Notes: 5-1 Cats Travel to Tennessee for MT Invitational
Notes: 5-1 Cats Travel to Tennessee for MT Invitational
AT A GLANCE
• Off to a 5-1 start on the season, K-State will make its first ever trip to Murfreesboro, Tennessee as the Wildcats are set to take part in the Middle Tennessee Invitational from September 11-12.
• The Wildcats open the tournament on Friday against VCU (2-5) before wrapping up the weekend with a pair of matches on Saturday: vs. Seattle (3-3) at 10 a.m. and vs. MT (1-6) at 7:30 p.m.
• K-State is a combined 2-0 all-time against the three schools, with the Wildcats and Seattle having never met.
• The Wildcats beat Middle Tennessee in Manhattan last season and VCU in 2010.
50 OF THE LAST 53
• Following last weekend’s 3-0 run during the Varney’s Invitational, K-State improved to 50-3 (.943) in its last 53 non-conference matches during the regular season, a stretch that dates back to 2011.
• The Wildcats’ 43-3 (.935) mark in non-conference regular season action since the start of the 2012 campaign is the best among all Big 12 teams (2nd: Texas 27-7 [.794]).
• In all non-conference action, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament, K-State is 56-9 (.862) since 2011.
• Playing a large role in K-State’s 5-1 start to the season is its offense, which is among the best in the Big 12.
• The Wildcats are second among Big 12 schools with a .296 hitting percentage and 14.83 kills/set while they are third in aces/set (1.39).
• Through its first six matches in 2014, K-State was averaging 13.72 kills/set on a .274 hitting percentage while also averaging 1.17 aces/set.
• K-State has hit .280 or higher in five of its six matches this season; last year, the Wildcats had an attack percentage of .280 or higher 10 times in 31 contests.
• In its 23 sets, K-State has hit .270 or higher 15 times and posted an attack percentage of .200 or less just four times.
• Brooke Sassin notched 10 or more kills in all three matches last weekend as she now has double-digit kills in each contest this year.
• The junior is the first Wildcat to have 10 or more kills in the first six matches of a season since 2009.
• JuliAnne Chisholm started the 2009 campaign with double-digit kills in the first seven matches.
• The last time Sassin had 10 or more kills in six consecutive matches was Sept. 8-19, 2014.
• Sassin enters the weekend leading the Wildcats in kills and second among Big 12 players with 3.78 kills/set.
• Last year, Sassin averaged 2.79 kills/set.
RHINO ON THE LOOSE
• Another large proponent of the K-State attack so far this season is middle blocker Katie Reininger, who is second on the team in kills as well as seventh and eighth, respectively, in hitting percentage (.414) and points per set (3.59) in the Big 12.
• Reininger has double-digit kills in four of the first six matches this season.
• Last season, Reininger did not accumulate four double-digit kill matches until the 14th team match on Sept. 20.
• The redshirt junior has also hit .333 or higher in all six matches this season.
• It is the first time in her K-state career that she posted an attack percentage of .333 or higher in six straight contests (previous: 4 straight, Sept. 19-27, 2014).
• Reininger is the first Wildcat to have an attack percentage of .333 or higher (min. 10 attempts) in six consecutive matches since 2009 (Kelsey Chipman, 7 straight, Sept. 1-12).
ACE ON THE STAFF
• Freshman Alyssa Schultejans had six aces last weekend, giving her a team-best seven on the year.
• Schultejans’ four aces on Sept. 4 vs. Green Bay were the most by a K-State freshman since 2013 (Katie Brand, 6, on Sept. 21).
• Katie Brand, who has 50 or more assists in three of the six matches this year, enters this weekend second in the Big 12 with 11.26 assists/set.
• Brand’s 259 total assists are the most in the conference.
• Brand had 54 assists in the four-set win against Cal on Sept. 4, which were her most in a four-set match since Sept. 12, 2014 vs. Marshall (57).
• She also had 43 assists in the sweep of UNLV on Sept. 5, which were the most in a three-set match by a Wildcat since 2011 (Caitlyn Donahue, 46, vs. Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament).
• Brand is seventh in school history with 2,589 career assists.
• In addition to piloting the Big 12’s second-best offense in terms of hitting percentage, Brand leads all conference setters in kills, digs, blocks and points.
• Brand has 35.5 points this year, including at least 5.0 in the last five matches.
• Katie Brand had a pair of double-doubles during the Varney’s Invitational as she has a Big 12-best four this season.
• Brand, who has a double-double in 22 of her last 31 matches dating back to last season, now ranks among K-State’s all-time top-10 in career double-doubles with 35.
• She is tied for ninth in school history with Renee Whitney (1983-86) and Caitlyn Donahue (2009-12).
• Next up on the career double-doubles list for Brand is 7th (36) and 6th (38).
ON THE OUTSIDE
• The double-doubles are not limited to Brand, however, as outside hitters Brooke Sassin and Bryna Vogel each have three in six matches.
• Sassin and Vogel are the first Wildcat outside hitters with at least three double-doubles in a season since 2011 when Kathleen Ludwig had five.
• Vogel leads all Big 12 outside hitters with 72 digs this season.
• K-State is one of two Big 12 teams (Texas Tech) with four players averaging more than 2.5 kills/set.
• Brooke Sassin (3.78), Katie Reininger (2.91), Bryna Vogel (2.87) and Alyssa Schultejans (2.55) form a balanced quartet for the Wildcat offense.
• Last year, K-State finished with just two players averaging more than 2.5 kills/set (Sassin, Reininger).
• K-State is second in the Big 12 with 16.78 digs/set, an average helped by junior Kersten Kober.
• The libero is fourth in the conference with 4.17 digs/set.
• Kober has 13 or more digs in all six matches this year, helping her total 34 career contests with 10+ digs.
• She is also the first Wildcat to have double-digit digs in the first six matches of a season since 2009 (Lauren Mathewson, 8 straight matches).
AT THE POLLS
• For the first time this season, K-State received votes in the AVCA Coaches Top-25 Poll.
• Last season, the Wildcats started receiving votes in the national poll after the Varney’s Invitational as well, and they reached as high as No. 22 in the rankings later in the year.
• K-State is one of three Big 12 teams to receive votes in this week’s poll as it is preceded by No. 22 KU and No. 4 Texas.
• Other K-State opponents appearing in this week’s poll include next weekend’s foes, No. 11 Wisconsin and Creighton (receiving votes).
• K-State is a combined 2-0 all-time against this weekend’s opponents.
• The Wildcats swept VCU at the UK Invitational in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010.
• Last season, the Wildcats swept Middle Tennessee on Sept. 5 in the Varney’s Invitational in Manhattan.