Final Notes: 2015 Season in Review

K-State ended its 42nd season with a 17-12 record, its fifth straight winning campaign, and a 9-7 mark in Big 12 play - all of which helped it make its 16th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats lost to Missouri Valley champion Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, a match played in the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Over the course of the season, K-State had a pair of six-match winning streaks, including one from October 24-November 18 that was its longest Big 12 winning streak since 2003.
The Wildcats finished in a tie for fourth in the Big 12 standings, their highest conference finish in four years (4th in 2011).
The team featured no seniors, a first for the program since 2011 and only the fourth time since 1977.

TRIP TO THE POSTSEASON
For the fourth time over the last five years, K-State received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
In each of those four trips, K-State played in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Wildcats were one of five teams from the Big 12 to reach the postseason.
In addition to being fourth in the Big 12 - which was ranked as the No. 2 conference in terms of RPI - K-State ended the regular season at No. 51 in the RPI rankings (3-10 against the RPI’s top-50, 6-11 against the top-100).
K-State had the 42nd-toughest strength of schedule in Division I.

BIG 12 FINISH
The fourth-place finish in the Big 12 standings was the second time K-State slotted in that spot over the last five seasons (Last: 2011).
Under head coach Suzie Fritz, K-State has placed fourth or higher in the Big 12 eight times.
K-State ended the conference campaign with nine wins for the second year in a row and third time over the last five years.

HONOR ROLL
K-State garnered several honors throughout the season, including one AVCA All-America Honorable Mention, one All-Midwest Region, five All-Big 12, four Big 12 players of the week, two Academic All-District, seven Academic All-Big 12, and seven in-season tournament accolades.
Katie Brand led the way for all Wildcats with nine awards, including All-America Honorable Mention, All-Midwest Region First Team, All-Big 12 First Team, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, Academic All-District First Team, Academic All-Big 12 First Team, Varney’s Invitational MVP, Varney’s Invitational All-Tournament, and Creighton Classic All-Tournament.

NICE DIGS
K-State held its overall opponents to a .212 hitting percentage, helped by a Big 12-leading 17.56 digs/set.
The Wildcats led the conference in digs/set for both overall matches and Big 12-only contests (18.18).
It was the first time since 2002 that K-State paced the Big 12 in digs in either overall or conference-only matches.
In 2002, the Wildcats averaged 18.01 digs in overall and 18.50 in Big 12-only.
K-State was the first team to average more than 18.0 digs/set in Big 12 matches since 2011 (Iowa State, 18.21).

PROGRAM FIRST
For the first time in program history, K-State featured four different players with 300+ digs.
The quartet of Wildcats included Kersten Kober (500), Katie Brand (332), Bryna Vogel (329), and Brooke Sassin (324). 

COUNTING 500
Kersten Kober’s career-high 500 digs were the most by a Wildcat since 2010.
Kober’s 500 digs are seventh-most ever by a Wildcat in a single-season.
She is just the fourth Wildcat with 500+ digs in a single campaign.

DIGGIN’ IT
Kersten Kober, who finished fourth in the Big 12 with 4.67 digs/set in overall matches, also averaged 5.16 digs in Big 12-only contests.
Kober’s 5.16 digs/set average was the highest by a Wildcat in conference-only matches since 2002.
She finished third in the Big 12 in digs/set for conference matches.

A FIRST SINCE 2000
For overall matches, K-State was the only team to have multiple players in the Big 12’s top-10 for digs/set (Kober, 4th; Brand, 9th; Vogel, 10th).
It is the first time 2000 that a team had three players in the Big 12’s top-10 for digs/set in overall matches (Texas A&M and Texas Tech).

DOUBLE-300 CLUB
Junior Brooke Sassin became the first K-State outside hitter to join the Double-300 Club in the rally-scoring era (since 2001) as she had a career-high 378 kills and 324 digs.
The last Wildcat outside hitter to have 300+ kills and digs was Dawn Cady (622 kills, 434 digs) in 1999.
Sassin is the second Wildcat overall to scratch her name into the Double-300 Club during the rally-scoring era, joining middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger (2011).
Sassin is the eighth Wildcat overall in the program’s Double-300 Club.

TRIPLE-TRIPLE CLUB
Katie Brand became the first Wildcat since Kaitlynn Pelger (2010-11) to post back-to-back Triple-Triple seasons.
Brand finished the year with 1,188 assists, 320 digs and 133 kills.
Last year, Brand had 1,274 assists, 314 digs, 112 kills and 104 blocks.
She is just the third K-State setter to have consecutive Triple-Triple campaigns (Last: Stacey Spiegelberg, 2005-07).

ALL-AROUND STANDOUT
Katie Brand finished the regular season as the only player in Division I with averages of 11.0 assists, 3.0 digs, 1.2 kills, 0.75 blocks, and 0.10 aces.
Brand also averaged 1.77 points, the second-highest clip among the nation’s top-30 in assists/set.
Brand finished third in the Big 12 and 26th in Division I in assists/set (11.10).

CAREER CHARTS
Katie Brand finished the season sixth in K-State history with 3,518 career assists.
Kersten Kober, meanwhile, finished the year eighth in program history with 1,126 career digs.

RHINO ATTACK
Katie Reininger, who earned her first career all-conference honor this season, finished second on K-State in kills (271) and hitting percentage (.282).
Reininger hit .300+ in 15 matches, with K-State going 14-1 in such contests.
Reininger also led the team in blocks (106).

IMPACT FRESHMEN
K-State was the only team to have two players on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team: Alyssa Schultejans and Macy Flowers.
Schultejans finished the regular season third among Big 12 freshmen in kills (255).
Schultejans’ 255 kills are also the 12th-most by a K-State freshman.
Flowers finished the conference season fourth in blocks/set (1.27).
Flowers’ 1.27 blocks/set were the most by a Big 12 freshman since K-State’s Megan Kroeker averaged 1.30 in 2005.

GETTING OFFENSIVE
K-State’s offense ranked top-30 in the nation in kills/set as the Wildcats were 30th with 14.11.
The Wildcats had not averaged more than 14.0 kills/set for a season since 2007 (16.24).
Among Big 12 teams, K-State was one of just three to average more than 14.0/set in 2015 (KU, 15.10; Texas, 14.35).

FEWEST ERRORS IN SERVICE
K-State surrendered just 64 aces all season, easily the program’s best mark. 
The 64 aces surrendered were also the second-fewest in all of Division I.
The previous program-low for aces given up in a season was 94 set in 2013.
K-State did not allow an ace in four matches and gave up two or less in 20.

APPROACHING 300
Head coach Suzie Fritz ended her 15th year at the helm of K-State volleyball with her fifth straight winning season and 12th overall.
K-State’s winningest and longest-tenured coach has led the Wildcats to a top-four finish in the Big 12 eight times.
Fritz ended 2015 five wins from 300 as she is 295-168 in her overall career (158-122 in the Big 12).

OUR HOUSE
K-State split its home schedule between Ahearn Field House and Bramlage Coliseum, with the Wildcats going 5-1 in Ahearn and 4-1 in Bramlage.
K-State played two Big 12 matches inside Bramlage for the first time (10/10 vs. West Virginia, 10/21 vs. No. 2 Texas).
The Wildcats are 11-1 all-time in Bramlage.
The 9-2 overall home record (.818) was K-State’s fourth-best since 2001.

THANK YOU, FANS
K-State averaged 2,033 fans at its 11 home matches (18th-best in Division I). 
It was the third straight year averaging more than 2,000 fans and third-highest season average in program history.
It is the eighth straight year ranking in Division I’s top-25 for average attendance.
It is also the fourth straight year ranking in nation’s top-20.
The match against KU (3,247) on November 25 was the 17th-largest home crowd in program history and highest attended KU home match since 1999 (5,011).
That match was also the fourth-highest attendance over the last 12 years.