K-State Heads to Arkansas for Final Non-Conference Tune-Up

TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

KANSAS STATE
WILDCATS
8-2 (0-0 BIG 12)
25

ROSTER | STATS | SCHEDULE

UMKC
KANGAROOS
7-3 (0-0 WAC)
NR

ROSTER | STATS | SCHEDULE

ARKANSAS
RAZORBACKS
1-7 (0-0 SEC)
NR

ROSTER | STATS | SCHEDULE

SOUTHERN MISS
GOLDEN EAGLES
9-3 (0-0 C-USA)
NR

ROSTER | STATS | SCHEDULE
Friday, Sept 16, 10:00am

K-STATE vs UMKC

SERIES: K-State Leads, 29-3

NOTES
GAMECENTER
LIVE AUDIO

Friday, Sept 16, 7:00pm

K-STATE vs ARKANSAS

SERIES: K-State Leads, 7-2

NOTES
GAMECENTER
LIVE AUDIO

Saturday, Sept 17, 10:00am

K-STATE vs SOUTHERN MISS

SERIES: K-State Leads, 1-0

NOTES
GAMECENTER
LIVE AUDIO

MANHATTAN, Kan. – After seven straight matches at home, the No. 25 Kansas State volleyball team travels to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for its final tune-up before Big 12 play begins next week. The Arkansas Invitational will feature K-State, Arkansas, UMKC and Southern Mississippi at Barnhill Arena.

The Wildcats will take on UMKC Friday at 10 a.m., before facing off with host Arkansas in the nightcap at 7 p.m. K-State finishes the four-team tournament with Southern Miss at 10 a.m., on Saturday. The Cats will return home and host Big 12 rival Iowa State on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., at Ahearn Field House.

AT A GLANCE

·         Kansas State travels to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the Arkansas Invitational. The tournament marks the final weekend of non-conference play and features Arkansas, UMKC and Southern Mississippi.

·         K-State capped its longest homestand (7 matches) since 1995 with six consecutive victories.

·         The six straight wins equal the longest streak of 2015.

·         Four of K-State’s opponents have been ranked or received votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll.

·         Kansas State owns the Big 12’s lone victory over a ranked team this season - August 27 at No. 6 Hawaii (3-1).

·         All matches at the Arkansas Invitational can be heard at K-StateSports.com.

 

A LOOK AT K-STATE

·         K-State cracked the AVCA Top 25 for the first time since the week of Nov. 10, 2014, coming in at No. 25 in the latest poll.

·         Though the official NCAA RPI is not released until October, the latest unofficial RPI has Kansas State ranked No. 13.

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

·         Kansas State has won its last six matches after losing its home opener Sept. 2 against Michigan.

 

A LOOK AT UMKC

·         UMKC enters the weekend with a 7-3 record, having won five of its last six matches.

·         The Kangaroos are currently atop the WAC standings - where they were picked to finish fourth in the eight-team conference.

·         K-State will be the second Big 12 team the Roos have squared off against, already having lost a 3-0 decision to Oklahoma on August 27.

·         K-State owns a 29-3 all-time record against UMKC and have won the last 27 meetings, a series that dates back to 1974. UMKC has now won in the series since 1977.

·         The Cats and Roos last squared off in 2010, when K-State won a five-set decision.

·         K-State head coach Suzie Fritz is 7-0 all-time against current WAC members.

 

A LOOK AT ARKANSAS

·         Arkansas owns a 1-7 record in 2016 and have dropped its last three matches, two of which were against top-five opponents (No. 1 Nebraska and No. 4 Kansas).

·         Arkansas took KU to five sets before falling on September 3.

·         K-State will be the fourth ranked opponent the Razorbacks have faced (0-3).

·         The Razorbacks were picked in the preseason to finish fifth in the 13-team SEC.

·         The Arkansas Invitational will be the first home matches for the Razorbacks in 2016.

·         K-State leads the head-to-head series with Arkansas, 7-2, but dropped its meeting last season in five sets.

·         This will be the fourth straight season in which the Wildcats and Razorbacks have faced off.

·         Fritz is 39-22 all-time vs. the SEC, her most wins against any conference outside the Big 12.

 

A LOOK AT SOUTHERN MISS

·         Southern Miss is 9-3 so far this season, winning three of its last four matches.

·         The Golden Eagles have not lost back-to-back matches yet this year.

·         Southern Miss is 9-0 in three- and four-set matches while dropping all three of its five-set matches.

·         The Golden Eagles were selected No. 4 in the 13-team Conference USA preseason poll.

·         K-State and Southern Miss have only one previous meeting, with the Cats winning in three sets in 1995.

·         K-State is 14-1 all-time vs. Conference USA, while coach Fritz is 5-0.

 

EFFICIENCY IS THE KEY

·         K-State committed just seven attacking errors as a team in the four-set victory over Mississippi State. The fewest in a four-set match in the Big 12 this season.

·         The .420 (57k-7e-119ta) is the highest percentage in program history in a four-set match - more than 50 points higher than the previous record of .369 set in 1995.

·         It was the team’s highest percentage this season and the highest since Sept. 4, 2014 when it posted a .429 mark in a three-set win over Arkansas.

·         K-State hit .402 (47k-12e-87ta) in the sweep of Miami Friday, marking the second straight match with an efficiency over .400.

·         K-State has hit better than .400 in three of its last six matches. The last time K-State hit over .400 in multiple matches in a season was 2012 (twice).

 

HOME COOKIN'

·         K-State concluded a seven-match homestand, the most consecutive home matches since 1995 when the Wildcats hosted eight straight matches.

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

·         The Cats have won all four matches in their return to Ahearn Field House - defeating Mississippi State (3-1), Miami (3-0), Loyola (3-0) and Creighton (3-1).

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

 

NEAR THE TOP OF THE BIG 12

·         Kansas State ranks second in the Big 12 with 13.59 assists per set.

·         The Wildcats are third in the conference in kills per set, blocks per set and digs per set.

·         Katie Brand ranks second in the Big 12 with 11.57 assists/set while Kersten Kober is fourth in the league with 4.24 digs/set.

·         The Cats’ 110 digs vs. Georgia Tech are the most in any match among Big 12 teams this season and the most since Aug. 29, 2015 vs. Illinois State.

 

THREE-HEADED MONSTER

·         Outside hitters Brooke Sassin (3.44), Bryna Vogel (2.83) and Kylee Zumach (3.43) all average better than 2.50 kills per set.

·         Vogel has hit over .400 in the last three of the last four matches and in four of her last six matches overall - and a season-high .500 in the sweep against Loyola.

·         Sassin, Vogel or Zumach have led the Cats in kills in each of the past five matches.

·         Vogel set a new career high with 18 kills in the four-set win over Creighton on Tuesday (.375) and set a new season high with five blocks.

·         Vogel, along with Katie Brand, was voted to the all-tournament team at the Wildcat Classic.

·         Sassin posted a season-best .485 (18k-2e-33ta) attack percentage against Mississippi State - the school she transferred from three years ago.

·         Zumach has nine service aces through 10 matches this season. She had five in her career entering 2016.

·         Zumach also has the only 20-kill matches by a Wildcat this season, accomplishing the feat twice.

 

FLOWER POWER

·         Sophomore middle blocker Macy Flowers leads the team with 41 total blocks and 1.24 blocks per set.

·         Flowers has led her team in blocks in eight of the ten matches this season, including being the team leader in the last five.

·         Flowers is the only Wildcat to register multiple blocks in every match she has appeared in.

·         She also leads K-State with a .368 attacking efficiency while killing 51 balls (1.55 per set).

 

GETTING DEFENSIVE

·         K-State is 7-0 in matches in which it has more or equal number of blocks than its opponent.

·         The Wildcats recorded 10.0 blocks against Creighton Tuesday, the fifth match reaching double-digit blocks.

·         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.

·         The 16.0 total team blocks are the most the Cats have recorded since 2014.