Cats Ready for Postseason Play at Bramlage
Cats Ready for Postseason Play at Bramlage
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team is set to host the first two rounds of the 2016 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship at Bramlage Coliseum beginning Friday.
K-State (20-9, 9-7 Big 12) will host the four-team sub-regional for the first time since 2007 as the Wildcats will play Atlantic Sun conference champion Lipscomb at 7:30 p.m. The Wildcats-Bisons match will follow a 5 p.m. tilt between Ohio State and Missouri State. The winner of each match will square off Saturday at 7 p.m.
All three postseason matches will be broadcast live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app - produced by K-StateHD.TV - with Mitch Fortner calling play by play and former Wildcat Liz Wegner-Busch serving as match analyst. Fans can also listen to Rob Voelker call the match on local radio at 1350 KMAN and at k-statesports.com.
Tickets for the NCAA Tournament are now available through the K-State Athletics ticket office. All-session tickets with a reserved chair back will be $15. General admission bench all-session tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for youth. K-State students can attend the matches for free with a student ID.
AT A GLANCE
· For the 17th time in program history, and the fifth time over the last six years, Kansas State heads to the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats open this year’s postseason at home in Bramlage Coliseum against Lipscomb on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
· This is the first time K-State has hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament since 2007, and it will be the first postseason matches to be played at Bramlage Coliseum.
· The Wildcats and Bisons are among the four teams in the Manhattan sub-regional, as they are joined by Ohio State and Missouri State.
· The winner of the K-State-Lipscomb match will square off with the winner of the Ohio State-Missouri State Saturday at 7 p.m.
· All three first- and second-round matches will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
· Live audio will also be available on K-StateSports.com.
LAST TIME OUT
· On Senior Night, K-State swept Texas Tech for the second time this season.
· The Cats have now won their last six against the Red Raiders.
· K-State was led by senior Brooke Sassin, who recorded a match-high 12 kills.
· Katie Reininger posted a conference career-high .667 attacking percentage, picking up eight kills on 12 swings without committing an error.
· K-State picked up 11.0 team blocks, the 13th time recording double-digit blocks this season.
A LOOK AT K-STATE
· Kansas State enters the match having won three of its last four matches and is 6-4 in its last 10.
· K-State finished in a tie for fourth in the Big 12 for the second straight season. It is the first time since 2007-08 that the Cats have posted back-to-back top-four conference finishes.
· K-State reached 20 wins for the 12th time under head coach Suzie Fritz (since 2001).
· The Wildcats picked up their 12th home win of the season, most since 2012 and tied for 3rd-most under Fritz.
· In the NCAA’s latest RPI release of the season, K-State comes in at No. 18 - the third-highest of any Big 12 team behind Texas (4) and Kansas (5).
· K-State has five players that average over 2.20 kills/set.
· K-State finished the season as the Big 12 leader in assists/set with 13.24, the first time in program history leading the conference in the category.
· Overall, K-State ranks in the top three of the Big 12 in 10 major team statistical categories.
A LOOK AT LIPSCOMB
· Lipscomb (22-7, 12-2 A-SUN) is the Atlantic Sun champion and enter the NCAA postseason on a 12-match winning streak.
· The Bisons are led by Kansas-native Carlyle Nusbaum who has 483 kill (4.56 kills/set) on the season - both led the A-SUN.
· Lipscomb has three players - outside hitter Nusbaum, outside hitter Chloe Rogers and libero Brittany Thomas - along with associate head coach Billy Ebel that hail from the Sunflower State.
· Lipscomb led the A-SUN in kills/set (14.88), assists/set (13.98) and service aces/set (1.75).
· The Bisons rank No. 2 in the NCAA in kills/set and assists/set.
· K-State won the only previous meeting the teams, a 3-0 victory in 2006.
A LOOK AT OHIO STATE
· Ohio State (20-12, 10-10 Big Ten) finished the regular season in a tie for seventh in the Big Ten.
· The Buckeyes have won five of their last six matches.
· OSU senior Taylor Sandbothe, whose sister Elle plays for K-State, finished fourth in the Big Ten with a .366 attacking percentage.
· Elizabeth Campbell ranks fourth in the Big Ten with her 3.68 kills/set.
· The Buckeyes posted four wins over top-25 teams this season (4-8 overall vs. ranked teams).
A LOOK AT MISSOURI STATE
· Missouri State (26-8, 16-12 Missouri Valley) finished atop the Missouri Valley Conference standings for the fourth time in program history.
· The Bears are led by MVC Player of the Year Lily Johnson. The junior outside hitter averages 4.58 kills/set and 3.08 digs/set.
· MSU also has the MVP Freshman of the Year in setter Daniele Messa. Messa lead the MVC in league matches with 11.22 assists/set.
· The Bears finished in the top three of the MVC in team hitting percentage (.238), assists/set (12.77), kills/set (13.59) and aces/set (1.18).
· The Wildcats have now punched a ticket into the NCAA Tournament 17 times in program history.
· K-State has also advanced to postseason play for the third straight season and fifth time in six seasons.
· Under head coach Suzie Fritz (since 2001), K-State has made it to 12 NCAA Tournaments.
· The Wildcats are 14-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including an 11-5 mark in the first round.
· K-State last won a postseason match in 2011 when it reached the regional semifinal.
· Under Fritz, the Cats are 9-11 in the tournament.
· K-State’s first-round opponent Lipscomb has three players along with a coach that hail from the state of Kansas: outside hitter Nusbaum, outside hitter Chloe Rogers and libero Brittany Thomas along with associate head coach Billy Ebel.
· K-State freshman middle blocker Elle Sandbothe’s older sister Taylor is a middle blocker for Buckeyes.
· The Sandbothe sisters hail from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and could meet in the second round of the tournament.
HOME SWEET HOME
· K-State is 10-2 at Ahearn Field House this season and 12-3 at home overall.
· It is the Cats’ first 12-win home season since 2012 and the 10th double-digit season under coach Fritz.
· K-State is 13-2 all-time in Bramlage Coliseum, where the first two rounds will be played, including going 2-1 this season.
· K-State is 6-4 all-time in the NCAA Tournament at home.
· K-State is 62-17 (.785) at home since the start of the 2011 season and is 58-7 (.892) against unranked opponents at home in that span.
· At home this season, the Cats average 14.37 kills/set and hit .259 as opposed to true road matches where they average just 13.39 kills/set while hitting .212.
EFFICIENCY IS KEY
· K-State is 7-0 this season when hitting at least .300 and 16-3 when hitting .200 or better as a team.
· The 14 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 11 times this season, something they only did once in 2015.
· Four Wildcats were honored this week by being named All-Big 12.
· Katie Brand was named First Team All-Big 12 for the third time in her career, becoming just the third Wildcat to ever accomplish the feat.
· Katie Reininger and Bryna Vogel were named Second Team All-Big 12. Reininger earns her second straight honor while Vogel garners the award for the first time.
· Middle blocker Elle Sandbothe was named to the conference All-Freshman Team.