Wildcats Ready to Wreck Texas Tech
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats host Texas Tech at home on Sunday at 6 p.m. in a rescheduled match after the Red Raiders were unable to travel to Manhattan on the originally scheduled date due to a flu outbreak among players. The Wildcats will be looking for their second straight Big 12 Conference win after knocking off No. 23 Texas A&M on Wednesday while the Red Raiders are winless in league action.
Sunday's match will be part of a Wildcat Week with K-State taking on rival Kansas in football on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Fans can get into the volleyball match for just $3 with their ticket stub to Saturday's football game. K-State fans have helped make Ahearn one of the most exciting venues in college volleyball this season averaging nearly 2,000 fans a match and ranking 16th in the nation in attendance.
Texas Tech will be playing on back-to-back days due to the makeup date playing host to Colorado at 4 p.m. Saturday before making the journey to Manhattan, where the Red Raiders have not seen much success. Tech has just one victory in Ahearn Field House with that coming in 2004 when the Raiders came back from a 0-2 deficit to win the match in five sets.
K-State enters the match after a complete performance by the Wildcats in the win against A&M on Wednesday that saw a number of Wildcats have record-setting and career nights. Libero Lauren Mathewson set a school record with 41 digs in the win while Kelsey Chipman moved into second on the all-time block assists list at K-State and setter Soriana Pacheco tied a career-high in assists with 61.
The win over No. 23 Texas A&M also was the first victory over a ranked opponent since K-State defeated No. 14 Cal Poly on Aug. 24, 2007, at a tournament hosted by Wichita State. It was the first win over ranked opponent at home for the Wildcats since besting No. 24 Colorado 3-2 on Nov. 16, 2005.
On The Airwaves
In Big 12 action, K-State is 18-6 against Tech and has won eight straight after last falling at home to the Raiders in 2004. That loss snapped a six-match winning streak against Tech after previously losing in 2001 on the road. The win by Tech at Ahearn in 2004 is the only time the Raiders have defeated the Wildcats on their home floor as K-State is 12-1 against Tech at home.
The shorter the match against Tech the better it is for K-State as the Wildcats have never been swept by the Red Raiders. K-State is 10-0 against Tech in three-set matches while holding a 6-3 record in four sets and 4-4 in five.
Texas Tech: Trish Kissiar-Knight (Southwest Missouri State '80) takes over the Texas Tech program this year after a successful career at the juco level. Knight had a 676-170-3 record at Missouri State West Plains.
Scouting the Red Raiders
Tech is looking to end a 51-match losing streak in Big 12 action as the Raiders have not won a conference match since claiming their Big 12 opener in 2007. This season, Tech has won just one set in conference play falling at Colorado 3-1.
The Raiders are led by sophomore Amanda Dowdy and junior college transfer Barbara Conceicao. Dowdy is averaging 3.31 kills per set and 1.85 digs. Conceicao is one of the league's top blockers stuffing 1.30 attacks a set while also hitting at a .207 clip with 2.04 kills per set.
Tech should be well-rested coming into its two matches this weekend after its regularly scheduled midweek bye on Wednesday. Last time in action, the Raiders fell in three sets to No. 22 Baylor. The last two sets of the contest were close with Baylor getting the edge 25-17, 25-20, 25-23. Dowdy posted 11 kills as the team hit .184 but could not slow down Baylor with a trio of Bears finishing with at least 10 kills.
Catching up with the 'Cats
In the win over the Aggies, junior libero Lauren Mathewson set a school record for digs with 41. She was on pace for an astounding 50 digs through three sets with 31 helped by an impressive 15 in the first set. Mathewson's 36 digs through four sets is the most in Big 12 history and she was one shy of the record for a five-set match of 42 set one week earlier by Iowa State's Ashley Mass.
Senior middle blocker Kelsey Chipman also had a big night for the Wildcats tallying 18 kills on 36 swings without an attack error to hit .500 and move atop the leaders in the Big 12 in hitting percentage at .364 for the season. Chipman was joined by outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm as one of the top offensive threats in the match with a team leading 20 kills in the win over the Aggies. Setter Soriana Pacheco also had a career night with 61 assists and posted her eighth double-double of the season with 11 digs.- k-statesports.com -