No. 19 K-State Entertains Oklahoma Wednesday
Nov. 19, 2002
#19 KANSAS STATE (18-6, 14-2 Big 12) VS. OKLAHOMA (5-20, 3-14 Big 12)
Wednesday, November 20, 2002 * Ahearn Field House (5,000) * Manhattan, Kan. * 6 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: Kansas State jumped one spot to No. 19 in the latest AVCA/USA Today Top 25 poll on Monday. Oklahoma is not ranked.
Coaches: Kansas State's Suzie Fritz is 38-14 (.731) in her second year. She is 3-0 versus Oklahoma. Oklahoma's Kalani Mahi is 15-71 (.174) in his third season and 53-124 (.299) in five years overall. He is 0-5 against K-State.
Series: Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 40-16-1, in this, the 58th meeting. However, Kansas State has won seven straight in the series, including the last five in three games. The Wildcats hold a 7-14 mark at home against the Sooners, including the last four in a row.
LAST TIME OUT...
KANSAS STATE def. TEXAS A&M, 30-21, 30-23, 30-26
Sunday, November 17, 2002 * G. Rollie White Coliseum (1,238) * College Station, Texas * 3 p.m.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Kansas State used stellar defense to become the first team since Nebraska in 1996 to sweep Texas A&M at home, as the Wildcats posted their 12th consecutive win on Sunday. The Wildcats held the Aggies to their second lowest hitting percentage of the season at .117 and have now held 16 of their 24 opponent to under .200 hitting.
#19 K-STATE LOOKS TO TIE THE 1977 SQUAD'S WINNING STREAK AS OKLAHOMA VISITS... With a chance to tie the 1977 squad for the longest winning streak in school history at 13 matches, No. 19 Kansas State (18-6, 14-2 Big 12) plays host to Oklahoma (5-20, 3-14 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House on Wednesday evening beginning at 6 p.m. The match was moved up one hour due to the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT between the fourth-ranked Kansas State women's basketball team and USC, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum.
A win against Oklahoma would not only tie the school-record for consecutive wins at 13, but also accomplish a few other milestones for the Wildcat program.
- Give them 19 wins for the eighth consecutive season.
- Achieve at least a tie for second place in the league standings, which would tie the 2000 squad for the highest conference finish in school history.
- Tie the school record for conference wins (15) set just a year ago in 2001 and break the mark for the fourth year.
Kansas State's current 12-match winning streak, which includes a perfect 8-0 mark in the month of October, is tied with Pepperdine for the seventh-longest current streak in the nation, trailing Florida (23), Nebraska (22), College of Charleston (19), American (16), Western Kentucky (16) and Northern Iowa (15). The 12-match winning streak is also the longest since the program began playing under the NCAA structure in 1982. The streak began in a 3-2 win over Texas Tech at home on Oct. 2 and has been severely tested on the road at Kansas (3-0), Colorado (3-0), Texas Tech (3-2), Missouri (3-0) and Texas A&M (3-0). The team has lost just five games during the stretch, including four to one team (Texas Tech). The Wildcats have won 13 straight games dating back to a win in game five at Tech. Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 40-16-1, in this, the 58th meeting between the two teams since the series started 1975. However, Kansas State has won 10 of the last 13 matches since the start of Big 12 play in 1996, including seven in a row dating to 1999. The Wildcats swept their fifth straight match against the Sooners in the first meeting of 2002 on Oct. 9 in a 30-20, 30-20, 30-19 win in Norman. K-State hit a stellar .331 in the match, as junior MB Lauren Goehring paced the attack with 11 kills on .467 hitting.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK... Kansas State went undefeated for the sixth straight week, as the Wildcats posted a 30-21, 30-23, 30-26 win at Texas A&M on Sunday in its lone match of the week... The win extended K-State's winning streak to a season-best 12, which ranks as the second-longest winning streak in school history. Kansas State swept the season series from Texas A&M for the first time since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, as the Wildcats held the Aggies to its second lowest hitting percentage (.117) of the season in a 3-0 win in College Station... K-State became just the second team in 10 years to sweep Texas A&M at home and first since No. 5 Nebraska did it in 1996... The win also extended the team's school-record road conference winning streak to 12 matches. Kansas State held its fifth straight opponent to a hitting percentage below .200, as the Wildcats held the Aggies to a .117 hitting in the three-game sweep... K-State has now held 16 of its 24 opponents to a hitting percentage below .200, including 11 of its 16 conference foes... The Wildcats have capitalized on this trend by winning 15 of those 16 matches, including 15 in a row.
'CATS IN THE BIG 12 STATISTICS... Kansas State had several players show up in the latest individual conference statistics... MB Lauren Goehring ranks 5th in hitting percentage and is T7th in blocks... MB Lisa Martin is T7th in blocks... L Laura Downey-Wallace leads the Big 12 in digs per game with a 5.44 per game average, while senior OH Jennifer Pollard is tied for 7th with a 3.13 per game average... S Gabby Guerre is 7th in assists... Downey-Wallace also ranks 3rd nationally... She also leads the category in league-only matches with a 6.00 average... Goehring is 4th in hitting percentage (.348) and blocks (1.23) and 9th in both aces (0.32) and points (4.60) in Big 12-only matches... OH Cari Jensen is 6th in kills (3.87), while Martin is 2nd in blocks (1.26) and 7th in hitting percentage (.328) in league-only matches... Pollard is 5th in aces (0.38) and Guerre is also 9th in hitting (.312) and
'CATS JUMP ONE SPOT TO No. 19 IN AVCA POLL... On the strength of its first-ever win at Texas A&M, Kansas State advanced one spot to No. 19 in the AVCA/USA Today Top 25 poll on Nov. 18... The Wildcats jumped back into the poll on Nov. 4 for the first time since Sept. 9 at No. 25... The ranking is the highest of the season and the highest since finishing the 2001 season at No. 18... The Wildcats were ranked in the first three polls of 2002, including placing 22nd in the preseason, but fell out on Sept. 23 after four straight losses.
QUICK STRIKE... Kansas State has shown an ability to strike quickly on its opponents, as 15 of the team's 18 wins have come in three-game sweeps, including nine of the last 11 wins... In the sweep of Texas A&M, the Wildcats became just the second team in 10 years and the first since Nebraska in 1996 to sweep the Aggies at home... In sweeping Missouri on Nov. 6, the Wildcats swept a Top-20 opponent for the second time this season... During the team's current 12-match road league winning streak, the 'Cats have won nine of the last 10 in three games... This year, the team has swept Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri and Texas A&M on the road... The 15 sweeps are one away from the school-record of 16 set in 2000.
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 16 of their 24 opponents to a hitting percentage below .200, including 11 of their 16 conference foes... The team held Baylor to a paltry .054 hitting percentage on Nov. 9, marking the sixth time this season that they have held a team under .100 hitting... K-State has capitalized on this trend by winning 15 of those 16 matches, including 15 straight... The team ranks 2nd in the Big 12 in opponent hitting percentage with a .163 average... Kansas State is 18-1 when outhitting its opponent, including 9-0 when hitting over .300 in a match and 15-3 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 14 of their last 16 Big 12 matches, including 12 in a row, due to their tough serving and strong defense... In fact, the Wildcats pace the Big 12 in digs (18.38 per game) in conference-only matches and rank 2nd in both opponent hitting percentage (.159) and total blocks (2.86) and 4th in aces (1.57)... K-State has produced 22 more aces and two fewer service errors against its 16 league opponents to go with 46 more digs and 36.5 more blocks... In the last 12 wins, the Wildcats have held their foes to a .143 hitting percentage, while adding more digs per game (19.20-17.93) and blocks per game (3.00-1.93)... The 12 have also posted 15 less aces and seven 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 204-118-5 (.634) since that season, including a 61-15 (.803) 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 33 of its last 38 home matches over the last three years.
ROAD WARRIORS... Kansas State has shown an ability to win in some tight situations the last two seasons, winning 12 straight road Big 12 matches dating back to a 3-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 31, 2001... The Wildcats are a perfect 8-0 on the road in conference play this season, winning at such tough environments as Colorado, Texas Tech, Missouri and Texas A&M... The win at Tech was the first since 1997, while the victory at A&M was the first in seven tries in College Station.
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... Junior OH Cari Jensen was one of six players to earn first team Academic All-District VII honors and will advance to the national ballot, while senior OH Jennifer Pollard and juniors Laura Downey-Wallace and Lauren Goehring 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 earn first team Academic All-Big 12 honors on Nov. 19, including five of the team's six starters.
A LOOK AT OKLAHOMA... Oklahoma enters the match on Wednesday with a 5-20 overall record and 3-14 mark in Big 12 play... The Sooners have lost 12 of their last 13 matches since Oct. 2, including three in a row... The lone win in that span came in a 3-2 victory at Iowa State on Nov. 6... The Sooners are coming off a 3-0 loss at No. 5 Nebraska on Saturday, in which the team posted a negative .026 hitting percentage... Junior OH Christina Barlow paced the squad with seven kills, while freshman L Tara Birkinbine added a team-best nine digs... Senior OH Megan O'Connell leads the team in kills (2.98 per game) and hitting percentage (.228), while senior S Jessica Barney paces in assists (9.73 per game) and aces (0.31 per game)... Senior OH Denise Griffin leads the squad in digs (2.77 per game) and freshman MB Jennifer Mosso adds a team-best 0.87 blocks per game.
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 19 of the Wildcats' 24 matches, including 13 of the last 15 matches dating back to Baylor on Sept. 21... During the current 12-match winning streak, Jensen is the team leader in kills (3.98 per game) and is second in points (175.5)... She has broken her season-high in kills in twice this season, 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 nine matches, she has amassed 125 kills (4.31 per game) on just 33 hitting errors on 282 total attacks for a .326 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 (296) and kills per game (3.61), while she is 2nd in points (336) and 4th in aces per game (0.23) and hitting (.245)
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 5.44 digs per game... The average also ranks 3rd nationally... She has posted double-digit dig totals in 23 of the 24 matches thus far, including 20 or more on 10 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 16 Big 12 matches this year, she is averaging a league-best 6.00 digs per game, including her 32-dig effort against Texas Tech (10/2)... Her 318 digs in league play are nearly 100 more than the second place total of 228 by A&M's Melissa Munsch, who has played in 11 more games. Her 446 digs on the season ranks 2nd on the school's single-season list and she needs just 10 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 10 double-doubles, including four in the last seven matches... In those last seven matches, Guerre has posted four or more kills in each match, including a conference-high nine kills against Baylor (11/9), and totaled double-digit digs in four contests... During the stretch, she is averaging 1.65 kills per game on .284 hitting with a 12.17 assists per game, 2.39 digs per game and 0.91 blocks per game... She posted nine kills on a season-best .615 hitting with 31 assists and team-high four blocks against Baylor (11/9)... She missed her first career triple-double against CU (10/12) by just two digs, as she posted 10 kills on .421 hitting with 41 assists, eight digs and three blocks. She has posted five or more kills in 16 matches this year... With her five kills against Missouri (10/23), 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 54 to break 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 eight categories, including leading in overall points (351), Big 12-only points (244), hitting percentage (.356), block solos (19), total blocks (89) and blocks (1.09 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 nine of the last 12 matches... In that span, she has hit over .400 on seven 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 9th in the Big 12 in league-only aces (0.32 per game)... Of her total of 21, she ranks second with 17 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 538-461-11 (.539) in 1,009 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 180 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.