K-State Looks to Rebound from Loss with Matches Against Kansas, Colorado
Oct. 2, 2001
THIS WEEK IN WILDCAT VOLLEYBALL
#25 Kansas State (7-4 / 3-2 Big 12) vs. Kansas (11-3 / 2-3 Big 12)
Wednesday, October 3 * 7 p.m. CST * Ahearn Field House (5,000) * Manhattan, Kan.
TV: Tape Delay - Metro Sports (Ben Boyle/Patti Phillips call the action) - Air Date: October 4, 7:30 p.m.
Radio: KMAN 1350 AM (Brian Smoller/Lori Martini call the action) * Webcast: k-statesports.com
K-State Coach: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic, '94) * School: 7-4/1 yr. * Career: same * vs. KU: 8-0 (as assistant)
KU Coach: Ray Bechard (Fort Hays State, '80) * School: 58-48/4 yrs. * Career: 58-48/4 yrs. * vs. K-State: 0-6
Series: K-State leads 46-35-1 * In Big 12 play: K-State leads 10-0 * Win Streak: K-State has won 12
In 2000: K-State won both meetings (3-0, 10/4 in Manhattan) and (3-0, 11/11 in Lawrence)
K-State vs. Kansas in Manhattan: 19-11 (K-State has won 7 in a row)
#25 Kansas State at Colorado (6-4 / 2-2 Big 12)
Saturday, October 6 * 8 p.m. CST * Coors Events Center (11,076) * Boulder, Colo. TV: None * Radio: none * Webcast: www.cubuffs.com
K-State Coach: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic, '94) * School: 7-4/1 yr. * Career: same * vs. CU: 4-4 (as assistant)
CU Coach: Pi'i Aiu (Colorado, '89) * School: 85-44/5 yrs. * Career: 85-44/5 yrs. * vs. K-State: 4-4
Series: Colorado leads 20-9 * In Big 12 play: Tied 5-5 * Win Streak: K-State has won 2
In 2000: K-State swept series for first time since 1987 (3-0, 10/11 in Manhattan) and (3-0, 11/18 in Boulder)
K-State vs. Colorado in Boulder: 5-9 (K-State has won 3 in a row)
K-STATE LOOKS TO REBOUND FROM LOSS WITH MATCHES VS. KANSAS, COLORADO
On the heels of a hard-fought yet disappointing 3-0 loss to second-ranked Nebraska on Monday, No. 25 Kansas State (7-4, 3-2 Big 12) looks to get back on the winning track on Wednesday with a visit from archrival Kansas (11-3, 2-3 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House beginning at 7 p.m. The Wildcats conclude the week with the start of a two-match road trip to Boulder, Colo., on Saturday to challenge Colorado (6-4, 2-2 Big 12) at the Coors Events Center. In one of the oldest rivalries in the Big 8/12, Kansas and Kansas State have met at least twice annually since 1974 with the 'Cats holding a 46-35-1 advantage. K-State has won 13 of the last 14 meetings, including 12 in a row dating back to 1994. Kansas enters Wednesday's match coming off a 3-1 loss to Missouri on Monday that snapped a six-match home winning streak... The Jayhawks have lost three of their last four matches after starting the season with a school-best 10-match winning streak... Coming off a pair of impressive wins at Baylor (3-1) and at home against Texas Tech, Colorado seemed to be riding high until Kansas took a four-game victory last Saturday in Lawrence... The Buffaloes travel to face No. 16 Texas A&M on Wednesday then Denver on Friday before battling the Wildcats. Before the loss to Nebraska, Kansas State jumped back into the AVCA poll on Monday at No. 25 after posting impressive wins over Missouri (3-2) and then-No. 23 Texas (3-1) last week... The Wildcats are an impressive 6-1 at home this year and have won 21 of their last 23 matches at Ahearn Field House.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS
The veteran team relies on an all-around attack that features three seniors (Christen, Mimick and Wegner), a junior (Pollard), sophomore (Goehring) and freshman (Guerre) in the starting lineup... The Wildcats have five players averaging over 1.75 kills per game and six with two or more digs per game, while six have tallied double-digit total blocks this season... As a whole, the team is averaging 15.26 kills per game on .214 hitting with 13.52 assists per game and 17.10 digs per game. The team also averages 1.60 aces per game and 2.45 blocks per game. This balanced offense is led by one of the nation's best outside hitters, Liz Wegner, who ranks second in the Big 12 with a 5.24 kills per game average on .251 hitting. She paces the conference in league-only kills/game with a 5.42 per game average... Wegner became K-State's all-time kills leader last Wednesday against Missouri with a season-tying 26 in a five-game win over the Tigers... By breaking the 20-kill plateau for the 27th time in her career, she also broke a tie with Dawn Cady for the school record... A preseason All-Big 12 selection and a 2000 first team honoree, she also ranks first in total attacks (550) and service aces (17) and is third in digs with a 3.05 average. Another pair of threats on the outside, both senior Lisa Mimick and junior Jenny Pollard have continued to evolve into solid compliments to the hard-hitting Wegner... Mimick is third to Wegner and Pollard in kills/game (2.57) and second in digs/game (3.29)... She almost totaled her first career triple-double in the win over Texas with eight kills, 23 digs and nine blocks... Pollard ranks seventh in Big 12 with a team-leading 3.43 digs/game, while she adds 2.86 kills/game... She ranks just behind Wegner in double-doubles with six on the season... Anchoring the middle for the Wildcats is senior Jayne Christen and sophomore Lauren Goehring.... Both average nearly a block/game, with Goehring edging Christen for the team lead, 1.02 to 0.95... Christen adds 1.80 kills/game on a team-best .341 hitting... Goehring, who set the freshman mark for hitting percentage, does a little of everything, averaging 1.80 kills/game and 2.22 digs/game... True freshman Gabby Guerre has performed well since being thrust into the starting lineup last week... She has two double-doubles in three starts, including an all-around night against No. 23 Texas with five kills, 40 assists, 12 digs and four blocks.
Before dropping a 3-1 decision to Missouri on Monday, Kansas (11-2, 2-2 Big 12) had ended a two-match losing streak on Saturday, by posting a four-game upset of Colorado at home this season... The Jayhawks started the season with a school-best 10-match winning streak that included titles at the Charlotte Invitational and their own Jayhawk Classic... Victories at these tournaments included Middle Tennessee State, Providence, Virginia Commonwealth, Charlotte, Georgia Southern, Montana, Portland... Kansas opened the Big 12 season with a 3-1 win over Iowa State at home... The team saw its streak end in a 3-1 loss at Oklahoma on Sept. 22 followed by a 3-0 setback at nationally-ranked Texas on Sept. 26... The team has five players that average over two or more kills per game and five that average over two or more digs per game... OH Sarah Rome and Molly Scavuzzo pace the team with 3.67 and 3.43 kills/game averages... Freshman OH Danielle McHenry adds a 3.16 kills/game average and a team-best 2.89 digs/game average... The offense is run by senior Molly LaMere, who leads the team in assists/game (12.32) and hitting percentage (.393)... LaMere also adds a 1.23 kills/game and 2.41 digs/game average.
Colorado (6-4, 2-2 Big 12) was traveling to College Station, Texas to face No. 16 Texas A&M on Wednesday still reeling from its upset loss at Kansas... The Buffaloes also play Denver on Friday in a match rescheduled due to the recent terrorist attacks on the U.S. ... The Buffaloes lost the first two games against the Jayhawks and were unable to recover in a four-game loss... The team started the season with three straight wins against Clemson, Loyola Marymount and Oral Roberts before dropping three of its next four to likes of BYU, Utah and Nebraska... CU rebounded for wins at Baylor and at home against Texas Tech before the loss to KU... The Buffs are led by the duo of Monique Gerlach and Sonja Russell, who average 3.49 and 3.36 kills/game... Russell paces the team in digs/game with a 3.15 average... Meghan Barkman adds 3.10 kills/game and a team-best 1.18 blocks/game... The offense is run by preseason All-Big 12 pick Elizabeth Gower, who leads the team in assists/game (12.51)... Gower also adds 2.05 kills/game and 2.18 digs/game to help the Buffaloes' efforts.
STUDENT (FRITZ) TO MEET TEACHER (BECHARD) AS KU-K-STATE CLASH
When Kansas and Kansas State meet Wednesday for the 83rd time in their respective histories, there will be more than just state pride on the line... It marks the first meeting between a former student - Suzie Fritz - and her teacher - Ray Bechard - as head coaches... Kansas State's recently named interim head coach Suzie Fritz spent time as both a player and an asssistant under current Kansas' head coach Ray Bechard when both were at NJCAA power Barton County (Kan.) Community College... A starting setter for Bechard from 1990-91, Fritz helped guide the Cougars to a 107-10 (.915) record and back-to-back final four finishes at the national tournament... In 1991, she was named the school's Most Valuable Player and to the All-Tournament team at the NJCAA Tournament... She returned to Barton in 1996 where she spent two years as an assistant under Bechard before coming to K-State... She helped guide the team to a 111-14 (.888) record and pair of top 5 national finishes.
GUERRE EXCELS IN SETTER SPOT AFTER INJURY TO STARTER DOWNEY
Since the loss of starting setter Laura Downey last week for at least four to six weeks after a stress-fracture, true freshman Gabby Guerre has been nothing short of sensational... In matches against Missouri, Texas and No. 2 Nebraska, Guerre has tallied two double-doubles and averaged 11.08 assists/game, 2.50 digs/game and 0.58 blocks/game... In just her second start and third appearance this season, Guerre poured in a season-best 57 assists and 14 digs in a thrilling five-game victory over Missouri... She turned in an impressive all-around performance in the win over No. 23 Texas with five kills on .500 hitting to go with 40 assists, 12 digs and four blocks..
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS FOR 'CATS
Despite the loss to the Huskers on Monday that ended a six-match home winning streak, Kansas State has still posted one of the better home court advantages in the country... During the last three and half years, the Wildcats have posted a 36-8 overall record and have won 21 of their last 23 matches with both losses in that span coming to Nebraska... The team is 68-18 at home since 1995... They have ranked among the top 15 in attendance since 1997.
'CATS BLOCK THEIR WAY TO FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN OVER #23 TEXAS
On the strength of a season-high 21.5 team blocks, Kansas State earned an impressive 30-28, 25-30, 30-26, 34-32 victory over 23rd-ranked Texas on Saturday before 2,039 fans at Ahearn Field House. The block total was the fourth-highest in school history and was a mere two blocks shy of the schoo record of 23.5 set in a five-game win at Wichita State on Oct. 24, 1986. Texas tallied more kills (69-53) and more digs (88-79), but the Wildcats edged the Longhorns in hitting percentage (.141 to .133) and controlled the net with 21.5 blocks to 18. Although she hit a season-low .094 on the evening, senior Liz Wegner paced the Wildcat offense with 17 kills to go along with 13 digs and six blocks. Senior Jayne Christen added nine kills and seven blocks, while senior Lisa Mimick displayed great ability across the board with eight kills, a season-high 23 digs and a career-high nine blocks.
WEGNER BREAKS TWO SCHOOL RECORDS AS K-STATE EDGES MISSOURI, 3-2
Senior Liz Wegner became Kansas State's all-time kills leader with a season-tying 26 last Wednesday evening, as the Wildcats won a heartstopping five-game battle with Big 12 Conference rival Missouri, 30-22, 19-30, 30-25, 23-30, 15-13, before 1,026 fans at Ahearn Field House. She also set the school mark for 20-kill matches with the 27th of her career. Missouri dominated the statistics across the board, topping Kansas State in kills (78-71), hitting percentage (.249 to .216) and total blocks (13-9), but the Wildcats edged the Tigers in digs (80-74) and service aces (6-4). It marked the first time this season that K-State has won a match and been outscored in kills and hitting percentage. Like she has all season, Wegner led the way for Kansas State, as she tallied her sixth double-double of the season with a team-high 26 kills and 16 digs in the victory. Pollard continued her impressive play this season with 14 kills and 12 digs in the victory. In just her second start, Guerre earned her first double-double with 57 assists and 14 digs. Mimick and Christen each added eight kills, while Mimick matched Wegner with 16 digs. In her first significant action of her career, Lisa Martin added seven kills on .600 hitting with a team-high six blocks.
'CATS SEE WINNING STREAK END, DROP FOURTH STRAIGHT AT TECH
Kansas State saw its five-match winning streak come to end on Saturday night, as Texas Tech won its fourth straight over the Wildcats in Lubbock with a 28-30, 30-22, 30-21, 31-29 victory before 551 at the United Spirit Arena. It marked the fifth time in six visits to Lubbock that the Wildcats have fallen to the Red Raiders. Kansas State set team season-highs in three categories - attack errors (34), total attempts (214) and digs (80) - and game-highs in two categories - kills (22) and total attempts (62). Wegner led the Wildcats with 25 kills on .328 hitting to go with 12 digs in the losing effort. With her 25-kill performance, she tied Dawn Cady for most 20-kill matches in a career. She also moved past Cady for second-place all-time in career kills. Pollard added another double-double with 14 kills and a team-high 19 digs.
'CATS RUN WIN STREAK TO FIVE, BEAT OU FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT TIME
Kansas State extended their winning streak to a season-best five matches, as the Wildcats used a season-best .383 hitting percentage to down Oklahoma, 30-13, 30-16, 30-23, on Sept. 19 before 1,286 fans in the home conference opener. The team also scored a season-high 10 service aces. The Wildcats have now won four straight league openers dating back to 1998 and extend their winning streak over the Sooners to five matches. Senior Liz Wegner led the way for Kansas State with 17 kills on a season-best .464 hitting percentage. She also tallied eight digs, three service aces and three blocks. Junior Jenny Pollard posted 11 kills on .417 hitting with a team-high nine digs, while Lisa Mimick added 10 kills and eight digs.
'CATS REPEAT AS WILDCAT CLASSIC CHAMPS, WEGNER NAMED MVP
After dropping tough, hard-fought matches to Top 10 powers Hawai'i and UCLA, Kansas State rebounded to take all three matches at its own Wildcat Classic en route to its second straight tournament title... The Wildcats earned wins over Arkansas and Houston by 3-1 scores followed by a 3-0 win over 26th-ranked Washington State in the final... With the three-match sweep over the weekend, the Wildcat have won 31 consecutive non-conference matches at home dating back to 1994... Senior Liz Wegner was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player for the second straight year after averaging 5.82 kills/game on .276 hitting with 0.64 aces/game, 2.73 digs/game and 0.73 blocks/game... Junior OH Jenny Pollard and sophomore MB Lauren Goehring were also named to the all-tournament team.
'CATS PERFORM WELL IN HAWAII, FRITZ GETS FIRST-EVER COACHING WIN
After coming so close in losses to No. 5 Hawai'i and No. 7 UCLA, Kansas State earned its first victory of the season with a three-game sweep of Michigan, a 2000 NCAA Tournament participant, a the 14th annual Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic... The victory was also the first for first-year head coach Suzie Fritz... All-Tournament selection Liz Wegner led the team for the third straight match with 16 kills and 10 digs... On the first day, the Wildcats couldn't hold a 2-0 games lead in a five-game loss to host Hawai'i, while after tying the match at one-game apiece on day two, UCLA came back to win, 3-1.
INGRAM ADDED TO COACHING STAFF
With the elevation of Suzie Fritz to head coach on Aug. 1, Justin Ingram was added to complete the coaching staff on Aug. 20... 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.
'CATS RANK #19 IN PRESEASON POLL
For the third consecutive year, 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 Aug. 14... K-State earned its highest-ever preseason ranking in 2000 with a No. 17 ranking, while the program received its first-ever preseason nod in 1999 with a No. 23 ranking...The team received 354 total points from the 65-member coaching panel to become one of three Big 12 team to earn a ranking in the preseason poll, following top-ranked Nebraska and 18th-ranked Texas A&M.
COACHES PICK 'CATS 4TH IN BIG 12, WEGNER NAMED ALL-BIG 12
Despite returning four 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 top-ranked Nebraska, Texas A&M and Colorado in the voting... For the second consecutive year, Liz Wegner was selected to the preseason all-conference team.
TOUGH SCHEDULE AWAITS 'CATS
Ten NCAA Tournament team, including defending national champion Nebraska and Final Four participant Hawai'i, 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, Michigan, Missouri, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA and Washington State... In all, the schedule features 15 matches with 2000 NCAA Tournament teams and eight contests with teams that were either ranked or received votes in the final USA Today/AVCA Top 25, including three in the Top 10.
VOLLEYBALL RULES CHANGES
Several rule changes have been made effective for the 2001 season... Matches will still utilize a best-of-five games format, requiring a two-point victory margin... However, instead of using side-out scoring, however, matches will now be scored in rally format with the first four games going to 30 points... The fifth game will remain at 15 points... Second, any served ball that hits the net and goes into the opponents' court is in play.
28 YEARS OF WILDCAT VOLLEYBALL
The 2001 campaign marks the 28th season of intercollegiate competition for the Wildcats... K-State owns an all-time mark of 500-447-11 (.528) in 958 matches... Last season, in one of the program's biggest victories of all-time, Kansas State earned its 500th victory, as the Wildcats shocked host and 15th-ranked Pepperdine, 3-1, in the NCAA Tournament to earn its first trip to Sweet 16.