MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats return home after consecutive road matches looking to rebound against a ranked Texas A&M team. The Wildcats will take on the Aggies at 7 p.m. Wednesday from Ahearn Field House with the match televised on Fox Sports Kansas City. It will be the fifth time K-State has appeared on television this season.
K-State enters the matchup off a heart-breaking loss at Oklahoma where the Wildcats put together a strong offensive performance but could not slow the Sooners enough to get the win falling 1-3. The Wildcats are looking for their third win in Big 12 Conference action against a team that has not seen much success in Manhattan.
The Aggies trail the all-time series with K-State 16-12 with 11 of their wins coming in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M has just one victory in Manhattan with that coming in 2006 when the Aggies swept the Wildcats 30-28, 34-32, 30-25.
In their match in College Station this season against the Aggies, the Wildcats struggled to slow the attack of A&M's experienced lineup with four seniors. The Aggies hit .374 in the 3-0 win led by seniors Jennifer Banse (12 kills), Sarah Ammerman (11) and Mary Batis (8). Texas A&M also tallied six aces in the match while the Wildcats could not get moving on offense with no players reaching double digits in kills.
On The Airwaves
K-State's match against Texas A&M will be televised on Fox Sports Kansas City with Brian Smoller calling the action assisted by Patti Phillips on color commentary. This marks the fifth televised match of the season for the Wildcats after playing on CBS College Sports at the Runza/AVCA Showcase and on NET at Nebraska.
The radio broadcast can be heard on KMAN1350 with Rob Voelker on the call. It can also be heard on the station's Web site www.kman1350.com.
Live audio and stats will be available through k-statesports.com for fans wanting to track the action live on the web. An audio only feed is through the Wildcat Audio Package.
The Wildcats lead the current series with the Aggies 16-12 after falling 16-25, 15-25, 17-25 at College Station earlier this season. The loss snapped a four-match winning streak for K-State over the Aggies.
Last season, K-State won for just the fourth time in College Station last season where the Wildcats are 4-9. Last season's sweep on the road by K-State marked the second time the Wildcats have won 3-0 at Texas A&M. The only other sweep on the road against Texas A&M came in 2002. The Aggies have just one victory in Manhattan, sweeping the Wildcats in Ahearn in 2006.
The two teams met just once before the inception of the Big 12 Conference with A&M getting a 3-1 win in Austin at the Texas Longhorn Classic. Coach Fritz is 11-6 against the Aggies.
Kansas State: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic '94) is in her ninth year as head coach of the Wildcats she is the winningest coach in the program's history in terms of wins (179) and winning percentage (.658).
Texas A&M: Laurie Corbelli (San Francisco '88) is in her 17th season as the head coach at Texas A&M where she led the Aggies to 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1993-2005. She received Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2000.
Scouting the Aggies
This match will pit K-State against a Texas A&M team fighting for position in the top half of the Big 12 Conference standings. The Aggies are 7-5 in league play and stand in sixth place. Texas A&M got back in the win column after losing back-to-back matches at home to Oklahoma and Texas - both losses were sweeps.
The Aggies are hitting an impressive .261 as a team - ranking second in the Big 12 in that category. They are led by a batch of seniors with six on the team and four playing a major role in the Aggies' success.
Senior outside hitter Sarah Ammerman is pounding out 4.14 kills per set - third in the Big 12 - and is also digging 3.17 balls a set to make a big contribution on defense for the Aggies. Jennifer Banse and Mary Batis complete a trio of senior OH's that make the Aggies go. Banse is averaging 3.34 kills while hitting .277 and digging 2.82 balls a set. Batis averages more than 3.0 kills and digs per set to be another big contributor both offensively and defensively.
Setter Kristen Schevikhoven is another senior and helps coordinate the Aggie offense to its efficiency. She is averaging 11.14 assist per set - second in the Big 12 - and averages 2.52 digs per set.
The Aggies are young up the middle with a pair of freshman middle blockers putting solid numbers on the board. Lindsey Miller leads the team in hitting percentage with a .320 clip and is blocking 0.80 attacks per set. Alisia Katsmo is averaging 0.63 blocks per set. The pair had a good night against K-State the first time around this season with Miller tallying eight kills and hitting .583. Katsmo was nearly perfect on her attempts with seven kills on 10 attempts and three block assists.
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