MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State, fresh off of a convincing win over Texas Tech, will have its second opportunity to upset Nebraska, as the Wildcats and Huskers faceoff on Sat., Nov. 3rd in Ahearn Field House. No. 12 K-State sits at third in the conference with a 10-4 record (18-6 overall), while the second-ranked Huskers are in second at 12-1 with a 20-1 overall mark. Both teams found victory in their midweek match as the Wildcats won 3-0 over the Red Raiders and Nebraska had a scare at home but pulled out a 3-2 win over Missouri.
In the season’s earlier meeting, the Huskers handed K-State its first loss after three-straight victories when the NU swept the Cats in three. Nebraska earned its then-13th win in games of 30-16, 30-16, 30-25 in Lincoln, Neb.
Saturday’s battle will be broadcast live via the internet at www.kstatesports.com and www.1350kman.com. Coverage can be found on the radio following football action. Live stats will be linked at Kansas State’s official athletic website, www.kstatesports.com, where a complete recap can be found after the match’s conclusion.
Kansas State is ranked 12th, its highest rank of the season... K-State is 7-3 in the last 10 contests with the losses being handed to the Cats from ranked squads... K-State has an 8-2 road record while being 4-2 in Big 12 home matches... K-State’s nation-leading ace streak continues and sits at 279 straight matches of at least one service ace... The Wildcats have six matches of 10 or more aces this year... K-State lost the first match against Nebraska this year, marking the seventh straight... The last KSU win over the Cornhuskers was Nov. 15, 2003, in a 3-1 score... K-State’s last home loss to NU was Oct. 28, 2006 in three games... The Huskers lead the series 73-3 and are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings... The Cats are 1-32 at home in Ahearn versus NU, while Suzie Fritz is 2-11 all-time against NU... K-State is 1-5 against ranked teams in 2007, with lone victory against Cal Poly in the season opener... The Cats have held 15 of their last 17 opponents under .250 hitting, including their last six under .200.
Kansas State Pre-Match Report
Kansas State and Nebraska will hit the court on Saturday ranked as the third and second team in the conference, respectively, as each chase Texas for the title. The Wildcats finished Wednesday with a win to improve to 18-6 overall and 10-4 in the Big 12 Conference. The victory brought K-State to three-straight with the last loss coming on Oct. 19th to then-No. 23 Oklahoma. The Wildcats will be looking to not only continue their win streak, but to end a streak of five losses to ranked teams; KSU’s last win over a top 25 program was in the season opener with a 3-2 score over then-No. 14 Cal Poly.
The last contest on the court for K-State ended with a 3-0 win in Lubbock, Texas, as the Wildcats topped the Red Raiders in games of 30-14, 30-19, 30-22. The win was the third straight for the Cats as it became an offensive battle that K-State emerged with .397 hitting while holding Tech at .098.
K-State’s attack was led by Rita Liliom with 19 kills on .444 hitting. Jenny Jantsch had a productive match with 13 kills after swinging at .423 percent. Kelsey Chipman and Nataly Korobkova each ended the night with 10 kills as both hit better than .300. Stacey Spiegelberg had 47 assists, seven digs and two blocks against the Red Raiders. Angie Lastra led the defensive effort with 17 digs, while Chipman had a team-high three blocks.
The Wildcat team has played through 86 games this season accumulating a hitting percentage of .262 while holding the opponent below .200 at .177. K-State has relied on a number of individuals for productivity up front and has found answers in Korobkova and Liliom as each have over 300 kills on the year. Korobkova paces the squad with 368 kills to average 4.49 while hitting at .240 percent. Liliom trails with 313 total kills and averages 3.64 per game with a slightly higher hitting percentage than Korobkova at .244.
The middle has provided additional attack depth for K-State as both Chipman and Megan Farr have over 200 kills. Chipman is third on the squad with 219 kills while Farr has converted for 203. The two sit at one-two in hitting percentage for KSU; Farr swings at .368 and Chipman averages .323. Chipman, out of Topeka, Kan., leads in blocks with 126 (1.47 bpg), while Manhattan, Kan., native Farr is second with 118 (1.37 bpg).
Senior captain Spiegelberg continues to control two categories of stats for the Wildcats. The product of Overland Park, Kan., has 1142 assists on the year. She averages 13.28 assists per game and ranks third in the Big 12. With 0.41 service aces per game, Spiegelberg leads K-State with 35 aces through 2007.
Career-digs leader Lastra has been the primary defender in the back row for Kansas State. The senior libero has dished out 394 digs and averages 4.58 per game. Lastra has pushed her average up during Big 12 matches, in large part to seven conference matches of 20 or more digs. In non-conference matches, Lastra had an average of 4.20 digs per game and has an average of 4.84 through Big 12 play.
K-State remains in the top four in the conference in six areas: hitting percentage - fourth (.262); opponent hitting percentage - third (.177); assists per game - third (15.27); kills per game - third (16.23); blocks per game - fourth (2.98); and service aces per game - first (2.07).
Scouting Report: Nebraska
In the last meeting between Kansas State and Nebraska, the Huskers sat with an undefeated 12-0 record and at No. 1 in the country. This time around the Wildcats will meet a scathed Nebraska squad as NU fell in a sweep to now-No. 3 Texas on Oct. 24th. The Longhorns easily handled the Huskers in games of 30-22, 30-25, 30-20.
The defending national champion Husker squad returned to the court after a week’s break with something to prove against the Missouri Tigers on Oct. 31st. Having fallen to No. 2 in the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll, the Huskers looked to return to winning ways at home in Lincoln, Neb., with their volleyball faithful looking on.
NU faced a tough Tiger squad that challenged the Huskers until the end when Nebraska prevailed with a 3-2 win in games of 30-19, 32-34, 30-11, 24-30, 15-10. The Huskers dominated the stats sheets with hitting of .303 while holding MU to .161 percent. Five Huskers converted for 10 or more kills with senior Sarah Pavan leading all with 22. Nebraska was resilient on the defensive side as five also had double-digit digs, including 22 from Chris Houghtelling and 21 out of Rachel Schwartz. After the night was through, four Huskers finished with double-doubles (Houghtelling 14k-22d; Pavan 22k-14d; Jordan Larson 17k-16d; and Rachel Holloway 64a-13d).
Pavan is atop the Huskers in kills with 320 on .338 hitting through 66 games. The 2006 National Player of the Year averages 4.85 to rank first among Big 12 individuals. Larson is 10th in the Big 12 with an average of 3.48; she has 230 kills on the year while hitting .270. The two combine to form a one-two punch for the Husker offense that has a league-leading kill average of 18.18 per game. Houghtelling isn’t far behind with 219 kills to average 3.37 per game.
The attackers receive help from Holloway, who ranks fourth in the nation for assists per game. The sophomore has 911 assists through 66 games and sits with an average of 13.80. Holloway’s leading passer is Rachel Schwartz with 3.98 digs per game. Schwartz has 239 digs on the year with action in 60 games. She ranks sixth in the conference in average, while teammate Houghtelling is 10th with an average of 3.82 per game. The senior has 248 digs in 65 games.
Both middle blockers Tracy Stalls and Kori Cooper average slightly higher than 1.00 block per game. Stalls leads the Huskers with 71 on the year (12 solo, 59 assisted) to average 1.08, while Cooper average 1.07 with 60 total (10 solo, 50 assisted).
The Huskers rank in the top two in six categories among Big 12 squads. Nebraska is first in opponent hitting percentage (.159), assists (16.73) and kills (18.18). They rank second in hitting percentage (.329), service aces (1.68) and digs (16.36). NU is sixth in the final category, blocks, averaging 2.69 per game.