K-State Travels To Face Colorado Saturday
Oct. 25, 2002
KANSAS STATE (12-6, 8-2 Big 12) vs. COLORADO (11-9, 5-5 Big 12)
Saturday, October 26, 2002 * Coors Events Center (11,076) * Boulder, Colo. * 8 p.m. CST
Rankings: Kansas State is receiving votes in USA Today/AVCA poll... Colorado is not ranked.
Coaches: Kansas State's Suzie Fritz is 32-14 (.696) in her second year. She is 2-1 versus Colorado. Colorado's Pi'i Aiu is 109-66 (.623) in his sixth year. He is 5-6 against K-State.
Series: Colorado leads the all-time series, 21-11, in this, the 33rd meeting between the two teams. However, Kansas State owns a narrow 7-6 advantage in the last 13 meetings, including a 6-5 edge in Big 12 matches. The Wildcats have won three of the last four in Boulder.
LAST TIME OUT...
KANSAS STATE DEF. #19 MISSOURI, 31-29, 30-27, 39-37
Wednesday, October 19, 2002 * Ahearn Field House (889) * Manhattan, Kan.
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Junior OH Cari Jensen turned in a season-best 20 kills on .400 hitting to go with 10 digs in helping Kansas State extend its winning streak to a season-high six matches in a 31-29, 30-27, 39-37 upset victory over No. 19 Missouri on Wednesday evening before 889 fans at Ahearn Field House... The two teams combined for 31 ties in the first two games alone with a meager four points being the largest lead by either team... In the record-setting third game, K-State had 10 match points and Missouri had four game points en route to the longest game in either schools' histories.
K-STATE BEGINS THE SECOND HALF OF BIG 12 PLAY WITH A TRIP TO FACE COLORADO... Coming off its first victory over a ranked team in 2002, Kansas State (12-6, 8-2 Big 12) begins the second half of Big 12 Conference play with a trip to Boulder, Colo., to face an improving Colorado (11-9, 5-5 Big 12) squad at the Coors Events Center beginning at 8 p.m. CST. K-State will have two streaks tested in the trip, as the Wildcats are currently riding a six-match winning streak dating back to a 3-2 win over Texas Tech on Oct. 2, while the team has won eight straight road conference matches dating back to a 3-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 31, 2001. The current six-match winning streak is the team's longest since rattling off eight in a row from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30, 2001. The trip to Boulder is the first of two to end the month of October, as the Wildcats travel to Lubbock, Texas to face Texas Tech (8-11, 3-7 Big 12) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The road conference streak will be severely tested in the second half of league season, as K-State has to make trips to Texas Tech, No. 19 Missouri, Texas A&M, No. 23 Texas and No. 4 Nebraska following the journey to Boulder. The Wildcats have a combined 22-57 (.278) record on the road against those six teams. This will be the 33rd meeting with Colorado, as the Buffaloes hold a 21-11 all-time advantage. A series dominated early by CU has been one of the most competitive since 1995 with Kansas State holding a narrow 8-7 advantage. The Wildcats have more wins in Boulder (five) than at home (four) against the Buffs with wins in three of the last four visits. The two teams met just two weeks ago on Oct. 12 in Manhattan with K-State taking a 30-23, 30-24, 17-30, 30-23 win before 1,124 fans at Ahearn Field House. Juniors Lauren Goehring and Cari Jensen paced a balanced attack with 13 kills each, while sophomore S Gabby Guerre had a near triple-double with 10 kills, 41 assists and eight digs. Kansas State is coming off arguably its most impressive win of the season on Wednesday, as the Wildcats pulled off a 31-29, 30-27, 39-37 upset victory over No. 19 Missouri. K-State shattered school marks for most points scored in a three-game match (100) and most points scored in one game (39), as the team swept a Top-20 opponent for the first time since beating No. 12 Texas A&M on Oct. 24, 1997.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK... Kansas State went 2-0 this past week, as the Wildcats posted back-to-back three-game sweeps in a 30-27, 30-25, 30-22 win at Kansas and a 30-21, 30-21, 32-30 victory at home against Texas A&M... The two wins extended K-State's winning streak to a season-best five, the longest since the team rattled off eight straight wins from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30, 2001. Kansas State ran its road conference winning streak to eight matches on Wednesday, as the Wildcats extended their winning streak over rival Kansas to 15 matches with a 3-0 victory before a near capacity crowd of 1,300 fans at Horejsi Family Athletic Center... The sweep with the fifth straight against the Jayhawks... The Wildcats, who have now won six straight Big 12 road matches in three games, also moved to 4-0 at the Horejsi Family Athletic Center... Junior OH Cari Jensen was nearly unstoppable in the win, as she tallied a season-best 17 kills on .389 hitting... MBs Lauren Goehring and Lisa Martin combined for 25 kills and nine blocks. Kansas State swept Texas A&M for the first time since 1997 and for just the second time in school history in Saturday's win... The Aggies dominated the statistics, however, they turned in a season-worst .087 hitting percentage and tallied more than twice as many hitting errors as the Wildcats... Jensen led the team with 13 kills.
'CATS IN THE BIG 12 STATISTICS... Kansas State had several players show up in the latest individual conference statistics... S Gabby Guerre and MB Lauren Goehring rank 8th and 9th, respectively, in hitting percentage, while Guerre is 7th in assists... L Laura Downey-Wallace leads the Big 12 in digs per game with a 5.24 per game average, while senior OH Jennifer Pollard fell to 9th with a 3.06 per game average... Downey-Wallace also ranks 2nd nationally... She also leads the category in league-only matches with a 5.97 average... Cari Jensen is 5th in kills (3.94), tied for 8th in aces (0.36) and 10th in points (4.48) in Big 12-only matches... Lisa Martin is tied for 7th in league-only blocks (1.21), while Goehring is 3rd in conference-only aces (0.42).
'CATS RANK 27TH IN NATIONAL ATTENDANCE... Kansas State is ranked 27th nationally in home attendance with an average of 1,079 fans per match in seven matches this season... This is nothing new for Kansas State, which 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 4,663 per match average, while Texas (14), Texas A&M (18), Missouri (19) and Colorado (28) all join Kansas State in the rankings... The 2,876 fans that attended Kansas State's match with Nebraska on Sept. 18 ranked as the 35th-largest crowd in the NCAA this year and the 22nd-largest on the mainland.
QUICK STRIKE... Kansas State has shown an ability to strike quickly on its opponents, as 10 of the team's 12 wins have come in three-game sweeps... K-State swept Texas A&M for the just the second time in series history and for the first since 1997 on Saturday... During the team's current eight-match road league winning streak, the Wildcats have won six straight in three games... This season, the team has swept Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Kansas on the road... In 2001, the team earned nine wins in three games.
GETTING DEFENSIVE... A trademark for Kansas State over the years has been its ability to frustrate its opponents and force them into making unforced errors... The Wildcats have continued that trend in 2002, as they have held 11 of their 18 opponents to a hitting percentage below .200, including six of their 10 conference foes... The team held Texas A&M to a season-low .087 hitting percentage on Oct. 16, marking the third time this season that they have held a team under .100 hitting... K-State has capitalized on this trend by winning 10 of those 11 matches, including 10 straight... The team ranks 5th in the Big 12 in opponent hitting percentage with a .180 average... Kansas State is 12-1 when outhitting its opponent, including 5-0 when hitting over .300 in a match and 9-3 when hitting over .200 in a match.
SERVING AND DEFENSE KEY TO RECENT SUCCESS... The old saying that 'the best offense is a good defense' was never more true than with Kansas State's recent success in Big 12 play... The Wildcats have won eight of their first 10 Big 12 matches, including six in a row, due to their tough serving and strong defense... In fact, the Wildcats pace the Big 12 in digs (18.15 per game) in conference-only matches and rank 2nd in aces (1.70), 3rd in opponent hitting percentage (.184) and 6th in blocks (2.58 per game)... K-State has produced 18 more aces and four fewer service errors against its 10 league opponents to go with 22 more digs and six more blocks... In the last six wins, the Wildcats have held their foes to a .165 hitting percentage, while adding more digs per game (19.62-18.29) and blocks per game (2.69-2.05)... The six also posted nine less aces and 11 more errors.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE, PART I... Don't tell the Kansas State players there is no such thing as a home court advantage... Not only have the Wildcats won 80 percent of their home matches over the last five years, they have done it in some tight situations... With the 3-2 win over Texas Tech at home on Oct. 2, Kansas State has now won five straight five-game home matches dating back to Sept. 26, 2001. In fact, the program has won seven of the last nine five-game matches it has played at home since 1998.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE, PART II... With the 3-1 win over Colorado on Oct. 12, Kansas State earned its 200th win at Ahearn Field House this season... The 'Old Barn' has been the home to Wildcat volleyball since its inaugural season in 1974... The program has compiled an impressive 202-118-5 (.631) since that season, including a 59-15 (.797) mark over the last five years... In all, the Wildcats have upset 14 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 31 of its last 36 home matches over the last three years.
A LOOK AT COLORADO... Colorado enters the match on Saturday with a 11-9 overall record and 5-5 mark in Big 12 play... The Buffaloes have gone 2-1 in league play since losing 3-1 to the Wildcats on Oct. 12, winning tough road tests at Texas Tech and Iowa State... CU rebounded from a loss in game one to post a 28-30, 30-21, 31-29, 30-20 win over the Cyclones on Wednesday... Junior OH Monique Gerlach posted a team-high 17 kills on .303 hitting with 12 digs in the Buffs' second straight road victory... Senior MB Meghan Barkman add 16 kills on .444 hitting with 11 digs, while freshman MB Maragda Santillana added 12 kills on .357 hitting with a team-best three blocks... Senior S Elizabeth Gower tallied another all-around performance with nine kills, 43 assists and seven digs... The Buffs hung on to beat Texas Tech on Oct. 19 in a match that saw three of the four games go into extra points... Monique Gerlach tallied a match-high 23 kills on an amazing .465 hitting percentage in the 31-33, 36-34, 31-29, 30-26 win... Colorado has nine players that average at least one kill per game led by Gerlach, who is averaging 3.78 kills on .360 hitting on the season... She also leads in aces per game (0.30) and is second in blocks per game (0.84)... Barkman is the leader in blocks per game (1.04), while adding 2.78 kills per game on .280 hitting.
A LOOK AT TEXAS TECH... Texas Tech enters the match on Wednesday with an 8-12 overall record and 3-7 mark in Big 12 play... A deceptive 3-7 mark, as the Red Raiders have taken both the Wildcats and Texas A&M to five games on the road... The Raiders, who have gone 2-4 since losing to K-State, snapped a four-match losing streak on Wednesday with a 30-20, 30-20, 30-18 win at home over Oklahoma... Sophomore OH Kelly Johnson tallied 18 kills on .484 hitting with six aces and five digs, while junior OH Angela Mooney added 12 kills on .478 hitting... Johnson paces the squad in both kills (4.42 per game) and aces (0.46), while senior OH Melissa McGehee adds 3.81 kills per game and 2.64 digs per game... Sophomore DS Jessy Herrera averages a team-best 3.28 digs per game.
JENSEN BECOMES A FORCE FOR 'CAT OFFENSE... One of the key elements in Kansas State's recent success has been the play of junior OH Cari Jensen, who has totaled double-digit kills in 15 of the Wildcats' 18 matches, including nine straight matches dating back to Baylor on Sept. 21... During the current six-match winning streak, Jensen is the team leader in kills (4.19 per game) and points (96.0)... She has broken her season-high in kills in two of the last three matches, totaling 17 kills on .389 hitting against Kansas on Oct. 16 before recording 20 kills on .400 hitting with 10 digs in the win over No. 19 Missouri on Oct. 23... In the last three matches, she has amassed 50 kills (5.56 per game) on just 10 hitting errors on 105 attacks for a .381 hitting percentage... Jensen leads the team in both kills (3.56 per game) and aces (0.31 per game) and is squad leader in points in both overall (256.5) and Big 12-only matches (148).
DOWNEY-WALLACE EXCELLING AT 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... She has made an instant impact for the team in 2002, averaging a team and Big 12-best 5.24 digs per game... The average also ranks 2nd nationally... She has posted double-digit dig totals in 17 of the 18 matches thus far, including 20 or more on eight occasions. On Oct. 12, she posted 30 or more digs for the second in three matches with 31 against Colorado, the second-most digs in a four-game match in school history... She posted a career-best 32 digs against Texas Tech on Oct. 2, the third-most digs in a five-game match. In 10 Big 12 matches this year, she is averaging a league-best 5.97 digs per game, including her 32-dig effort against Texas Tech (10/2)... Her 197 digs in league play are 64 more than the second place total of 133 by Colorado's Kim Taskey, who has played in eight more games. With her 5.24 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.
GABBY THE GREAT... Sophomore S Gabby Guerre continues to show her tremendous all-around ability as a volleyball player, as she has a team-leading seven double-doubles, including two in the last four matches... In wins over Oklahoma and Colorado on Oct. 9-12, Guerre posted a double-double and a near triple-double, as she averaged 2.71 kills per game on .459 hitting with a 9.86 assists per game, 1.71 digs per game and 0.86 blocks per game... She missed her first career triple-double against the Buffs by just two digs, as she posted 10 kills on .421 hitting with 41 assists, eight digs and three blocks... Guerre was again impressive all-around against Texas A&M on Oct. 19 with seven kills on .375 hitting with 33 assists, eight digs and four blocks. She currently ranks 8th in the Big 12 in hitting percentage with a .345 clip, while she ranks 7th with an 11.63 assists per game average... She also averages 1.65 kills per game, 2.21 digs per game and 0.73 blocks per game. She has posted five or more kills in 12 matches this year... With her five kills against Missouri, she became just the fourth setter in school history to tally 100 kills in a single-season, joining Renee Whitney (1984-95) and Kristin Martin (1989)... She remains in reach of Martin's school-record for kills by a setter of 188 set in 1989.
GOEHRING BECOMES AN ALL-AROUND THREAT... Junior MB Lauren Goehring has developed into one of the Wildcats' top all-around offensive threats in 2002... She currently ranks second on the team in 10 categories, including overall points (251.5), Big 12-only points (144.5), kills (3.21 per game), hitting percentage (.340), blocks (0.94 per game) and aces (0.29 per game). She turned in a career-tying 19 kills on a .484 hitting percentage in the 3-2 win against Texas Tech on Oct. 2... She also had 19 kills against Arkansas in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. She re-entered the Big 12 rankings in hitting percentage in both overall and conference-only matches last week and continued her climb after hitting .350 or better in both matches against Kansas and Texas A&M... She was the league leader in hitting percentage on Sept. 9 after she posted a combined .543 hitting percentage against Wichita State and Arkansas State... Against ASU (9/8), she turned in 17 kills on .652 hitting - the highest hitting percentage by a Wildcats since Goehring posted a .857 mark against Air Force (9/9/00)... In being named the MVP of the University Park Classic on Aug. 31, she posted the fifth-highest hitting percentage in the history of the tournament with a .460 average. She has also surfaced as one of the team's best servers... The team leader in 2001 with 37 aces, she is 3rd in the Big 12 in league-only aces (0.42 per game)... Of her total of 18, 17 have come in the last 11 matches, including three each against Nebraska (9/18) and Baylor (9/21).
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, while Downey-Wallace will staff the new libero position for the Wildcats.
'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 532-461-11 (.536) in 1,003 matches... The match against Oklahoma on October 9 represented 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 174 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 straight 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.