K-State Faces No. 7 Texas in Final Big 12 Road Match


GAME PREVIEW
NOV 19, 7:00 PM CT

Gregory Gymnasium
Austin, TX

NR
K-STATE
WILDCATS
19-8 (8-6 Big 12)

7
TEXAS
LONGHORNS
20-4 (12-12 Big 12)

Longhorn Network
1350 KMAN

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team travels to Austin, Texas, to complete the road portion of its Big 12 schedule against No. 7 Texas on Saturday. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m., and will be broadcast nationally on the Longhorn Network and will stream live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

K-State (19-8, 8-6 Big 12) seeks the 11th 20-win season under head coach Suzie Fritz and also looks to avenge a five-set home loss to Texas (20-4, 12-2) back on Oct. 1. The Longhorns have won the last 26 meetings between the teams and K-State last won in Austin in 2001.

Tyler Denning will call the action for the Longhorn Network with Jennifer Hoffman serving as analyst. Fans can also listen to Rob Voelker call the match on local radio at 1350 KMAN and at k-statesports.com.

 

AT A GLANCE

·         Kansas State heads to Austin, Texas, for its final conference road match of the season vs. Texas (20-4, 12-2 Big 12) on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

·         Texas stole a five-set decision in the season’s initial meeting at Ahearn Field House back on Oct. 1.

·         This will be the Wildcat’s fifth match this season against a top-10 team (1-3).

·         K-State has not beaten the Longhorns since 2003 and has not won in Austin since 2001.

·         K-State and Texas are two of the top three teams in the Big 12 in terms of kills/set, assists/set and hitting percentage.

·         The match will be broadcast nationally on the Longhorn Network as well as streaming live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

·         Fans can also listen to the match on local radio at 1350 KMAN and on K-StateSports.com.

 

LAST TIME OUT

·         K-State ousted Oklahoma in four sets (23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-21) at home Wednesday night, sweeping the season series with the Sooners for the second straight year.

·         The four-set victory set a new program record with 11 such wins, breaking the previous mark set in 1987.

·         It was the Cats’ fifth win this season when dropping the first set (5-7), two of those coming against Oklahoma.

·         K-State posted a .336 team attacking efficiency vs. OU, its fifth-highest this season and highest in the last 15 matches.

·         Brooke Sassin picked up her 1,000th career kill as a Wildcat in the match, becoming just the sixth to do so in the rally-scoring era (since 2001).

·         Sassin (10) was one of four players to finish in double-figure kills - Kylee Zumach (17), Katie Reininger (11), Bryna Vogel (10).

·         Kersten Kober finished with a match-high 15 digs and matched her career high with three service aces.

 

A LOOK AT K-STATE

·         Kansas State (19-8, 8-6 Big 12) enters the match having won its last two matches and is 6-4 in its last 10.

·         K-State seeks its first 20-win season since 2014 and 11th under head coach Suzie Fritz (since 2001).

·         In the NCAA’s latest RPI release of the season, K-State comes in at No. 19 - the third-highest of any Big 12 team behind Texas (1) and Kansas (10).

·         K-State has five players that average over 2.20 kills/set.

·         The team’s 13.30 assists/set are tops in the conference and 23rd-best in the NCAA.

·         The Cats are second in the league with 1.24 service aces/set.

·         Kansas State is third in the Big 12 in team kills/set with 13.93 and hitting percentage with .242.

·         Overall, K-State ranks in the top three of the Big 12 in 10 major team statistical categories.

 

A LOOK AT TEXAS

·         Texas (20-4, 12-2) enters the match second in the Big 12 and ranked No. 7 in the country.

·         UT is 8-2 in its last 10 matches and are 3-2 in the last five after a loss at Iowa State on Nov. 12.

·         Texas is 11-1 at home this season and three of its four losses have come in five sets.

·         The Longhorns have three players that average better than 3.50 kills/set - Micaya White, Ebony Nwanebu, Paulina Prieto Cerame - all of whom rank in the top 10 of the Big 12.

·         As a team, Texas is the conference leader in hitting percentage, kills/set and blocks/set.

·         In conference-only matches, Nwanebu leads the league with a .376 hitting efficiency while setter Chloe Collins leads with 11.34 assists/set.

·         UT has the fewest number of digs (1,296) and service aces (92) in the conference.

 

A LOOK AT THE SERIES

·         Texas leads the all-time series, 36-7, dating back to 1981, and have taken the last 26 meetings.

·         K-State last defeated the Longhorns in 2003 and have not won at Texas since 2001.

·         K-State is 3-18 on the road all-time in the series while coach Fritz is 1-14 in her career at Texas.

·         Texas took the season’s first meeting in Manhattan in five sets, the first time five-set match between the teams since 2008.

·         K-State is 2-4 vs. Texas in five-set matches all-time.

·         Zumach (18), Sassin (17) and Reininger (16) all registered double-figure kills in the first matchup, just the second time this season three Wildcats had at least 15 kills in the same match.

·         The Longhorn trio of Prieto Cerame, (20), White (20) and Nwanebu (17) also had three players in double-digit kills.

 

ASSASSIN

·         Senior outside hitter Brooke Sassin’s 1,008 career kills ranks seventh on K-State’s career kill list in the rally-scoring era (since 2001).

·         Sassin has eclipsed 300 kills for the third straight season.

·         She leads the team with 19 matches in double-figure kills, having done so in seven of the last eight and 11 of the last 13.

·         Sassin has led the team in kills in six of the last eight matches.

·         Eleven times she has either led or tied for the team lead in kills in a match.

·         She has recorded seven double-doubles this season, five of which have come in the last seven matches.

 

WHITE HOT SAND

·         Freshman middle blocker Elle Sandbothe has started each of the last six matches, her first starts of the season.

·         In each of those matches, she has recorded at least five kills, including back-to-back matches with 10 kills (career high).

·         Sandbothe has tallied multiple blocks in five of the last six matches and a career-high 9.0 blocks at West Virginia.

·         Three times she has posted a .400 hitting percentage or higher.

 

EFFICIENCY IS KEY

·         K-State is 7-0 this season when hitting at least .300 and 15-3 when hitting .200 or better as a team.

·         The 13 matches of a .250 or higher attacking percentage is more than the total number of times all of last season (12).

·         The Cats have hit .500 or better in a single set 10 times this season, something they only did once in 2015.

 

ON AND OFF THE COURT

·         It was announced that Katie Brand is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award that recognizes student-athletes for contributions in the community, classroom, character and competition.

·         Brand would become the first Wildcat to ever win the award.

·         Brand, along with Kersten Kober, were both named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team, the second straight season the pair have achieved the first-team honor.

·         A program-record 11 Wildcats were named Academic All-Big 12 last week, with a record nine being selected to the first team.

 

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

·         Senior setter Katie Brand (4,707 career assists) moved into second place on K-State’s all-time career assists list in the rally-scoring era (since 2001).

·         Her career double-double total currently sits at 67, which is two shy of equaling K-State’s all-time mark of 69 held by Kim Zschau (1995-98).

·         Senior libero Kersten Kober (1,515 career digs) moved into third place all-time (rally-scoring era) on K-State’s career list.