No. 25 K-State Travels To Face No. 20 Missouri Wednesday
Nov. 4, 2002
#25 KANSAS STATE (15-6, 11-2 Big 12) AT #20 MISSOURI (20-4, 9-3 Big 12)
Wednesday, November 6, 2002 * Hearnes Center (13,545) * Columbia, Mo. * 7 p.m.
Radio: 1350 AM KMAN in Manhattan area or over internet at www.k-statesports.com or www.1350kman.com. Brian Smoller handles play-by-play, while Liz Wegner does analysis.
Rankings: Missouri moved to No. 20 in the latest AVCA/USA Today Top 25, while Kansas State jumped into the poll at No. 25.
Coaches: Kansas State's Suzie Fritz is 35-14 (.714) in her second year. She is 3-0 versus Missouri. Missouri's Susan Kreklow is 64-22 (.744) in her third year and 573-142 (.801) in 13 years overall. She is 1-4 against K-State.
Series: Kansas State leads the all-time series, 30-26, in this, the 57th meeting. The Wildcats have won 16 of the last 17 meetings with the Tigers since 1994, including seven of the last eight played in Columbia.
LAST TIME OUT...
KANSAS STATE def. IOWA STATE, 30-12, 30-19, 30-20
Saturday, November 2, 2002 * Ahearn Field House (823) * Manhattan, Kan. * 7 p.m.
Manhattan, Kan. -- Kansas State posted a season-best .348 hitting percentage, as the 'Cats swept the season series from Iowa State for the sixth straight season with a 30-12, 30-19, 30-20 win on Saturday... The Wildcats have now won 14 straight matches against the Cyclones dating back to 1996, including winning 42 of 43 games in that span... K-State held its 13 opponent below .200 hitting, including fourth below .100.
WITH TWO WINNING STREAKS ON THE LINE, No. 25 KANSAS STATE TRAVELS TO FACE No. 20 MISSOURI... For the second time in two weeks, No. 25 Kansas State (15-6, 11-2 Big 12) battles No. 20 Missouri (20-4, 9-3 Big 12) for second place in the Big 12 standings, as the Wildcats travel to Columbia, Mo., to face the Tigers at the Hearnes Center beginning at 7 p.m. K-State will have two streaks on the line in the trip to Missouri, which is a perfect 9-0 at home this season. The Wildcats are currently riding a nine-match winning streak dating back to a 3-2 win over Texas Tech on Oct. 2, while the team has won 10 straight road conference matches dating back to a 3-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 31, 2001. Kansas State's current nine-match winning streak, which includes a perfect 8-0 mark in the month of October, ties the 1978 and 1999 teams for the second-longest winning streak in school history behind the school-record 13-match streak posted from Sept. 24 to Oct. 8, 1977. The nine-match winning streak equals the longest since the program began playing under the NCAA structure in 1982. K-State will have its school-record 10-match road conference winning streak severely tested not only in Columbia, but in the coming weeks, as K-State has to make trips to Texas A&M, No. 23 Texas and No. 4 Nebraska following the journey to Columbia. The 'Cats have a combined 15-42 (.263) record on the road against those four teams, including a 12-8 mark in Columbia. This will be the 57th meeting with Missouri, as K-State holds a narrow 30-26 advantage since the series started in 1974. The two teams met just two weeks ago on Oct. 23 with the Wildcats holding on for a 31-29, 30-27, 39-37 win in Manhattan. The match shattered school marks for most points scored in a three-game match (100) and most points in one game (39) and was the second-closest win (by seven total points) in school history. The two teams combined for 31 ties in the first two games alone, while the record-setting third game produced 14 match or game points in the longest game in either schools' histories. Kansas State returns home on Saturday, as the Wildcats play host to an injury-plagued Baylor (9-14, 2-10 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House beginning at 12 p.m. The Wildcats won the first meeting, 3-0, on Sept. 21 in Waco.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK... Kansas State went 2-0 for the fourth straight week, as the Wildcats posted a 30-27, 31-33, 30-22, 21-30, 15-13 win at Texas Tech on Wednesday before sweeping Iowa State at home on Saturday by scores of 30-12, 30-19, 30-20... The two wins extended K-State's winning streak to a season-best nine, tying the 1978 and 1999 squads for the second-longest winning streak in school history. Kansas State recorded its first win at Texas Tech since 1997 on Wednesday, as the Wildcats survived a wild five-game heartstopper to sweep the season series for just the second time in series history... Five of the last seven matches between the two teams have now gone five games, including both meetings in 2002... The win also extended K-State's school-record road conference winning streak to 10 matches. Kansas State swept the season series from Iowa State for the sixth straight season, as the Wildcats posted a season-best .348 hitting percentage in the three-game sweep... K-State has now won 14 straight matches against Iowa State dating back to 1996, including winning 42 of 43 games in that span... The Wildcats held the Cyclones to a .048 hitting percentage, marking the 13th time the team has hit an opponent below .200 hitting, including the fourth time below .100.
'CATS IN THE BIG 12 STATISTICS... Kansas State had several players show up in the latest individual conference statistics... MBs Lauren Goehring and Lisa Martin rank 5th and 10th in hitting percentage, while Goehring is 7th in blocks... L Laura Downey-Wallace leads the Big 12 in digs per game with a 5.33 per game average, while senior OH Jennifer Pollard improved to 9th with a 3.12 per game average... Downey-Wallace also ranks 3rd nationally... She also leads the category in league-only matches with a 5.93 average... Goehring is 3rd in blocks (1.30), 5th in aces (0.36) and points (4.73) and 7th in hitting percentage (.343) in Big 12-only matches... OH Cari Jensen is T4th in kills (4.02) and 10th in points, while MB Lisa Martin is 6th in hitting (.350) and 10th in blocks (1.09) in league-only matches.
'CATS JUMP BACK INTO AVCA POLL AT No. 25... On the strength of a nine-match winning streak, Kansas State returned to the AVCA/USA Today Top 25 poll on Nov. 4 for the first time since Sept. 9 at No. 25... The Wildcats, who have been receiving votes for the past two weeks, received four more votes (134-130) to wrestle the No. 25 spot from last week's No. 25 Michigan State... K-State was ranked in the first three polls of 2002, including ranking No. 22 in the preseason poll... The Wildcats dropped three spots to No. 25 on Sept. 2 before improving to No. 24 on Sept. 9.
QUICK STRIKE... Kansas State has shown an ability to strike quickly on its opponents, as 12 of the team's 15 wins have come in three-game sweeps, including six of the last eight 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 10-match road league winning streak, the 'Cats have won seven of the last eight in three games... This year, the team has swept Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado on the road... The 12 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 13 of their 21 opponents to a hitting percentage below .200, including eight of their 13 conference foes... The team held Iowa State to a season-low .048 hitting percentage on Nov. 2, marking the fourth time this season that they have held a team under .100 hitting... K-State has capitalized on this trend by winning 12 of those 13 matches, including 12 straight... The team ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in opponent hitting percentage with a .177 average... Kansas State is 15-1 when outhitting its opponent, including 7-0 when hitting over .300 in a match and 12-3 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 11 of their first 13 Big 12 matches, including nine in a row, due to their tough serving and strong defense... In fact, the Wildcats pace the Big 12 in digs (18.55 per game) in conference-only matches and rank 2nd in opponent hitting percentage (.177) and 3rd in both aces (1.55) and blocks (2.68)... K-State has produced 16 more aces and same number of service errors against its 13 league opponents to go with 54 more digs and 21 more blocks... In the last nine wins, the Wildcats have held their foes to a .163 hitting percentage, while adding more digs per game (19.66-18.31) and blocks per game (2.80-1.91)... The nine have also posted nine less aces and five 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 203-118-5 (.632) since that season, including a 60-15 (.800) mark over the last six 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 32 of its last 37 home matches over the last three years.
SMARTY 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 were all 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 MISSOURI... Missouri enters the match on Wednesday with a 20-4 overall record and 9-3 mark in Big 12 play... The Tigers have won three straight since losing to Kansas State on Oct. 23, including a five-game win over then-No. 23 Texas on Oct. 26... MU is coming off a 30-22, 30-17, 24-30, 30-20 win on Saturday at Oklahoma... Redshirt freshman OH Shen Danru led four Tigers in double-digit kills with a match-best 21 kills to go with 15 digs... Senior MB Christi Myers and junior MB Mary Lauren Smith each added 13 kills, while freshman S Lindsey Hunter had a double-double with 48 assists and 11 digs... Missouri ranks first in the Big 12 in kills (16.98 per game), assists (15.49 per game) and aces (2.04 per game), while is second in hitting percentage (.274)... The Tigers have five players that average over two kills per game and three that average over two digs per game... Danru paces the squad in kills (4.12 per game), digs (3.16 per game) and aces (0.53 per game), while Myers adds a team-best 1.18 blocks per game and 3.71 kills per game.
A LOOK AT BAYLOR... Baylor enters the match on Saturday with a 9-14 overall record and 2-10 mark in Big 12 play... The Bears, who have been without at least four starters at one time or another, including top player, Stevie Nicholas, have lost 11 of their last 14 matches... BU snapped a six-match losing streak in Friday's 3-1 win over UTSA... The two teams haven't met since K-State posted a 30-17, 30-22, 30-23 win on Sept. 21 in Waco.
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 18 of the Wildcats' 21 matches, including 12 straight matches dating back to Baylor on Sept. 21... During the current nine-match winning streak, Jensen is the team leader in kills (4.22 per game) and is second in points (144.0)... She has broken her season-high in kills in two of the last six 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 six matches, she has amassed 97 kills (4.85 per game) on just 24 hitting errors on 201 total attacks for a .363 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 (268) and kills per game (3.67), while she is 2nd in points (304.5) and a close 4th in 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 5.33 digs per game... The average also ranks 3rd nationally... She has posted double-digit dig totals in 20 of the 21 matches thus far, including 20 or more on nine occasions. On Oct. 12, she posted 30 or more digs for the second time 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 13 Big 12 matches this year, she is averaging a league-best 5.93 digs per game, including her 32-dig effort against Texas Tech (10/2)... Her 261 digs in league play are nearly 100 more than the second place total of 165 by A&M's Melissa Munsch, who has played in five more games. Her 389 digs on the season already ranks 3rd on the school's single-season list and she needs just 67 to break Kim Zschau's mark of 455 (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 nine double-doubles, including three 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 has posted five or more kills in 14 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 needs just 73 to break Kristen Martin's school-record 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 nine categories, including leading in overall points (315), Big 12-only points (208), hitting percentage (.354), block solos (19), block assists (62) and blocks (1.06 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 versus Arkansas in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. She ranks among the top 10 in the Big 12 in hitting percentage in both overall and conference-only matches after hitting .350 or better in seven of the last nine matches... In that span, she has hit over .400 on five occasions... 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 Wildcat 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 5th in the Big 12 in league-only aces (0.36 per game)... Of her total of 20, she has a team-leading 16 in league play, 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 535-461-11 (.537) in 1,006 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 178 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.