MANHATTAN, Kan. - The 16th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats will look to continue a win streak of five matches as the Oklahoma Sooners travel to Manhattan for a televised match from Ahearn Field House on Wed., Sept. 19th. The Cats and Sooners enter with identical conference records at 2-0 each, while K-State sits at 10-2 on the season and OU has a record of 9-2.
The match will be broadcast live on FSN Midwest with a first serve set for 7 p.m. The tangle between KSU-OU can also be followed on either 1350 KMAN or through live stats on www.kstatesports.com.
Kansas State Pre-Match Report
Kansas State will enter the Oklahoma match with a streak of five wins and will look to earn its third conference victory of the season over the Sooners. The Wildcats sit at second in the conference with a 2-0 Big 12 record and 10-2 overall. A win could elevate either team in the conference standings, as the teams sit as two of the four with perfect Big 12 records.
K-State is coming off of its second straight sweep of a conference opponent after defeating Baylor 3-0 on Saturday in front of the largest home crowd this season of 1,056. The Wildcats posted .426 hitting, the highest against a Big 12 foe since Oct. 1, 2005, to win by scores of 30-16, 30-16, 30-20. Nataly Korobkova and Megan Farr each hit over .500 with double digit kills; Korobkova tallied 13 on .526 hitting, while Farr added 10 kills on .533 hitting. In addition, Korobkova converted on three consecutive service aces. Stacey Spiegelberg set a new career high in aces with six against the Bears along with 46 assists. Three Cats dished out more than five digs as Angie Lastra led the way with 10.
On the season, K-State has three attackers with triple-digit kills as right side hitter Korobkova leads with 163 to average 4.41. Outside hitter Rita Liliom has 143 kills (3.49 kpg) and middle blockers Kelsey Chipman and Megan Farr have 109 and 101, respectively. With over 100 kills, production from the middle has been strong as both Wildcats have been hitting better than .300. Stacey Spiegelberg leads in two categories: assists (541/13.20 apg) and service aces (24/0.59 sapg).
Leaders of the defense include senior Angie Lastra with 175 digs and a 4.27 digs per game average. Three Cats average more than one block per game: Farr has 65 total (eight solo, 57 assisted) to lead with a 1.59 average; Chipman has 54 total (1.32 bpg); Korobkova put back 44 block assists through 37 games (1.19 bpg).
Kansas State is ranked 16th - highest since being No. 16 Oct. 1, 2005... K-State is currently on a five-match win streak with each coming in three games... The Wildcats have five straight matches of hitting over .250, and eight overall this season... K-State’s ace streak continues and sits at 267 straight matches of at least one service ace... KSU has won 14 of the last 16 contests over Oklahoma and had 14 straight wins prior to the two 2006 losses... K-State has won the last four Big 12 matches including two from last season over Texas Tech and Kansas... The Cats have held their last five opponents under .250 hitting... K-State has nine-straight matches that the Cats have hit .300+ in at least one game... The Wildcats have not lost a home match this season, nor have they allowed a match to continue past three games in Ahearn Field House.
Scouting Report: Oklahoma
The Sooners of Oklahoma will bring a 9-2 overall record; 2-0 Big 12 to Ahearn Field House on Wednesday. OU is coming off of two-straight wins against conference opponents last week, including a victory over then-No. 25 Texas A&M. The Sooners dropped their final non-conference match when they lost to then-No. 18 San Diego 3-1 (30-32, 30-22, 24-30, 33-35).
On Sept. 12, Oklahoma won a five-game match against the Aggies by scores of 26-30, 26-30, 30-27, 30-24, 15-13 in College Station in front of 2,363 fans. The Sooners hit .209 as a team and were led by two hitters with over 20 kills each. Mariana Blum converted on 24 kills while Bridget Laplante tallied 21 and finished as the only member with hitting above .300 (.354). Julie Chester had 65 assists and Hannah Sharp recorded 24 digs.
Against Kansas the Sooners won in 3-1 fashion with scores of 30-24, 30-20, 27-30, 30-17. Francie Ekwerekwu paced the squad members with 15 kills on .480 hitting with six blocks. Laplante added 12 kills and seven digs, while Blum had double-digit kills with 11. Sharp again led in digs with 15.
Blum and Laplante lead the Sooners in kills with 148 and 142, respectively, on the year with each averaging over 3.50 kills per game. They also lead in service aces: Blum has 20 (0.53 sapg) and Laplante has recorded 16 (0.42 sapg). While Sharp tops the team in digs with 167 (4.39 dpg), Blum is second with 150 (3.95 dpg).
Kansas State has had strong production from the middle this year with Megan Farr and Kelsey Chipman. Farr, a Manhattan, Kan., native, has notched four matches of hitting over .500 and has a string of five-straight matches of over .300. In the last five matches, the junior middle blocker recorded 51 kills with seven errors on 86 attempts (.512 hitting). In Big 12 play alone, Farr has tallied 23 kills (3.83 kpg) on .500 hitting, along with eight blocks (1.33 bpg).
Chipman is currently third on the team in kills with 109 (2.66 kpg) on .328 hitting percentage. The product of Topeka, Kan., has hit above .400 in each of the last five matches. She has tallied 52 kills and six errors on 104 attacks to average .442 hitting through 15 games.
Flashback: vs. Oklahoma
For the first time since 1997, Oklahoma swept the yearly series against Kansas State during the 2006 season. After years of dominating the matchup, the Wildcats fell to the Sooners 3-2 at home and 3-0 in Norman, Okla.
In the first match of the year, the two teams were nearly evenly matched in the final box score, but OU won out 27-30, 30-21, 21-30, 30-27, 15-8. The Wildcats, with three hitters in double-digit kills, hit .222 on the night. Megan Kroeker led with 17 kills and had help from Megan Farr with 15 and Angie Lastra who tallied 14. Stacey Spiegelberg finished with 58 assists. Five Cats had double-digit digs: Lauren Rosenthal 17, Sandy Werner 14, Jenny Jantsch 13, Spiegelberg 13, Lastra 12.
Less than one month later, the Cats fell to the Sooners 3-0 in Norman by scores of 30-24, 30-24, 30-17. The stats were a different story than the first meeting, including a team hitting percentage of .116. Only one K-State member finished in double-digits in both kills and digs. Lastra had 12 digs, while Rosenthal dished out 16 digs.
The Wildcats sits among the top of the conference in terms of numbers they are allowing opponents. Through all matches, K-State is in the top four in five categories (hitting percentage, kills, assists, service aces and digs by opponents). The Wildcats lead in the lowest number of opponent kills with 12.10 per game and in lowest number of assists allowed with 11.54 per game.
In conference only matches, K-State is in the top two in all six categories (hitting percentage, kills, assists, service aces, blocks and digs). K-State has forced the lowest hitting percentage of any Big 12 school during conference matches, with an average of .141. KSU also has allowed the lowest amount of digs by conference opponents (Kansas and Baylor) with 12.17 per game.