K-State Travels To Texas Tech Wednesday
Oct. 29, 2002
KANSAS STATE (13-6, 9-2 Big 12) AT TEXAS TECH (8-11, 3-7 Big 12)
Wednesday, October 30, 2002 * United Spirit Arena (15,050) * Lubbock, Texas * 7 p.m.
Rankings: Kansas State is receiving votes in the latest USA Today/AVCA Top 25 poll... Texas Tech is not ranked.
Coaches: Kansas State's Suzie Fritz is 33-14 (.702) in her second year. She is 2-1 versus Texas Tech. Texas Tech's Jeff Nelson is 160-92 (.634) in his eighth year. He is 5-8 against K-State.
Series: Kansas State leads the all-time series, 10-7, in this, the 18th meeting. The Wildcats have won three of the last four meetings, but are just 1-5 all-time in Lubbock. Four of the last six matches have gone five games.
KANSAS STATE VS. IOWA STATE (10-13, 1-10 Big 12)
Saturday, November 2, 2002 *Ahearn Field House (5,000) * Manhattan, Kan. * 7 p.m.
Rankings: Kansas State is receiving votes in the latest USA Today/AVCA Top 25 poll... Iowa State is not ranked.
Coaches: Kansas State's Suzie Fritz is 33-14 (.702) in her second year. She is 3-0 versus Iowa State. Iowa State's Linda Crum is 19-86 (.181) in her fourth year and 126-175 (.419) in 10 years overall. She is 0-7 against K-State.
Series: Iowa State leads the all-time series, 33-28, in this, the 62nd meeting. The Wildcats have 13 straight in the series dating back to 1996, winning 39 of 40 games in that span.
K-STATE CONCLUDES THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, LOOKING FOR SUCCESS AT PESKY TEXAS TECH... Kansas State (13-6, 9-2 Big 12) looks to end the the month of October with a perfect 8-0 mark, as the Wildcats travel to Lubbock, Texas to face an always-dangerous Texas Tech (8-11, 3-7 Big 12) squad at the United Spirit Arena beginning at 7 p.m. K-State will again have two streaks tested in the trip, as the Wildcats are currently riding a seven-match winning streak dating back to a 3-2 win over the Red Raiders on Oct. 2, while the team has won nine straight road conference matches dating back to a 3-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 31, 2001. The current seven-match winning streak is the team's longest since rattling off eight in a row from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30, 2001. The road conference streak will be severely tested in the second half of league season, as K-State has to make trips to No. 19 Missouri, Texas A&M, No. 23 Texas and No. 4 Nebraska following the journey to Lubbock. The Wildcats have a combined 16-47 (.254) record on the road against those five teams, including a 1-5 mark in Lubbock. This will be the 17th meeting with Texas Tech with the Wildcats holding a narrow 10-7 series advantage. Kansas State has played Texas Tech more times (17) than any other school from Texas. The two teams met four weeks ago on Oct. 2 in Manhattan with K-State taking a 30-20, 28-30, 30-18, 28-30, 15-12 win before 674 fans at Ahearn Field House. The win started the Wildcats' current seven-match winning streak. Junior MB Lauren Goehring paced four players in double-digit kills with a career-tying 19 on .484 hitting, in helping K-State win its fifth straight five-game home match dating back to Sept. 26, 2001. The Wildcats are just 5-4 against the Red Raiders in the last nine meetings, but have not posted a win in Lubbock since Halloween night 1997 in a 5-15, 15-5, 15-7, 16-14 win. The team is 7-0 all-time at home against Texas Tech, but just 1-5 in Lubbock. Kansas State is coming off an impressive road win over Colorado on Saturday, in which, the Wildcats posted a season-best .338 hitting percentage in sweeping the season series from the Buffaloes for the first time since 2000. Kansas State returns home from its two-match road trip on Saturday, as the Wildcats play host to Iowa State (10-13, 1-10 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House beginning at 7 p.m.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK... Kansas State went 2-0 for the third straight week this past week, as the Wildcats posted back-to-back three-game sweeps in a 31-29, 30-27, 39-37 win over No. 19 Missouri at home and a 30-22, 30-19, 33-31 victory at Colorado... The two wins extended K-State's winning streak to a season-best seven, the longest since the team rattled off eight straight wins from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30, 2001. Kansas State swept a Top-20 opponent for the first time since beating No. 12 Texas A&M on Oct. 24, 1997, as the Wildcats hung on to beat No. 19 Missouri in three games... K-State shattered school marks for most points scored in a three-game match (100) and most points in one game (39), in recording its second-closest win (by seven total points) in school history... The two teams combined for 31 ties in the first two games alone with a meager four points befing 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. Kansas State ran its road conference winning streak to nine matches on Saturday, as the Wildcats used a season-best .338 hitting percentage to sweep the season series from CU for just third time and for the first time since 2000.
'CATS IN THE BIG 12 STATISTICS... Kansas State had several players show up in the latest individual conference statistics... MB Lauren Goehring and S Gabby Guerre rank 6th 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 5.28 per game average, while senior OH Jennifer Pollard fell to 10th with a 3.05 per game average... Downey-Wallace also ranks 2nd nationally... She also leads the category in league-only matches with a 5.97 average... Goehring is 4th in aces (0.44), 5th in points (4.71) and 7th in hitting percentage (.337) and blocks (1.17) in Big 12-only matches... OH Cari Jensen is 4th in kills (4.00) and 9th in points in league-only matches, while MB Lisa Martin is tied for 4th in conference-only blocks (1.19).
'CATS RANK 26TH IN NATIONAL ATTENDANCE... Kansas State is ranked 26th nationally in home attendance with an average of 1,055 fans per match in eight 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 4,598 per match average, while Texas (14), Missouri (15), Texas A&M (19) and Colorado (29) all join Kansas State in the rankings.
QUICK STRIKE... Kansas State has shown an ability to strike quickly on its opponents, as 11 of the team's 13 wins have come in three-game sweeps, including the last four wins... In the sweep of Missouri, the Wildcats swept a Top-20 opponent for the first time since beating No. 12 Texas A&M on Oct. 24, 1997... This came on the heels of the team's first sweep of Texas A&M since 1997 and just the second in series history... During the team's current nine-match road league winning streak, the 'Cats have won seven straight in three games... This year, the team has swept Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado on the road... The 11 sweeps are the most since 2000 (tied school mark with 16).
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 12 of their 19 opponents to a hitting percentage below .200, including seven of their 11 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 11 of those 12 matches, including 11 straight... The team ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in opponent hitting percentage with a .178 average... Kansas State is 13-1 when outhitting its opponent, including 6-0 when hitting over .300 in a match and 10-3 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 nine of their first 11 Big 12 matches, including seven in a row, due to their tough serving and strong defense... In fact, the Wildcats pace the Big 12 in digs (18.06 per game) in conference-only matches and rank 2nd in aces (1.67) and 3rd in both opponent hitting percentage (.180) and blocks (2.69 per game)... K-State has produced 18 more aces and just one more service error against its 11 league opponents to go with 21 more digs and 14 more blocks... In the last seven wins, the Wildcats have held their foes to a .161 hitting percentage, while adding more digs per game (19.29-18.17) and blocks per game (2.85-1.96)... The seven also posted 11 less aces and four 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. nSMARTY PANTS... For a program that believes that the 'student' is just as important as 'athlete', Kansas State once again distinguished itself in the classroom, as four players earned nominations to the Verizon Academic All-District VII team in mid-October... Senior OH Jennifer Pollard and juniors Laura Downey-Wallace, Lauren Goehring and Cari Jensen all were nominated for the team, as they list a cumulative GPA of above 3.7 in their chosen majors... The team also had seven players meet the criteria for first team Academic All-Big 12 honors, including five of the team's six starters.
A LOOK AT TEXAS TECH... Texas Tech enters the match on Wednesday with an 8-11 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 on Oct. 2, 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.
A LOOK AT IOWA STATE... Iowa State enters the match on Saturday with a 10-13 overall record and 1-10 mark in Big 12 play... The Cyclones host Kansas on Wednesday before making the trip to Manhattan... ISU is coming off its most impressive win of the season, as the Cyclones earned its first conference sweep in six years in a 30-23, 30-25, 30-26 win at Baylor on Saturday... Senior MB Mandi Harms posted a match-high 17 kills, while sophomore OH Brittany Dalager added nine kills and 15 digs in helping the team win its first conference match since 2001... Harms paces the squad in both kills (3.17 per game) and blocks (1.34), while Dalager is first in digs (4.08 per game) and aces (0.29) and second in kills (2.92).
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 16 of the Wildcats' 19 matches, including 10 straight matches dating back to Baylor on Sept. 21... During the current seven-match winning streak, Jensen is the team leader in kills (4.25 per game) and is second in points (110.5)... 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 four matches, she has amassed 64 kills (5.33 per game) on just 15 hitting errors on 134 attacks for a .366 hitting percentage... In being chosen Big 12 Player of the Week for the third time in her career on Oct. 28, Jensen averaged 5.67 kills per game on .362 hitting with a 1.83 digs per game and 0.17 blocks per game in wins over No. 19 Missouri and Colorado... She currently leads the team in kills (235) and kills per game (3.62), while she is a close second in points (271) and aces per game (0.29).
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 5.28 digs per game... The average also ranks 2nd nationally... She has posted double-digit dig totals in 18 of the 19 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 11 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 215 digs in league play are 70 more than the second place total of 145 by Colorado's Kim Taskey, who has played in eight more games. With her 5.28 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 five 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 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 first or second on the team in 10 categories, including leading in overall points (276.5), Big 12-only points (169.5), hitting percentage (.352), aces (0.31 per game), block solos (11) and blocks (1.02 per game). She turned in a career-tying 19 kills on a .515 hitting percentage in the 3-0 win against Colorado on Oct. 26... She also had 19 kills against Texas Tech on Oct. 2 and 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 two weeks ago 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 4th in the Big 12 in league-only aces (0.44 per game)... Of her total of 20, 19 have come in the last 12 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 533-461-11 (.536) in 1,004 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 176 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.