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K-State Sports Extra Top Moments | March 2014
March 31, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
From memorable wins to big-time individual performances to all-around team victories, March was an exciting month for K-State Athletics. Here are a few moments K-State Sports Extra has highlighted as March's greatest.
Basketball Celebrates Its Senior Classes
The K-State women's basketball team celebrated the careers of its three seniors - Chantay Caron, Katya Leick and Ashlynn Knoll - on March 3, in Bramlage Coliseum before the Wildcats' game against TCU. Caron, forward from Lawrence, Kan., finished her four-year career by playing in a total of 126 games with 55 starts.
Leick transferred to K-State from Nebraska in 2011, but after suffering a season-ending ACL tear in 2012, she was only able to play a single season at K-State. Leick played in 29 games with 27 starts her senior year.
Knoll, a transfer from Seward County Community College, came to K-State before the 2012-13 season, yet, like Leick, also suffered a season-ending injury last season leaving her with just one full season at K-State. Knoll finished her career at K-State playing in 43 games.
The K-State men's basketball team celebrated its 2014 senior class on March 8, in Bramlage Coliseum before K-State's game against Baylor. The Wildcats' said farewell to seniors Will Spradling, Shane Southwell, Omari Lawrence and Ryan Schultz.
This year's senior class has helped K-State produce a 92-40 record, make it to the NCAA Tournament four straight years, and, in 2013, was a part of K-State's first conference championship since1977.
"It's a group where you've got some good, quality people, and I think that's the first thing you talk about," head coach Bruce Weber said, "Omari, he's already gotten his degree in accounting and is working on his masters; Will's going to have a degree in accounting; Shane's going to finish up his degree in the spring; and Ryan's trying to get into med school. They're guys you're going to be proud of, guys that are going to be K-State grads."
Men's Basketball's win over Iowa State Marks 15th Consecutive Home Victory
On March 1, K-State men's basketball defeated then-No. 15 Iowa State in Bramlage Coliseum, 80-73. It marked K-State's 15th home victory in a row dating back to Nov. 13, 2013.
Fifteen straight wins is a Bramlage Coliseum best and a feat unmatched since the 1981-82 season when the Wildcats won 20 straight in Ahearn Field house.
"Fifteen in a row, that's a great legacy for all the seniors and all the guys," head coach Bruce Weber said after the game, "and now you've got to keep it going, and the next group's got to make sure they can keep it going. It's defense, rebounding, believing you can win, the crowd - it was just a good, energized building tonight."
Though the Wildcats suffered their first home defeat of 2014 the following week to the Baylor Bears, there's no doubt the 15-consecutive wins was an exciting achievement.
Equestrian Defeats TCU on Senior Day
On March 8, K-State Equestrian's 21 seniors competed on their home soil for the final time. It was a competition that came down to the wire, but K-State beat TCU, 10-9, and celebrated its seniors with a victory.
"It's definitely very bittersweet," senior Kelly Bovaird said. "Starting off the day today, there was a lot of energy and excitement. We wanted to go out with a big win and that's exactly what we did. It was definitely hard fought all day long, so it was very exciting to come out on top."
The competition came down to Bovaird's final performance of the day where she displayed poise in the arena by carding a 74.5 in Horsemanship and surging the Wildcats to victory.
The K-State seniors finished the 2013-14 regular season a perfect 6-0 record at home and 9-4 on the season.
Baseball Remains Undefeated in Tointon Family Stadium
The K-State baseball team was impressive throughout the month of March as it has held a perfect 10-0 record at home in Tointon Family Stadium this season and went 13-2 on the month.
Despite starting its season with a shaky 1-7 start, the Wildcats were able to turn the season around as the reigning Big 12 Champions are now 15-9 overall.
During March, the Wildcats have home wins over Iowa, Omaha, Northern Colorado, Air Force and Nebraska.
Rowing Earns Season-Opening Victories Over Oklahoma
K-State Rowing kicked off its 2014 season with a bang on March 22, at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas, as it earned seven first-place finishes, including three against No. 19 Oklahoma, 2013's Big 12 Rowing Champions.
The wins over Oklahoma marked some of K-State Rowing's most impressive wins to date, and head coach Pat Sweeney said it was among the best starts for the program in his 10 years as coach.
"All the boats looked good," Sweeney said. "Having this prior week on the water for camp helped. We raced really well and the (Intercollegiate Rowing Center) has provided a clear boost for us as well. It definitely put us in a better position to start the season with conditioning and technique."
For their performance at the Longhorn Invitational, the K-State 2nd Varsity 8 boat made up of coxswain Kara Momo and rowers Chelsea Goble, Lindsay Smith, Aly Bronder, Abby Weaver, Ariana Thompson, Hunter Anne Postier, Lacey Reifschneider and Kayla Brock, was named the Big 12 Boat of the Week.
Romero Named to All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Freshman Team
Kansas State's Leticia Romero added another couple pieces of hardware to her trophy case in her freshman season with the Wildcats as she was named an All-Big 12 Second Team selection and a unanimous selection to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team in an announcement by the league office on Thursday, March 6.
Romero was K-State's first Big 12 All-Freshman Team representative since Ashley Sweat in the 2006-07 season and the first K-State freshman to earn All-Big 12 honors since 2002.
Romero finished her freshman campaign averaging a team-leading 14.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game along with 149 assists and 57 steals.
Foster Named to Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Second team and All-Newcomer Team
K-State freshman Marcus Foster was named to the Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Second Team and to the Big 12's All-Newcomer Team, the league announced on March 9. Foster joined former Wildcat Michael Beasley as the only true freshman in school history to earn recognition to the All-Big 12 teams and was one of just three Big 12 freshmen, joining Kansas' Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, to garner a spot in 2013-14.
Foster finished the season averaging a team-leading 15.5 points per game and 84 assists along with his 19 steals.
Track and Field Earns Five Titles at Big 12 Indoor Championships
The K-State track and field team traveled to Ames, Iowa, for the Big 12 Championship meet on March 1, and came home with 23 athletes placing in the top five of their respective events, while five athletes traveled home with first-place medals.
"In terms of the team placing, we far surpassed what I thought we would do, and, individually, there were a lot of really good performances," head coach Cliff Rovelto said after the meet. "It's really hard for me to find much of anything wrong - it was good."
Wildcats placing first were pentathlete Erica Twiss, heptathlete Devin Dick, pole vaulter Kyle Wait, long jumper Jharyl Bowry and weight thrower Sara Savatovic.
Kivett Records First K-State Cycle in 17 Years
Ross Kivett became the first Wildcat to hit for the cycle in nearly 17 years as the senior helped lead the K-State baseball team to a 12-6 win over Nebraska on Wednesday, March 26, at Tointon Family Stadium.
Kivett led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run and hit a triple in the second, a double in the third and a single in the sixth - his fifth at-bat of the night - to complete the cycle. Kivett is the first K-State player to hit for the cycle since Heath Schesser on April 30, 1997, and third since 1992. Craig Wilson (Feb. 29, 1992) was the first Wildcat to hit for the cycle.
"[Kivett] is a special player and tonight was a special night for him," said head coach Brad Hill after the game. "He got us off to a great start offensively. I think we had a great offensive approach tonight and I was really proud of what we did."
Kivett finished the game with three RBI and three runs scored.
K-State's Ross Kivett celebrates his home run with Shane Conlon during the game against Nebraska at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas on March 26, 2014. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)