No. 24 K-State Faces Tough Challenge at USF Adidas Invitational
Sept. 10, 2002
(24) KANSAS STATE (4-1) at USF ADIDAS INVITATIONAL
Friday-Saturday, September 13-14, 2002 * The Corral - Sun Dome (1,000) * Tampa, Fla.
Tournament Schedule (All Times Are Central)
Friday, September 13
4 p.m. - Georgia Tech vs. Michigan State
6 p.m. - Kansas State at South Florida
Saturday, September 14
10 a.m. - Georgia Tech vs. South Florida
12 p.m. - Kansas State vs. Michigan State
4 p.m. - Kansas State vs. Georgia Tech
6 p.m. - Michigan State vs. South Florida
Kansas State Wildcats
Record: 4-1, 0-0 Big 12
Has won four in a row since losing season opener
Ranking: No. 24 (AVCA), RV (VB)
Head Coach: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic, '94) is 24-9 (.727) in her second year at K-State.
South Florida Bulls
Record: 5-2, 0-0 Conference USA
Ranking: NR (AVCA), NR (VB)
Head Coach: Nancy Mueller (Tennessee, '93) is 69-35 (.664) in her fourth year at USF.
Series: First meeting with K-State.
Michigan State Spartans
Record: 5-1, 0-0 Big Ten
Ranking: No. 19 (AVCA), No. 17 (VB)
Head Coach: Chuck Erbe (CS Fullerton, '72) is 197-101 (.661) in his 10th year at MSU and 507-222-3 (.695) in his 22nd year overall.
Series: Tied 1-1 with K-State.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Record: 7-1, 0-0 ACC
Ranking: RV (AVCA), NR (VB)
Head Coach: Bond Shymansky (Iowa, '95) is 7-1 (.875) in his first year at GT.
Series: First meeting with K-State.
No. 24 K-STATE BEGINS TOUGHEST STRETCH OF THE SEASON AT USF ADIDAS INVITATIONAL
The 24th-ranked Kansas State women's volleyball team (4-1, 0-0 Big 12) begins one of its toughest stretches of the season this weekend, as the Wildcats travel to the South Florida Adidas Invitational at the Corral in Tampa, Fla. K-State will face three squads - South Florida, Michigan State and Georgia Tech - that were either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason AVCA poll. In the latest poll released Monday, only Michigan State (No. 19) and K-State (No. 24) are ranked among the Top 25, however, Georgia Tech is receiving enough votes for 29th place. South Florida has won five straight since losing 3-2 to No. 8 Pepperdine. Kansas State begins the tournament on Friday, Sept. 14 against host South Florida (5-2, 0-0 CUSA) at 6 p.m. CDT before concluding the invitational on Saturday against No. 17 Michigan State (5-1, 0-0 Big 10) at 12 p.m. CDT and Georgia Tech (7-1, 0-0 ACC) at 4 p.m. CDT... This will be the Wildcats' first-ever meetings with South Florida and Georgia Tech, while the series with Michigan State is tied at 1-1... The Wildcats won the first meeting, 3-1, at home on Sept. 16, 1987 before the Spartans evened it up with a 3-2 win on Sept. 12, 1992 at the DePaul Invitational. This will be Kansas State's second-ever visit to the Sunshine State and first since playing in the Florida Sun Trust Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., in 1998. Kansas State has won four 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 a solid 30-15, 30-21, 30-23 drubbing of Arkansas State on Sunday to conclude a brief two-match homestand... The team has now won 34 straight at home over non-conference foes dating back to 1994. Junior MB Lauren Goehring tallied a season-best 17 kills on a stellar .652 hitting percentage - the highest hitting percentage by a Wildcat since Goehring hit .857 against Air Force (9/9/00)... Junior OH Cari Jensen and sophomore OH Michaela Franklin added 10 kills each, as the team collected season-highs in hitting percentage (.319) and digs (61). After concluding play at USF Invitational, Kansas State returns home for the conference opener against No. 4 Nebraska (4-1, 0-0 Big 12) on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
RECAPPING THE WEEK... Kansas State went undefeated in its brief two-match homestand last week, sweeping matches against in-state rival Wichita State (30-20, 30-14, 30-21) and Arkansas State (30-15, 30-21, 30-23) at Ahearn Field House... With the wins, K-State extended its home non-conference winning streak to 34 matches dating back to the 1994 season... The Wildcats used stellar defensive play to key the two victories, holding the two teams to a combined .052 hitting percentage (62 K-50 E/229 TA). Against Arkansas State, Kansas State collected a .300 hitting percentage or better in a match for the second time this season and set a season-high with 61 digs... Junior MB Lauren Goehring continued her hot hitting by posting a season-high 17 kills on a .652 hitting percentage - the highest percentage by a Wildcat since Goehring hit .857 against Air Force on Sept. 9, 2000 at the Wildcat Classic... Junior OH Cari Jensen and sophomore OH Michaela Franklin each added 10 kills each, while senior OH Jennifer Pollard and junior L Laura Downey-Wallace turned in 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Against Wichita State, Kansas State tied a season-high with 10 service aces, including three each from Franklin and redshirt freshman OH Katie Stanzel, and took advantage of 11 service errors by the Shockers... K-State held four WSU players to a negative hitting percentage and, in all, held WSU to a paltry .028 hitting percentage... The team used a balanced offensive attack with five players tallying five or more kills paced by Pollard's match-high seven kills on .438 hitting.
'CATS MOVE UP A SPOT TO No. 24 IN AVCA POLL... On the strength of a four-match winning streak, Kansas State moved up one spot from No. 25 to No. 24 in the latest AVCA/USA Today poll released on Monday... The Wildcats have now been ranked in eight straight polls dating back to Nov. 5, 2001... K-State began the season ranked No. 22 in the preseason poll, but fell three spots to No. 25 in the first regular season poll after losing the season opener at No. 18 Colorado State.
LAUREN LIGHTING IT UP... Junior MB Lauren Goehring has developed into one of the Wildcats' top offensive threats in 2002... She currently leads the team in a number of categories, including kills/game (3.41), hitting percentage (.490), blocks/game (1.12) and points (69.5)... On the strength of a .543 hitting percentage last week, Goehring became the Big 12 leader in hitting percentage with a .490 clip (58 K-10 E/98 TA) on the year... Against Arkansas State (9/8), she turned in a season-best 17 kills on .652 hitting - the highest hitting percentage by a Wildcats since Goehring posted a .857 mark against Air Force (9/9/00) at the Wildcat Classic.. She has been remarkably consistent, totaling a .500 or better hitting percentage in three of the team's five matches with her lowest hitting percentage being .333 against Wichita State (9/3)... In being named the MVP of the CSU University Park Classic on Aug. 31, Goehring posted the fifth-highest hitting percentage in the 16-year history of the tournament with a .460 average.
DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING... Kansas State has developed a reputation over the years for its defensive prowess... The team prides itself in frustrating its opponents... K-State currently ranks second in the Big 12 with a .117 opponent hitting percentage and is fourth in both digs/game (16.00) and blocks/game (2.47) to go along with a league-low 0.76 opponent service ace mark. During its current four-match winning streak, the team has held its opponents to a combined .097 hitting percentage, including back-to-back sub-.100 hitting performances by Wichita State and Arkansa State... WSU and ASU had nearly as many errors (50) as kills (62)... The highest hitting percentage allowed by the Wildcats has been the .164 average collected by the team that gave them their lone defeat - Colorado State. In addition to its team ranking, K-State has two players that rank in the top 10 in the conference in digs/game - Laura Downey-Wallace (3.88) and Jennifer Pollard (3.47) - one in the top 10 in blocks/game - Lauren Goehring (1.12).
A LOOK AT SOUTH FLORIDA... South Florida (5-2) has registered five straight wins since losing a tough five-game match with then No. 8 Pepperdine on Aug. 31... USF's other loss came in a four-game match to Michigan... The Bulls won their own Best Western Invitational over the weekend against Stetson, SMU and SW Missouri State... The team is led by tournament MVP and senior OH Michelle Collier, who paces the squad with an amazing 5.65 kills/game average, along with team-best 0.65 aces/game and 2.96 digs/game... Collier had 28 kills on .396 hitting against SMU... The Bulls are coached by fourth-year head coach Nancy Mueller, who has a 69-35 (.664) mark at USF.
SOUTH FLORIDA CONNECTIONS... USF head coach Nancy Mueller coached with K-State assistant Justin Ingram at Houston for two years (1998-99)... USF back-up setter Kelsi Andrew-Wasylik is a transfer from Kansas... USF head football coach Jim Leavitt was an assistant coach at Kansas State from 1990-95.
SERIES WITH SOUTH FLORIDA... This is Kansas State's first meeting with South Florida... The program is 14-3-1 against teams from Conference USA, while Fritz is 1-0 against CUSA (win against Houston at the Wildcat Classic last year).
A LOOK AT MICHIGAN STATE... Michigan State (5-1) saw its five-match winning streak end on Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Wright State... Among those five wins is a solid victory over South Carolina, an NCAA Tournament team a year ago... Like K-State, MSU has swept a match with Western Michigan... Junior transfer OH Sara Villwock paces the team in both kills/game (4.40) and digs/game (3.60)... Villwock is one of six Spartans that average at least 2.50 kills/game... Sophomore OH Kim Schram and junior MB Jenny Rood average over 3.50 kills/game... The Spartans are coached by 10th-year coach Chuck Erbe, who has a 197-101 (.661) mark at MSU and is 507-222-3 (.695) in his career.
MICHIGAN STATE CONNECTIONS... MSU setter Nikki Colson is the cousin of Wildcat OH Michaela Franklin... Both are from Lincoln, Neb. ... Spartan Sara Villwock played against K-State at Colorado before transferring in the offseason... The last time MSU coach Chuck Erbe faced K-State was during the 1977 season his USC Trojans crushed the Wildcats, 15-1, 15-1, at the AIAW National Tournament.
SERIES WITH MICHIGAN STATE... The series is tied 1-1... The Wildcats won the first meeting, 3-1, at home on Sept. 16, 1987 before the Spartans evened it up with a 3-2 win on Sept. 12, 1992 at the DePaul Invitational... The program is 12-28-1 against teams from the Big Ten, while Fritz is 1-0 against the Big Ten (win against Michigan at the Wahine Classic last year).
A LOOK AT GEORGIA TECH... Perhaps the hottest team entering the tournament is Georgia Tech (7-1), who has rolled off five straight victories... The Jackets won their own Courtyard by Marriott Classic last weekend with wins over Florida A&M, Louisville and Miami (Fla.)... The team is led by sophomore OH Lynnette Moster, who paces the team across the board with a 5.08 kills/game average on .327 hitting and 2.83 digs/game average. The Jackets are coached by first-year head coach Bond Shymansky, who has a 7-1 record at GT.
GEORGIA TECH CONNECTIONS... GT first-year head coach Bond Shymansky is no stranger to K-State... He was an assistant coach at Iowa State from 1998-99... Yellow Jacket setter Kele Eveland's younger sister Breanna, is a freshman pole vaulter on the Wildcat track team... GT middle blocker Jayme Gergen is a graduate of Washburn Rural HS in Topeka, Kan.
SERIES WITH GEORGIA TECH... This is Kansas State's first meeting with Georgia Tech... The program is 1-2 against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference... The last ACC team to face the Wildcats was Maryland during the 1997 season.
SERVES UP... Kansas State already has totaled 36 service aces on the year, compared to just 13 by its opponents... If they keep that up, the Wildcats are on track for just over 200 aces, which would be most by a team since 1996 (238)... The team has at least four in every match this year with a season-best 10 against both Western Michigan (8/31) and Wichita State (9/3)... Every player eligible to serve has at least one ace on the year, while six have at least three led by junior DS Kris Jensen's team-high nine... Jensen has 21 aces in her last 13 matches... And just think, the 2001 leader in aces, Lauren Goehring, doesn't serve any more due to the invention of the libero.
NEARING 200 WINS AT AHEARN... With just two wins, Kansas State can achieve 200 wins at Ahearn Field House this season... One of the toughest home courts in the nation, the 'Old Barn' has been the home to Wildcat volleyball since its inaugural season in 1974... The program has compiled an impressive 198-116-5 (.631) since that season, including a 55-13 (.809) mark over the last five years... In all, the Wildcats have upset 13 ranked teams in Ahearn since 1997 and have a streak of 34 consecutive wins at home over non-conference foes dating back to 1994... K-State was 13-2 at home last season and has won 26 of its last 29 home matches over the last three years.
'CATS FINISH AS RUNNER-UP AT CSU CLASSIC... Kansas State finished as the runner-up to host Colorado State at the University Park Holiday Inn Classic held Aug. 30-31 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... The loss to CSU marked the second straight year that the team opened the year with a 3-2 loss to a nationally-ranked opponents on their own floor. 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.
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.
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 'Cats 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.
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 game five that goes to 15 points in rally score.
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 averaged 2.56 digs/game in 14 matches last season and will man the new libero position for the Wildcats.
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL ALUMNI MATCH... Before the annual Purple and White scrimmage on Aug. 24, Kansas State held its 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.
'CATS 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... 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... K-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.
'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 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.
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.
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. 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 Huskers joined the Wildcats as the only Big 12 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 current players Laura Downey-Wallace, Cari Jensen and Kris Jensen. It marked the second time the program has received this honor and first time since 1996-97.
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.
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 2001 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...
MOVING FROM THE COURT TO THE BENCH... 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 the record for career kills (1,907)... 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)... 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.