-2001), Julie Thomas (1997-2000) and Val Wieck (1995-98)... Also in attendance were five members of the 1969-70 Wildcat squad - Susan Koehn-Buck, Susan Drews-Horton, Kathy Teahan-Jantch, Susan Haas and Julie Blasi-Watts. Although the program only achieved varsity status in 1974, the university has had a volleyball team dating back to early 1960s... "This is great opportunity for our alumni to come back and participate in the program," said head coach Suzie Fritz. "I was really happy to see them come back and enjoy what the program has accomplished these last 28 years."
WHAT'S BACK FOR KANSAS STATE... Kansas State returns eight letterwinners, including three starters, from the 2001 season... The Wildcats return a number of proven performers, including starters - senior OH Jennifer Pollard, junior MB Lauren Goehring and sophomore S Gabby Guerre - to go along with key reserves in junior libero Laura Downey-Wallace, junior OH Cari Jensen and solid defensive specialists, junior Kris Jensen and sophomore Jami Sleichter... However, the team must overcome the loss of three starters, including two-time All-American OH Liz Wegner and all-conference selection Lisa Mimick. From a statistical standpoint, the Wildcats return 44 percent of their kills, 68 percent of their aces, 65 percent of their digs and 49 percent of their blocks from the 2001 totals.
NAME TAGS, PLEASE... When the team arrived for preseason drills on August 9, head coach Suzie Fritz should've distributed name tags to go with the equipment as six newcomers, including two transfers, reported to camp The most recent addition, sophomore OH Michaela Franklin was the fourth signee since January, as she decided to transfer to K-State from Division II Northern Michigan in late July after the departure of NMU head coach Scott Sandel for Boise State Manhattan native Kristen Foote decided to walk-on after two years at Division II USC-Aiken in late June, along with local three-sport star Molly Lindquist Faaalo Taumanupepe inked during the spring signing period from Long Beach, Calif. The team's other two newcomers - Joy Hamlin and Jamie Perkins - signed with the Wildcats during the early signing period last December.
RULES CHANGES... After adding the rally scoring format last season, the NCAA adopted several more rules changes for the 2002 season, most notably adding the libero (pronounced LEE-bah-ro), a designated back-row played intended to be used as a ball-control specialist Other changes for the 2002 are the use of the pursuit rule and changes sides at eight points in the deciding fifth game The pursuit rule allows players to retrieve a ball that has crossed the centerline outside the court after a team's first contact or block The teams must now switch sides at eight points in a decisive game five that goes to 15 points in rally score.
K-STATE RANKED No. 22 IN PRESEASON AVCA POLL... For the fourth consecutive year, Kansas State earned a ranking in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/USA Today Top 25 poll released August 12, as the Wildcats checked in at No. 22 The Wildcats received 232 total points from the 65-member coaching panel to become of one of four Big 12 teams to receive a ranking in the preseason poll Overall, the poll featured four Big 12 teams - No. 2 Nebraska, No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 21 Colorado and No. 22 K-State - along with four others - Texas, Missouri, Baylor and Texas Tech - who received nine or more points Kansas State earned its first-ever preseason ranking in 1999 when the AVCA ranked the Wildcats at No. 23 in its annual poll, while the program received its highest-ever preseason ranking in 2000 at No. 17 Last year, the Wildcats started the season ranked at No. 19 Defending NCAA champion Stanford was the overwhelming favorite by the coaches to repeat as national champion, as the Cardinal received 54 out of the 65 first-place votes and finished ahead of second-place Nebraska by 108 points.
'CATS PICKED FIFTH IN BIG 12... In a vote of the league head coaches, Kansas State was picked to finish fifth in the 2002 Big 12 Conference race on August 13 The Wildcats received 67 votes to finish fifth behind four-time defending league champion Nebraska (100), second-place Texas A&M (86) and two teams that finished in a third-place tie, Colorado (72) and Missouri (72) The Wildcats were followed in the poll by Texas (64), Baylor (45), Texas Tech (40), Kansas (31), Iowa State (14) and Oklahoma (14) The Cornhuskers garnered every first-place vote possible Despite Nebraska's unanimous selection to repeat as champion, there was a tight race for spots for two through six with 22 points separating the positions, including just eight for three through six The coaches' poll was based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system with a first-place vote receiving 10 points Coaches were not allowed to vote for his/her own team For the first time in three years, no Wildcat was selected to the preseason all-conference team Nebraska had three players - S Greichaly Cepero, MB Amber Holmquist, OH Laura Pilakowski - on the team, joining Baylor OH Stevie Nicholas and Texas OH Mira Topic Cepero was the preseason Player of the Year, while Missouri OH Shen Danru was Newcomer of the Year and Texas A&M OH Laura Jones Freshman of the Year.
RECAPPING 2001... Kansas State posted a 20-8 overall record and 15-5 mark in Big 12 Conference play last year, highlighted by its sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament... It was the program's seventh straight season of at least 19 wins and third consecutive 20-win season... For the first time since the NCAA changed the tournament to a 64-team bracket, the Wildcats hosted first- and second-round action at Ahearn Field House where they played host to Arkansas, Oral Roberts and defending NCAA champion Nebraska... After defeating the Lady Razorbacks to advance to the second round for the fourth straight season, the Wildcats lost to the eventual Final Four participant Huskers in four games... K-State ended the year ranked 18th in the final AVCA polls, its fourth straight final Top 25 ranking.
29 YEARS OF KANSAS STATE VOLLEYBALL... The 2002 campaign marks the 29th season of intercollegiate competition for the Wildcats K-State owns an all-time mark of 520-455-11 (.533) in 986 matches The match against Oklahoma on October 9 will represent the 1,000th in school history... After posting just a 24-66 record from 1991-93, Kansas State has reeled off eight straight winning seasons, including 20-win seasons in six of the last seven years... In fact, the 163 wins that the Wildcats have tallied since 1994 are more than the program recorded the entire decades of the 1980s and 1990s... K-State started its streak of eight straight winning seasons in 1994 with their first winning record in five years... The team followed that success with the first of three 20-win seasons in 1995 and the program's first in 10 years... The Wildcats continued its upward spiral in 1996, as the team set the school record for wins in a single-season with a 26-9 record, including a 13-7 mark in the first year of the Big 12 Conference... After a 19-12 mark in 1998 snapped its streak of 20-win seasons, the program has since strung together three consecutive 20-win campaigns.
POLLARD, DOWNEY-WALLACE NAMED CO-CAPTAINS... Prior to the start of preseason drills, senior OH Jennifer Pollard and junior libero Laura Downey-Wallace were named as co-captains by head coach Suzie Fritz Pollard has started 48 of 58 matches over the last two years at outside hitter and was the team co-leader in double-doubles (14) in 2001 Downey-Wallace, who married former K-State basketball player Donnie Wallace in May, averaged 2.56 digs/game in 14 matches last season and will man the new libero position for the Wildcats.
TOUGH SLATE AWAITS 'CATS... Ten NCAA Tournament teams, including Final Four participant Nebraska, highlight the 2002 Kansas State University volleyball schedule... In addition to matches with the Cornhuskers, the 28-match schedule features battles with 2001 NCAA Tournament participants Baylor, Colorado, Colorado State, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech... In all, the schedule includes 17 matches with 2001 NCAA Tournament teams and eight contests with teams that were ranked in the final USA Today/AVCA Top 25... The 18 teams on the schedule had a composite record of 281-196 (.588) in 2000 and have combined for 125 appearances in the NCAA Tournament... In 2001, 14 of the 18 squads had winning records, including seven that recorded 20 or more wins... In addition, Kansas State will play eight matches against five teams ranked in the preseason AVCA poll, including three against two teams ranked in the organization's Top 15 In all, the team will play 18 matches against 11 teams that received votes in the preseason poll "We want to play a competitive non-conference schedule to prepare us for one of the nation's best conferences, the Big 12," said head coach Suzie Fritz. "We think that playing road matches against Colorado State, South Florida, Michigan State and Georgia Tech will make us a better team once we get to league play and, ultimately, help us in our goal of making and excelling in the NCAA Tournament." ... Kansas State will start the 2002 season at the University Park Holiday Inn Classic in Fort Collins, Colo., on Aug. 30-31, where the Wildcats will face reigning Mountain West Conference champion Colorado State, Connecticut and Western Michigan... After a pair of non-conference affairs with in-state rival Wichita State and Arkansas State, K-State travels to Tampa, Fla., to compete in the South Florida Adidas Invitational on Sept. 13-14 where the Wildcats will take on the host Bulls, Michigan State and Georgia Tech... K-State begins its 20-match Big 12 Conference slate at home on Sept. 18 when the Wildcats face Nebraska at Ahearn Field House. Last season, the Big 12 set the NCAA record for most selections to the 64-team NCAA Tournament with eight bids... In addition to the non-conference battles with the Shockers and Arkansas State and the visit by the Cornhuskers on Sept. 18, the schedule showcases 12 home matches, including Big 12 battles with Colorado, Missouri, Texas and Texas A&M. Last year, the Wildcats finished among the top 15 programs in the nation in home attendance for the fifth year in a row with 1,877 fans per match.
TEAM EARNS PRESTIGIOUS ACADEMIC HONOR... Kansas State was recently named as one of a record-number 177 volleyball programs nationally to receive the 2001-02 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/Molten Team Academic Award. The award, which has been given annually since 1992-93, honors college and high school teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale during the school year. The previous high for award recipients was in 1998-99 when 149 awards were presented. "This is a tremendous honor for our program," said Wildcat head coach Suzie Fritz. "This award is certainly a reflection of the hard work and dedication our players put in to not only being great athletes, but great students. Here at Kansas State, we have the environment and culture to be successful academically, but it comes down to the willingness and commitment of each individual player to take advantage of these opportunities." Among the 47 Division I schools, Kansas State was one of just six that advanced to NCAA Tournament last season, including NCAA champion Stanford and Final Four participant Nebraska. The Cornhuskers joined the Wildcats as the only Big 12 Conference schools to earn the honor. Kansas State posted the third-highest grade-point average (3.59) of the 47 Division I schools selected, trailing only Belmont (Tenn.) University (3.69) and Liberty (Va.) University (3.64). Five of the 13 players on the team earned cumulative 4.0 GPAs during the 2001-02 academic year, including senior Jayne Christen, redshirt sophomore Laura Downey-Wallace, sophomores Cari Jensen, Kris Jensen and Jacquelyn Paetzold. It marked the second time the program has received this honor and first time since 1996-97. Recipients of the award range from NCAA Division I institutions to high school girls' and boys' teams. The college ranks produced 120 schools that met the requirements for the award. Kansas State was one of 47 NCAA Division I schools to receive the honor, while 20 were chosen from the Division II level, 32 from Division III, 12 from NAIA and nine from the junior college/community college ranks. A total of 57 high school programs earned the distinction.
GROVE RETURNS TO THE BENCH... Jeff Grove was named an assistant volleyball coach at Kansas State August 9 in an announcement by head coach Suzie Fritz. It will be Grove's second tour of duty with the Wildcat program after serving as an assistant coach, along with Fritz, on former head coach Jim McLaughlin's staff from 1997-99. Grove will serve as the team's top assistant coach under the second-year head coach and will help in the development of all phases of the program with specific duties as defensive coordinator. He will coordinate and evaluate all statistical and video applications for the program as well as coordinate tape exchange and opponent scouting reports. "I'm really excited about Jeff joining the staff," said Fritz. "He brings a great deal of familiarity and experience with our system and training techniques. I'm happy that I was able to get him to come back to K-State after a stint in private practice. He was a key element in the early development of this program. He's another solid addition to the staff." Grove joins the staff after serving the last three years as a Systems Engineer and Director of Client Services for ARK Digital Technologies, a San Diego, Calif.-based company who is the leading manufacturer of statistical and video editing hardware and software for approximately 80 universities and several professional sports franchises. He worked in the development of custom video editing for ARK and trained clients on all software and hardware. One of the original members of Jim McLaughlin's staff at K-State, Grove was a significant component in building the successful Wildcat program of today. He helped guide the team to a 60-34 overall record from 1997-99 and three consecutive bids to the NCAA Tournament, including second-round appearances in 1998 and 1999. He was responsible for coaching the outside hitters, including K-State's first All-American Dawn Cady and Team USA alternate Kim Zschau. He also assisted with team travel and recruiting. A native of Goleta, Calif., Grove earned his bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in Business Administration from Azusa Pacific in 1991. He is married to the former Julie Abbott and the couple have two children, Kaitlyn, 2, and Jonathan, born in May 2002. Grove, 33, takes the slot vacated by the resignation of associate head coach Jason Watson, who became the top women's assistant coach at his alma mater, Brigham Young University, in July. His duties begin immediately.
MOVING FROM THE COURT TO THE BENCH... Second-year head coach Suzie Fritz will have a little extra help on the bench this season, as former standouts Lisa Mimick and Liz Wegner will serve the team as student assistant coaches as they finish their degrees Wegner, the program's only two-time All-American, holds 21 school career, single-season and single-match records, including career kills (1,907), career kills/game (4.48), 20-kill matches (27) and total attacks (4,891) Mimick was a first team All-Big 12 selection as a senior in 2001 and ranks in the top 10 in several career categories, including third in 20-dig matches (10), fourth in digs (1,138) and ninth in games played (395) In all, the two combined to start 195 matches (and 229 matches) with 2,457 kills on 6,451 total attempts with 2,259 digs and 432 blocks.
ONE TOUGH PLACE TO PLAY... Not only do the Wildcats play in one of the most venerable arenas in all of college volleyball - Ahearn Field House - but they enjoy some of the best fan support of any program in the nation. Over the last five years, Kansas State has ranked among the top 15 programs in the nation for home attendance. Over 100,000 fans have visited the "Old Barn" since 1997, an average of nearly 1,700 fans per home match. The team has drawn over 4,000 fans for nine matches in that time span, including a school-record 5,225 fans for the team's match with Nebraska on Nov. 25, 2000. Last year, the Wildcats attracted a program-best 28,160 fans for 15 home matches, for an average of 1,877, which ranked second among Big 12 Conference institutions and 11th nationally. In addition to large home crowds, the Wildcats play before some of the largest crowds in the nation on the road. Last season, the Big 12 drew 215,607 fans to its volleyball venues, one of just two conferences nationally to draw over 200,000 fans in 2001. In all, five Big 12 institutions ranked among the top 25 in home attendance. With the large crowds have come some big victories, including some of the biggest wins in Kansas State history. The team has responded to this tremendous outpouring of support, posting a 53-13 (.803) record at home over the past five years, including an impressive 25-3 (.892) mark over the last two seasons. The Wildcats have upset 13 ranked teams in Ahearn Field House since 1997 and have a streak of 32 consecutive wins over non-conference foes dating back to the 1994 season.