Cats Open Big 12 Play with Iowa State Wednesday

GAME PREVIEW
SEPT 21, 7:00 PM

Ahearn Field House
Manhattan, KS

NR
IOWA STATE
CYCLONES
7-4 (0-0 Big 12)

23
K-STATE
WILDCATS
11-2 (0-0 Big 12)

COX KANSAS
K-STATEHD.TV
1350 KMAN

MANHATTAN, Kan. – After concluding the non-conference portion of its schedule with nine consecutive victories, the 23rd-ranked Kansas State volleyball team opens up Big 12 play as it welcomes conference-rival Iowa State Wednesday to Ahearn Field House.

First serve is slated for 7 p.m., with the match being broadcast on Cox Channel Kansas and K-StateHD.TV. The Big 12 opener can also be heard on 1350 KMAN.

AT A GLANCE

·         Kansas State opens Big 12 play when it hosts Iowa State on Wednesday, September 21 at 7 p.m., at Ahearn Field House.

·         K-State ended the non-conference portion of its schedule 11-2, having won its last nine matches.

·         The nine-match winning streak is K-State’s longest since its 11-match streak in 2014.

·         The Wildcats claimed the Arkansas Invitational title over the weekend - defeating UMKC, Arkansas and Southern Miss.

·         Junior opposite Bryna Vogel was named tournament MVP and senior setter Katie Brand was also named to the all-tournament team.

·         K-State enters conference play with the second-best overall record in the Big 12.

·         The match can be seen on Cox Channel Kansas and K-StateHD.TV and can also be heard on radio at 1350 KMAN.

 

A LOOK AT K-STATE

·         K-State climbed two spots to No. 23 in the latest AVCA Top 25 Poll.

·         Though the official NCAA RPI is not released until October, the latest unofficial RPI has Kansas State ranked No. 12, a ranking that factors wins and strength of schedule.

·         The highest RPI K-State has finished with in the Suzie Fritz era is sixth in 2003.

·         Kansas State leads the Big 12 in team kills per set (14.31), assists per set (13.73) and total assists (659).

·         The Cats are No. 6 nationally in assists per set along and are in the top 20 in kills per set (19th) and total assists (20th).

·         K-State ranks second in the league in team digs per set with 15.67 and service aces per set at 1.40.

·         The Wildcats are third in the conference in team hitting percentage (.263) and blocks per set (2.33).

·         The Wildcats are 5-5 in their last 10 Big 12 home openers, and 9-6 overall in those matches under head coach Suzie Fritz.

 

A LOOK AT IOWA STATE

·         Iowa State comes to Manhattan with a 7-4 overall record but have won five of its last seven matches.

·         All seven ISU wins have been in three sets.

·         The Cyclones are 1-3 in true road matches in 2016.

·         ISU was voted third in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll while the Cats were selected sixth.

·         Iowa State is led by Jess Schaben who averages 3.73 kills/set, ranking sixth in the conference.

·         The Cyclones lead the Big 12 with 16.86 digs a set and posted a conference-high 113 in a five-set loss to Northern Iowa on September 13.

 

A LOOK AT THE SERIES

·         Iowa State leads the all-time series, 48-40, a series that dates back to 1976.

·         K-State won the last meeting, 3-0, at home on November 18 last season.

·         K-State is 21-18 at home all-time vs. Iowa State.

·         The Wildcats have won the last four matchups at home.

·         The two teams have split the season series - each winning on its home floor - each of the last four seasons.

·         K-State is 15-5 in the last 20 matches at home vs. Iowa State.

·         ISU is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings overall.

·         The last time a Kansas State-Iowa State matchup has gone the full five sets was 2008. Only twice in those 16 matches has the match required four sets.

·         K-State has not opened its Big 12 schedule with Iowa State since 2000 - a 3-0 victory in Ames, Iowa.

·         This will be the first time Kansas State opens the conference slate at home vs. the Cyclones since 1988.

·         Fritz is 16-14 all-time vs. Iowa State (since 2001) and is 10-5 at home against the Cyclones.

 

EN VOGEL

·         Junior opposite Bryna Vogel was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career Monday.

·         She had a career week last week - setting a new career high with 18 kills in a four-set win over Creighton Tuesday and then breaking that mark with 21 against Southern Mississippi on Saturday.

·         Her career-best 21 kills also came on a career-high .704 (21k-2e-27ta) attack efficiency.

·         Her .704 mark was just .002 shy of Kansas State’s all-time efficiency record for a four-set match.

·         No player in K-State history has posted more kills at a higher percentage than Bryna Vogel did Saturday against Southern Miss.

·         She has led the Cats in kills in three of the past four matches.

·         Vogel has hit at least .333 in each of the past seven matches - reaching the .400 mark in four of those matches.

·         The Clearwater, Kansas, native has hit at least .300 in 10 of K-State’s 13 matches this year and has hit better than .400 five times.

 

BRAND Recognition

·         Redshirt senior setter Katie Brand was named to the all-tournament team at the Arkansas Invitational last week.

·         In four non-conference tournaments, the Grand Island, Nebraska, native has been selected all-tournament in all four events, and was named MVP of the Wildcat Classic.

·         Brand ranks fourth in the NCAA and leads the Big 12 in assists per set with 11.81.

·         Brand posted 60 assists against Southern Miss, her fourth career 60-assist match. The mark was four shy of her career high and the first time she reached the mark in a four-set match

·         She became the eighth Wildcat to join the Double-Grand Club as she eclipsed 1,000 career digs in the win over UMKC Friday. Brand now has 4,085 career assists and 1,021 career digs.

·         Brand leads the team in double-doubles with six, giving her 57 for her career. The 57 double-doubles ranks second on K-State’s all-time charts (69).

·         The setter is the only Wildcat to start all 13 matches this season.

 

PROTECT THIS HOUSE

·         K-State is 56-16 (.778) at home since the start of the 2011 season and is 52-7 (.881) against unranked opponents at home in that span.

·         K-State went 6-1 at home during the non-conference slate and was 4-0 at Ahearn Field House.

·         Kansas State owns a 353-167-5 (.667) all-time record at Ahearn Field House.

·         Since 2010, the Cats are 31-2 in non-conference matches at home.

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

·         K-State averages 14.85 kills/set while hitting .275 at home this season opposed to 13.68 kills/set and a .248 percentage away from home this season.

 

THREE-HEADED MONSTER

·         Outside hitters Kylee Zumach (3.30), Brooke Sassin (3.09) and Bryna Vogel (3.00) all average at least 3.00 kills per set.

·         The trio has nine total matches with 15 or more kills, with each accomplishing the feat three times.

·         One of the three has led the team in kills in 11 of 13 matches this year.

·         Vogel leads the team in service aces (14) while Zumach is third with 10.

 

GETTING DEFENSIVE

·         K-State is 8-0 in matches in which it has more or equal number of blocks than its opponent.

·         The Wildcats recorded 12.0 blocks against Arkansas Friday, the sixth match reaching double-digit blocks and the most in a three-set match this season.

·         Twice K-State has posted more than 10 blocks in back-to-back matches, a feat the Cats never accomplished in 2015.

·         K-State also owns the Big 12’s single-match high this season with 16.0 team blocks against Georgia Tech.