K-State, KU Renew Rivalry on National Television

GAME PREVIEW
OCT 12, 6:00 PM CT

Horejsi Family Athletics Center
Lawrence, KS

RV
K-STATE
WILDCATS
14-4 (3-2 Big 12)

6
KANSAS
JAYHAWKS
15-2 (4-1 Big 12)

ESPNU
1350 KMAN

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team heads to Lawrence, Kansas, for a highly anticipated matchup with in-state rival No. 6 Kansas. The 112th installment of the Sunflower Showdown will take place Wednesday at 6 p.m., and be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

K-State (14-4, 3-2 Big 12) owns a 63-48-1 edge all-time in the series with KU (15-2, 4-1), but have lost seven of the last eight meetings.

Sam Gore will call the match on ESPNU with Dain Blanton serving as the analyst. Fans can listen to Rob Voelker call the match on local radio at 1350 KMAN as well as at k-statesports.com.

 

AT A GLANCE

·         Kansas State heads to Lawrence, Kansas, to battle in-state rival No. 6 Kansas on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.

·         The Sunflower Showdown will be nationally telecast on ESPNU and available on local radio at 1350 KMAN and at k-statesports.com.

·         KU enters the match ranked No. 6 in the country for the second straight week while K-State is receiving votes in the AVCA poll for the third consecutive week.

·         K-State has peaked at No. 23 nationally while KU has been ranked as high as fourth.

·         Each team is 8-2 in its last 10 matches.

 

LAST TIME OUT

·         K-State defeated TCU, 3-1 (33-31, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15), at Ahearn Field House Saturday.

·         The Wildcats hit .301 in the victory, the second straight match eclipsing the .300 mark and sixth match overall this season (6-0 in those matches).

·         The Cats’ 71 kills in the match set a new team season high and the 26 kills in K-State’s 33-31 first-set win were a single-set season best.

·         Brooke Sassin recorded a season-high 21 kills in the victory, a new Big 12 career high.

·         Katie Brand was one kill shy of her second career triple-double, finishing with nine kills, 56 assists and 11 digs.

·         Bryna Vogel added a team-high 20 digs, the second time in the last three matches reaching 20 or more digs.

 

A LOOK AT K-STATE

·         Kansas State (14-4, 3-2 Big 12) heads to Lawrence having won its last two conference matches.

·         K-State is receiving votes in the AVCA top 25 poll for the third straight week.

·         The Wildcats have been ranked or received votes in the poll in six consecutive weeks, peaking at a No. 23 ranking.

·         K-State is 11-0 this season when winning the first set.

·         In the NCAA’s first RPI release of the season, K-State comes in at No. 16 - the second highest of any Big 12 team (3. Texas).

·         All four of K-State’s losses have been to teams either currently ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA top 25.

·         K-State has registered more kills than its opponent in 10 of the last 11 matches.

·         The Cats have more players in the Big 12’s top 10 in hitting percentage (3) than any other team - 6. Reininger, .320, 8. Vogel, .313, 10. Flowers, .306.

·         Setter Katie Brand ranks third in the nation and is the Big 12 leader with 11.87 assists per set.

·         Kansas State leads the Big 12 in team kills/set with 14.39, which ranks 11th nationally.

·         The team’s 13.78 assists/set are tops in the conference and fourth-best in the NCAA.

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

 

A LOOK AT KU

·         KU enters the match with an overall record of 15-2 and 4-1 in the Big 12 and currently riding a three-match winning streak.

·         Both of the Jayhawks’ losses have come on the road against top-15 opponents (No. 14 Purdue, No. 5 Texas).

·         Kansas has a pair of players with over 200 kills this season - Kelsie Payne (233) and Madison Rigdon (223).

·         Both Payne and Rigdon rank in the league’s top 10 in terms of kills/set: 5. Payne, 3.88; 7. Rigdon, 3.66.

·         The Jayhawks are holding opponents to a conference-low .138 hitting percentage (third best in the NCAA).

 

A LOOK AT THE SERIES

·         K-State leads the all-time series, 63-48-1, dating back to 1974.

·         The Wildcats own a 29-14 advantage in Lawrence, last winning a five-set decision in 2014.

·         KU has taken seven of the past eight meetings.

·         The Jayhawks have been ranked in six of the past nine matchups.

·         Head coach Suzie Fritz is 19-11 against the Jayhawks in her career and 10-5 all-time at Kansas.

 

SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE

·         K-State’s 14.39 kills/set are tops in the Big 12 while KU allows a league-low 11.03 kills/set.

·         KU and K-State rank 1-2, respectively, in the conference with 1.58 and 1.34 service aces per set while also ranking as the top two teams in aces allowed per set (KU, 0.58; K-State 0.78).

·         The Wildcats are second in the Big 12 with a .260 hitting percentage. KU allows its opponents to hit just .138, tops in the Big 12 and third in the NCAA.

 

TOP OF THE BIG 12

·         K-State ranks in the top three of the Big 12 in 10 major team statistical categories, including being the top team in kills/set (14.39) and assists/set (13.78).

·         Senior middle blocker Katie Reininger ranks second in the Big 12 in conference matches, hitting .387 through five league matches.

·         Senior Katie Brand averages 12.00 assists/set to lead the conference in Big 12 matches.

·         Bryna Vogel (3.89 - 4th), Kersten Kober (3.92 - 5th) and Brand (3.37 - 9th) all rank in the top 10 in digs/set in conference matches.

 

BRAND RECOGNITION

·         Redshirt senior setter Katie Brand is the Big 12 leader with 10 double-doubles this season.

·         Brand has recorded an assist-dig double-double in six of the last seven matches.

·         Her career double-double total currently sits at 61, which is eight shy of equaling K-State’s all-time mark of 69 held by Kim Zschau (1995-98).

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

·         Brand ranks third in the NCAA and leads the Big 12 in assists per set with 11.87.

·         She became the eighth Wildcat to join the Double-Grand Club as she now has 4,313 career assists and 1,085 career digs.

·         The Grand Island, Nebraska, native is the Big 12’s active career leader in assists, leading the next highest by nearly a thousand.

·         The setter is No. 4 on the NCAA’s active career assists list.

 

RHINO ATTACK EIGHT-PACK

·         Over the last eight matches, Katie Reininger is hitting a team-best .392 while averaging 2.87 kills/set (averaged 2.00 kills/set this season entering the week).

·         Four times Reininger has reached double-figure kills in the last eight matches (previous high was seven).

·         She has led the team in kills in three of the last eight matches along with leading the team in blocks in six of the last eight.

·         She has hit at least .250 in each of the last eight matches, including going over .300 six times.

·         Reininger is second in the Big 12 hitting .387 in conference matches this season.

·         Reininger is fourth in conference matches with 1.27 blocks/set.

 

FOUR-HEADED MONSTER

·         Brooke Sassin (3.14), Kylee Zumach (3.12), Bryna Vogel (2.92) and Katie Reininger (2.20) all average at least 2.00 kills per set.

·         One of the four has led the team in kills in 17 of 18 matches this year - including each one leading the team once in the past four matches.

·         Sassin leads the team with five matches with at least 15 kills. and 12 double-digit kill matches.

·         Vogel leads the team with five matches hitting better than .400 while Reininger has accomplished the feat four times.

·         Vogel averages more than a full dig per set better in conference matches than her season average - 3.89 in conference play; 2.85 overall.