K-State Begins Homestand Against Texas Saturday
Sept. 26, 2002
KANSAS STATE (6-5, 2-1) VS (RV) TEXAS (9-3, 1-2)
Saturday, September 28, 2002 * Ahearn Field House (5,000) * Manhattan, Kan. * 7 p.m.
Radio: Brian Smoller 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.
Rankings: Neither team is ranked.
Coaches: Kansas State's Suzie Fritz is 26-13 (.667) in her second year. She is 2-0 versus Texas. Texas' Jerritt Elliott is 26-17 (.605) in his second year and 76-29 (.724) in four years as a head coach. He is 0-2 against K-State.
Series: Texas leads the all-time series, 8-6. However, Kansas State has won six straight in the series, dating back to 1999. The Wildcats are 3-3 against the Longhorns in Manhattan.
LAST TIME OUT...
KANSAS STATE def. IOWA STATE, 30-25, 30-24, 31-29
Wednesday, September 25, 2002 * Valley High School * Des Moines, Iowa * 7 p.m. CST
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Kansas State used a balanced attack with three Wildcats in double-digit kills to extend its winning streak over Iowa State to 13 matches in a 30-25, 30-24, 31-29 win on Wednesday evening at Valley High School... Senior OH Jennifer Pollard led a balanced Kansas State attack with her team-tying fifth double-double, as she posted 13 kills on .333 hitting with 11 digs.
K-STATE BEGINS TWO-MATCH HOMESTAND ON SATURDAY BY HOSTING TEXAS... Looking to build on the momentum of the last two matches, the Kansas State women's volleyball team (6-5, 2-1 Big 12) returns to action on Saturday by hosting Texas (9-3, 1-2 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House beginning at 7 p.m. It is the first of a two-match homestand for the Wildcats, as the team hosts Texas Tech (6-5, 1-1 Big 12) on Wednesday. Kansas State extended its winning streak to two matches on Wednesday, as the Wildcats moved to 2-1 in conference play with a 30-25, 30-24, 31-29 victory over Iowa State in a match played at Valley High School. The Wildcats used a balanced attack with three players in double-digit kills to extend its winning streak over Cyclones to 13 matches. K-State has won 12 of the 13 contests against ISU in three games dating back to 1996, including 39 of 40 games. Kansas State again used strong serving to alter the Iowa State attack, posting seven service aces in the match. The Cyclones hit just .177 in the contest, marking the seventh time this season that the Wildcats have held an opponent below a .200 hitting percentage. This will be the 15th meeting with Texas, as the Longhorns hold an 8-6 series advantage. Texas Tech (16) is the only Texas school that Kansas State has played more times than Texas in school history. Both teams have met each other twice a year since 1996. The series began in 1981 with Texas sweeping a pair of matches, first 15-9, 11-15, 15-0, 15-3 on Oct. 9 at the Texas Longhorn Classic then 15-4, 15-5 on Oct. 16 at the Oral Roberts Invitational. The Longhorns won the first six meetings in Big 12 play before the Wildcats upset the then-No. 8 ranked 'Horns 3-1 in Austin for their first win in the series. K-State has since won six straight matches in the series. Last year, K-State evened its all-time record at home against Texas to 3-3 with a tight 30-28, 25-30, 30-26, 34-32 win on Sept. 29 before accomplishing the sweep with a 30-22, 30-13, 27-30, 30-26 win in Austin on Nov. 7. Sophomore Gabby Guerre nearly posted her first career triple-double in the match in Austin with 10 kills on .600 hitting to go with 46 digs and nine digs. Kansas State continues its homestand on Wednesday, as the Wildcats play host to Texas Tech (6-5, 1-1 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House beginning at 7 p.m.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK... Kansas State opened the Big 12 Conference season last week by splitting a pair of three-game matches, losing 3-0 at home to No. 5 Nebraska on Wednesday before breaking a four-match losing streak on Saturday in a 3-0 win at Baylor... The four-match losing skid was the longest since by a K-State team since the 1997 squad dropped five in a row... On Wednesday, the Wildcats lost for just the fourth time in its last 31 home matches, as the Cornhuskers delivered a 30-25, 30-16, 30-27 decision in the Big 12 opener for both teams... The loss snapped a four-match winning streak in conference openers and left the team 8-13 all-time in league starters since 1982... The last loss in a conference opener was to Colorado at home in 1997... The Wildcats were held to just one block in the Nebraska match, the lowest total against a Big 12 foe and lowest since a one-block effort against Washington State in 1993. On Saturday, Kansas State swept Baylor for the second straight season, as the team set a season-high with 13.5 blocks and tied a season-high with 10 aces in the 30-17, 30-22, 30-23 win... The Wildcats also held the Bears to a paltry .104 hitting percentage, marking the sixth time this season that the team has held an opponent under a .200 hitting percentage.
'CATS IN THE BIG 12 STATISTICS... Kansas State had several players show up in the individual conference statistics released on Monday... S Gabby Guerre moved up several spot to No. 4 in overall hitting percentage at .391, while MB Lauren Goehring dropped from sixth to eighth with a .356 percentage... Guerre also ranks eighth in the league with an 11.34 assists per game average... Two Wildcats remain in the Top 10 in digs per game... L Laura Downey-Wallace now leads the Big 12 in the category with a 4.66 per game average after ranking second the first two weeks of the season... She also ranks 13th nationally... She also leads the category after just two league matches with a 5.83 average... Senior co-captain OH Jennifer Pollard dropped two spots from fifth to seventh with a 3.11 per game average.
'CATS RANK 15TH IN NATIONAL ATTENDANCE... Kansas State is ranked 15th nationally in home attendance with an average of 1,323 fans per match in three matches this season... This is nothing new for Kansas State, who has finished among the national Top 15 in home attendance the last five seasons... The Wildcats are one of six Big 12 schools to rank among the national Top 30 in attendance... Nebraska ranks second with a 4,105 per match average, while Missouri (17), Texas A&M (18), Texas (23) and Colorado (25) all trail Kansas State... The 2,876 fans that attended Kansas State's match with Nebraska on Sept. 18 ranked as the 22nd-largest crowd in the NCAA this year and the 12th-largest on the mainland.
GABBY THE GREAT... Sophomore S Gabby Guerre continues to show her tremendous all-around ability as a volleyball player, as she collected double-doubles in four of the last five matches, including all three matches at the USF Invitational on Sept. 13-14... She saw her streak of four straight double-doubles end on Saturday at Baylor, but she still displayed her tremendous abilities as a player with six kills on .667 hitting to go with 30 assists, two service aces and six blocks. She currently ranks fourth in the Big 12 in hitting percentage with a .391 percentage, while she ranks eighth with an 11.34 assists per game average... She averages 1.66 kills per game, 2.11 digs per game and 0.69 blocks per game. Guerre narrowly missed her first career triple-double and first by a Wildcat since 1998 with her performance against Georgia Tech (9/14)... She posted nine kills on .350 hitting with 52 assists and 10 digs against the Yellow Jackets... Val Wieck was the last Wildcats with a triple-double with 10 kills, 20 digs and 15 blocks against Colorado on Nov. 27, 1998... She also turned in a career-high 12 kills on .529 hitting against No. 19 Michigan State with 46 assists and six digs... She also had the 'standard' double-double by a setter against South Florida with 50 assists and 10 digs. She ran her streak of double-doubles to four, as she added 33 assists and 11 digs in the 3-0 loss to No. 5 Nebraska on Sept. 18.
DOWNEY-WALLACE ADJUSTING TO NEW LIBERO... When the AVCA adopted the libero for the 2001 season, the organization could not have found a better person for the position than junior Laura Downey-Wallace... A setter/defensive specialist for the Wildcats last season, she has made an instant impact for the team in 2002, averaging a team and Big 12-best 4.66 digs per game... The average also ranks 13th nationally... She has posted double-digit dig totals in nine of the 10 matches thus far, including 20 or more on four occasions. She has surpassed her 2001 dig total of 107. In the first two Big 12 matches of the year, she is averaging a league-best 5.83 digs per game, including a 21-dig performance against Baylor on Saturday... This is all the more impressive when you take into account that the team had just 48 digs for the three-game match. She tallied an amazing 5.17 digs per game during the USF Invitational (Sept. 13-14), including back-to-back 20-dig efforts against No. 19 Michigan State and Georgia Tech on Sept. 14... She had a career-best 25 digs versus the Jackets. With her 4.66 digs average, she is on pace to break both Kim Zschau's single-season marks for both average (4.17) and total (455) set in 1998.
MARTIN CONTINUES TO EXCELS AFTER USF... One of the bright spots for Kansas State at the USF Invitational came in the play of sophomore MB Lisa Martin, who was the lone Wildcat named to the All-Tournament team... She continues to do well after the tournament, totaling a career-best eight blocks in the win over Baylor on Saturday... Martin averaged 3.00 kills per game on a .453 hitting percentage in the three-match tournament with a team-best 0.75 blocks per game.... Martin broke her career-high in kills in back-to-back days, as she totaled 11 on .526 against South Florida on Sept. 13 before tallying a career-best 16 on .444 hitting against Georgia Tech on Saturday... She has gradually increased her play since hitting negative in the opener at Colorado State, turning in a hitting percentage above .300 in five of the last nine matches, including a career-best .526 percentage against South Florida.
A LOOK AT TEXAS... Texas enters Saturday's match with a 9-3 overall record and 1-2 mark in Big 12 Conference play... The Longhorns broke a two-match losing streak on Wednesday in a 3-0 win over Oklahoma at home... Texas entered league play on a six-match winning streak before losing 3-1 at home to upstart Missouri and 3-0 at Nebraska... Sophomore OH Mira Topic leads the team in both kills (4.78 per game), digs (2.66 per game) and points (232)... Sophomore MBs Bethany Howden and Kathy Hahn average 3.61 and 3.53 kills per game, respectively, while Hahn adds a team-best 1.03 blocks per game... Freshman S Caron Blotch runs an effective Longhorn offense, as she averages 1.05 kills per game on .345 hitting with 12.33 assists per game... The team as a whole is hitting .272, while opponents manage just a .157 percentage... The team returns eight letterwinners and four starters from 2001.
LAUREN LIGHTING IT UP... Junior MB Lauren Goehring has developed into one of the Wildcats' top offensive threats in 2002... She currently ranks second on the team in four categories, including hitting percentage (.356), kills (3.14 per game), blocks (0.77 per game) and points (130.5). Although she hit a pedestrian .268 in the matches last week against Nebraska and Baylor, she still ranks among the conference's best in hitting percentage with a .356 average. On the strength of a .543 hitting percentage against Arkansas State and Wichita State, Goehring became the Big 12 leader in hitting percentage with a .490 clip (58 K-10 E/98 TA) on Sept. 9... 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... 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.
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 198-117-5 (.629) since that season, including a 55-14 (.797) 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 27 of its last 31 home matches over the last three years.
'CATS GO WINLESS AT USF ADIDAS INVITATIONAL... Kansas State dropped three matches at the USF Adidas Invitational Sept. 13-14, falling in four games to host South Florida, No. 19 Michigan State and Georgia Tech... It was the longest losing streak for the Wildcats since 1999. In fact, it marked the first time the team has lost consecutive matches since opening of the 2001 season. For the tournament, Kansas State was outhit .252 to .225 and was outblocked 33.5-17.5 by its three opponents... In addition, they committed 41 service errors compared to just 32 by its opponents, while tallying just 13 service aces... Going into the tournament, the Wildcats had tallied 40 service errors in five matches.
'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... The five-game loss to CSU was the second straight in a season opener. 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.
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.