K-State Takes on Tulsa in First Round Friday
MANHATTAN, Kan. - No. 11 Kansas State, who is coming off of a third-place finish in the Big 12 Conference, will move into postseason play as host to the first and second rounds of the 2007 NCAA Division I Volleyball tournament, with the Wildcats taking on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Fri., Nov. 30th, at 7:30 p.m. Chosen as a ninth seed in the field of 64, the Wildcats will also host Oregon and Missouri State in the opening match at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in Ahearn Field House.
After dropping the final match of the regular season in a 3-0 decision to No. 3 Texas, K-State finished with a record of 22-8 to mark the most wins since 2003 when the Wildcats went 30-5. The 14 conference wins this season also marks the most since 2003.
The Cats’ first-round opponent, Tulsa, will be making an appearance in the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history after the Hurricane rolled through the Conference USA tournament to capture a conference title. Tulsa has accumulated a 27-8 record through its 2007 campaign and finished with an 11-5 C-USA record. The two squads will be meeting for the first time since Sept. 3, 1993, when K-State won 3-2.
The winner of the Oregon/Missouri State match will take on the Kansas State vs. Tulsa victor to compete in a match on Sat., Dec. 1st with a 7 p.m. first serve. All of the action can be followed online through livestats on both www.kstatesports.com and www.ncaasports.com. Kansas State’s opening round match will be broadcast on 1350 KMAN with Brian Smoller calling the play-by-play action. If the Cats advance to Saturday’s second round, 1350 KMAN will also be covering the match from Ahearn Field House.
Tickets for the rounds being played in Manhattan, Kan., can be purchased online at www.kstatesports.com or by calling the Kansas State athletic ticket office at (800) 221-CATS.
A complete recap of the Kansas State match will be posted online at www.kstatesports.com at the contest’s conclusion.
Despite dropping their lone match of the last week of regular season, K-State moved up to its highest ranking of the season at 11th after being ranked 12 for four-straight weeks... K-State is 7-3 in the last 10 contests with the losses being handed to the Cats from ranked squads... The last time the Wildcats fell to an unranked squad was Sept. 19th at home against Oklahoma in a 3-2 thriller... The loss was K-State’s only against an unranked opponent this season, while the Cats have won 20... K-State’s nation-leading ace streak continues and sits at 284 straight matches of at least one service ace... K-State is 20-1 against unranked teams in 2007.
Kansas State Pre-Match Report
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Nataly Korobkova, who also earned All-Big 12 First Team honors, leads the Cats with 470 kills on .236 hitting, while also chipping in 35 aces, 187 digs and 124 blocks. All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honorees Megan Farr and Stacey Spiegelberg provide key stats as well for the offense. Farr has put together 272 kills while hitting a team-high .386 percent; she also sits second on the team in blocks with 150 to average 1.35 per game. Spiegelberg sets up the attackers with her 1,482 season assists, as the senior ranks third in the conference with 13.35 apg.
The Cats’ key defender, Angie Lastra, earned the Big 12 Libero of the Year for the second time in her career. She paces the squad in digs after chasing down 533 to average 4.80 per game. The All-Big 12 Honorable Mention performer earns points for K-State in her service rotation as she has 32 aces on the year (0.29 sapg).
Scouting Report: Tulsa
Fabiola Nepomuceno has blistered opponent defenses with 637 kills this season to average 4.86 per game while hitting .222 percent. Setter Julia Silva leads in assisting to Nepomuceno having 1,427 assists. Silva also adds numbers in digs with 430 (3.28 dpg) and 107 blocks (0.82 bpg). Others adding key offensive stats include Nicole Boyle with 60 service aces and Emma Ridley, who has converted for 411 kills (3.14 kpg).
Key defenders are Malorey Grove and Hannah Stout. Grove has averaged 5.02 digs per game after tallying 658 in 131 games. Stout leads the block with 145 (24 solo, 121 assisted) and averages 1.11 bpg.
Scouting Report: Missouri State
The .229 hitting of Missouri State has three individual attackers averaging over 3.00 kills per game. Jamie Adams leads all with an average of 3.92 kpg while recording 435 kills in 111 games. Katelyn Panzau has been instrumental in setting up the offense, as she averages 12.12 assists per game.
Four Bear defenders have notched over 300 digs this season: Nikki Vandepopulier leads with 415 (3.99 dpg); Sarah Thomas has 389 (3.47 dpg); Cara Hackmann sits with 373 (3.36 dpg); and Terri Del Conte has 358 (3.20 dpg). Thomas and Shayla Patrick have over 100 blocks each; Thomas averages 1.20 bpg with 134 this season while Patrick adds 118 total (1.11 bpg).
Scouting Report: Oregon
Former K-State head coach Jim Moore leads the powerful Duck hitting squad that is averaging .273 hitting percentage. Gorana Maricic leads with 544 kills (5.44 kpg) on .282 hitting. Sonja Newcombe and Heather Meyers each have over 300 kills to average 3.00 kpg. Nevena Djordjevic and Rachel Morris split setting duties, as Djordjevic averages 8.53 assists per game while Morris is at 5.10 apg.
Key defenders on the Ducks squad are Katie Swoboda, Neticia Enesi and Kristen Forristall. Swoboda is the leading passer with 523 digs (5.34 dpg). Enesi and Forristall have 100 and 101 blocks, respectively, to each average 1.00 blocks per game or better.
KSU has played a member of each conference in the tournament, though, producing a record of 2-3 against members of Conference USA (Louisville 1-0), Missouri Valley Conference (Drake 1-0 - NIVC Tournament) and the Pacific 10 (USC 0-1; Washington State 0-2).
Wildcats in NCAA Tournament
Fritz-Coached NCAA Tournament History
Lastra Enters NCAA History
If Lastra continues to play every game of her career, she will become one of only 16 former collegiate players to have played in each game throughout her career (minimum 400 games).
Keeps Going and Going
Four Wildcats Voted for All-Big 12 Honors
Korobkova becomes the second Wildcat to be listed as the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year, as Vali Hejjas won the award in 2003. Also being honored to the All-Big 12 First Team, Korobkova becomes the 14th Wildcat to be selected to the first team and the 18th overall first team accolade.
Lastra earns the Big 12 Libero of the Year distinction for the second time in her career. The Carolina, Puerto Rico, native was chosen for the same honor as a freshman in 2004. With an honorable mention to the All-Big 12 team, Lastra earns her first all-conference selection.
Junior Farr and senior Spiegelberg were listed on the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for their first all-conference career honors. As K-State lists four members on the All-Big 12 team, it marks the most for a Wildcat squad since honoring five in 2003. Four individuals were also voted in 2002. For the 2007 squad, Texas had the most honors with six, while Nebraska finished with five individuals; Iowa State, Missouri and Oklahoma each had one all-conference student-athlete.
Big 12 Notes
Tournament Takers: The Big 12 tied with the Big Ten and Pacific-10 for most qualifications to the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Each conference earned six bids this year; Nebraska, Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Missouri each earned a berth this season.
Regional Selections: Kansas State is the lone conference member to be placed in the Stanford Region, while Missouri is the only at the Pennsylvania regional. Oklahoma and fourth-seeded Texas are listed in the Gainesville, Fla., Region, and second-seed Nebraska and Iowa State were selected for the regional located at Madison, Wis.