Cats Look to Knock Off No. 4 Longhorns Saturday


GAME PREVIEW
OCT 1, 7:00 PM

Ahearn Field House
Manhattan, KS

4
TEXAS
LONGHORNS
11-2 (3-0 Big 12)

RV
K-STATE
WILDCATS
12-3 (1-1 Big 12)

ESPN3
1350 MAN

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team looks to knock off the No. 4 Texas Longhorns Saturday night at Ahearn Field House. Texas, last season’s national runner-up, has won the last 25 matches in the series and has been ranked in the top 10 in the last 11 matches in the series.

First serve is slated for 7 p.m., and is the annual Pack the Field House Night with tickets starting at just $1. The match will stream live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Fans can also listen to the match on local radio at 1350 KMAN.

AT A GLANCE

·         Kansas State hosts the fourth-ranked Texas Longhorns in the annual Pack the Field House Night at Ahearn Field House.

·         K-State won its Big 12 opener over Iowa State last week before falling in three sets at Baylor over the weekend.

·         Texas enters the match 3-0 in the Big 12 this season.

·         The matchup will feature the conference’s leaders in assists per set - Katie Brand (11.64/set) and Chloe Collins (11.65/set).

·         The Cats and Longhorns are the top two teams in terms of kills per set - Texas with 14.43 and K-State at 14.15.

·         The match will be streamed live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Fans can also listen to the match on radio at 1350 KMAN.

 

A LOOK AT K-STATE

·         K-State fell out of the AVCA Top 25 after a three-set loss at Baylor Sunday, sitting just outside the top 25 and receiving votes in the poll.

·         Though the official NCAA RPI is not released until later this month, the latest unofficial RPI has Kansas State ranked No. 19, a ranking that factors wins and strength of schedule.

·         K-State currently has the second-highest RPI in the Big 12 behind Texas at No. 4.

·         Kansas State leads the Big 12 in team assists per set (13.51) and rank No. 10 nationally.

·         The Cats are second in the league with 14.15 kills per set and rank 26th nationally.

·         In conference matches, K-State is tops in the Big 12 with 3.50 blocks per set - 0.75 per set better than second place (2.75).

·         K-State ranks in the top half of the Big 12 in 14 major statistical categories.

 

A LOOK AT TEXAS

·         Texas comes to Manhattan with a 3-0 Big 12 record this season and having won its last 10 Big 12 matches, dating back to last season.

·         The Longhorns are 153-10 (.939) in Big 12 matches since 2007 and have won the last five conference titles.

·         Texas is led by Ebony Nwanebu and three-time Freshman of the Week Micaya White.

·         Both Nwanebu (4.35) and White (4.57) average better than four kills a set, ranking in the top five of the Big 12.

·         Nwanebu was named Big 12 co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

·         Nwanebu, White and senior Paulina Prieto Cerame have led the Longhorns in kills in every match this season, all hitting .268 or better.

 

A LOOK AT THE SERIES

·         Texas leads the all-time series 32-7, dating back to 1981.

·         UT has won the last 25 meetings between the teams.

·         The last K-State win came on Oct. 15, 2003 - a five-set victory at home.

·         The Wildcats are 4-16 all-time at home vs. the Longhorns.

·         Texas has been ranked in the top 10 in the previous 11 matchups.

·         Head coach Suzie Fritz is 3-27 against Texas (since 2001).

 

PROTECT THIS HOUSE

·         K-State has won its last seven home matches and is 5-0 at Ahearn Field House this season.

·         K-State is 57-16 (.781) at home since the start of the 2011 season and is 53-7 (.883) against unranked opponents at home in that span.

·         Kansas State owns a 354-167-5 (.678) all-time record at Ahearn Field House.

·         Since 2011, the Cats are 29-12 (.707) in home conference matches.

·         Kansas State has posted a losing record at home just once in the last 22 seasons (7-8, 2009).

·         K-State averages 14.70 kills/set while hitting .275 at home this season opposed to 14.10 kills/set and a .205 percentage away from home this season.

·         The Cats have hit better than .225 in six of their seven home matches this season (6-1).

 

HIGHLY EFFICIENT

·         Sunday’s loss at Baylor was the lowest efficiency output (.133) for K-State this season.

·         It broke a string of nine matches in which the Wildcats hit better than .230.

·         K-State averages a .275 attack percentage in matches it wins compared to just .175 in its three losses this season.

·         K-State is 9-0 when hitting above .225 and is just 3-3 when hitting below that number.

 

RHINO ATTACK

·         Senior middle blocker Katie Reininger has led the team in kills in three of the last five matches along with leading the team in blocks in four of the last five.

·         Reininger posted a season-high 14 kills in the conference-opening win over Iowa State last week.

·         The Colorado Springs, Colorado, native has hit at least .250 in each of the last five matches.

·         Reininger has two or fewer attacking errors in four of the last five matches.

·         She is the Big 12’s leader in blocks per set (1.71) in conference matches.

 

D-D-D DEFENSE

·         For the third time this season, K-State has posted double-digit kills in back-to-back matches, a feat the Cats never accomplished last season.

·         K-State leads the Big 12 with 3.50 blocks per set in conference matches.

·         Three Wildcats - Katie Brand, Kersten Kober and Bryna Vogel - all rank in the top 10 of the Big 12 in digs per set during conference play.

·         K-State is second in the conference with 17.71 digs per set in Big 12 matches.

·         Sophomore middle blocker Macy Flowers leads the team with 50 total blocks, averaging 1.04 blocks a set.

 

FOUR-HEADED MONSTER

·         Kylee Zumach (3.15), Brooke Sassin (2.93), Bryna Vogel (2.93) and Katie Reininger (2.00) all average at least 2.00 kills per set.

·         One of the four has led the team in kills in 14 of 15 matches this year.

·         Sassin, Vogel and Zumach each have three matches with at least 15 kills.

·         Vogel leads the team with four matches with over a .400 percentage.

 

ACE OF SPADES

·         Four Wildcats - Vogel (14), Zumach (12), Brand (13), Sassin (10) - already have double-digit service aces this season.

·         Sassin set a new career high with four service aces in the win over Iowa State Wednesday.

·         Coming into 2016, Zumach had just five service aces in her career. She has already more than doubled her career output.

·         Vogel and Zumach each have multiple service aces in four matches this season.

·         Brand has at least one ace in 11 of the last 12 matches.

 

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

·         Katie Brand now has 59 career double-doubles, just 10 shy of equaling K-State’s all-time record.

·         Brand is the Big 12’s active career leader with 4,158 assists

·         Brand also ranks in the top five on the conference’s active career list with 309 blocks (4th), 1,053 digs (3rd) and 69 service aces (69).

·         Brand is fifth all-time in career assists at K-State.

·         Senior libero Kersten Kober is second on the Big 12’s active career charts with 1,635 career digs.

·         Kober is fifth all-time at K-State on the career digs list.

·         Sassin is fifth on the active list with 848 career kills and is sixth on the K-State career list in the rally-scoring era (since 2001).