Notes: Cats Host Bears in Big 12 Home Opener
Notes: Cats Host Bears in Big 12 Home Opener
SEPT 26, 7 PM
Ahearn Field House
11-2 (0-0 Big 12)
8-5 (0-1 Big 12)
COX KS /
News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM/1350 AM)
AT A GLANCE
• K-State will open its Big 12 home schedule on Saturday, taking on Baylor in Ahearn Field House at 7 p.m.
• The match will be the Wildcats’ annual Pack the Field House promotion, with all tickets and hot dogs being $1.
• The Wildcats enter the match on a four-match losing streak, having lost their overall Big 12 opener on Wednesday at KU (3-1).
• For Baylor - which closed out its non-conference schedule with an 11-2 record - Saturday will be its first Big 12 match of the season.
• K-State won the last meeting between the two schools, a five-set victory in which the Wildcats had to erase a 2-0 deficit in Waco on Nov. 15, 2014.
• When K-State takes on Baylor this Saturday, it will end a 21-day stretch for the Wildcats playing away from home.
• K-State went 3-0 during its home tournament - held in Bramlage Coliseum - September 4-5.
• The last time K-State played a match in Ahearn Field House was Nov. 29, 2014 vs. West Virginia (L, 3-2).
• The Wildcats are 344-166-5 (.673) all-time in Ahearn Field House.
• Since 2011, K-State is 44-12 (.786) at home, including a 40-5 (.889) mark against unranked opponents.
• So far in home matches this season, K-State is averaging 16.3 kills/set on a .310 attack percentage (163k-43e-387att).
• In road/neutral matches, the Wildcats are averaging 14.05 kills/set on a .248 hitting percentage (576k-196e-1535att).
• K-State has out-hit its opponents in each of its last five home matches.
• The Wildcats had 78 digs on Wednesday against KU, good for an average of 19.5/set.
• K-State enters the weekend first in the Big 12 and 18th in the country with 16.8 digs/set this year.
• The 78 digs were K-State’s second-highest total in a four-set match this year, trailing the 80 against No. 11 Wisconsin.
• The Wildcats have 78 or more digs in each of their last four matches, averaging 18.0 per set.
• Last year, K-State had 78 or more digs in a match just once (Sept. 19 vs. Eastern Michigan, 85).
• From 2013-14, K-State had a combined five matches of 78+ digs (this season: 5).
• Earlier this season, K-State set a school record for digs in a five-set match with 118 vs. Illinois State on Aug. 29.
• One of the main contributors to the K-State back row defense is junior Kersten Kober, who had 25 digs on Wednesday at KU - a Big 12 career-high.
• The libero is fifth in the Big 12 with 4.16 digs/set in overall matches.
• She has 85 digs over the last four matches, averaging 4.72/set.
• Kober, who leads K-State with 212 digs, has three matches of 20 or more digs over the last four contests.
• She has seven career matches with 20+ digs, which are the eighth most in school history (7th: Shawnee Call, 9).
• The Southlake, Texas native has led the Wildcats or tied for the team lead in digs in eight different matches this year.
• Kober has 200 or more digs in each of her three seasons at K-State, helping her total 838 in 256 sets (3.27/set).
DIGS FROM THE OUTSIDE
• Another piece of the digging defense for the Wildcats is outside hitter Bryna Vogel, who is 10th in the Big 12 with 3.08 digs/set in overall matches.
• The sophomore had 20 digs at KU on Wednesday, her second 20-dig match of the season (Last: Aug. 29 vs. Illinois State, career-high 23).
• Vogel is the first K-State outside hitter to have multiple 20-dig efforts in a single season since Jennifer Pollard also had two in 2002.
ACTIVATE THE BLOCK
• K-State out-blocked its rival on Wednesday, stuffing 9.0 KU attempts to the Jayhawks’ 7.0.
• The Wildcats have out-blocked their opponent in four of the last five matches, combining for 47.0 blocks over the stretch.
• K-State is averaging 2.24 blocks/set over the span, up from its average of 1.96 blocks in the first eight contests of the season.
• The Wildcats have out-blocked their opponent eight times this year, going 5-3 in such contests.
• Over the last two matches, K-State has 22.0 blocks in nine sets (2.44/set).
• The Wildcats are sixth among Big 12 teams with 2.08 blocks/set on the overall season.
• Katie Brand registered her fourth straight double-double on Wednesday at KU, totaling 42 assists and 11 digs.
• The redshirt junior is tied with teammate Brooke Sassin for the Big 12-lead with nine double-doubles.
• Brand has 40 career double-doubles, the sixth most in program history (5th: Gabby Guerre, 43).
• The setter has seven double-doubles in the last nine matches and 27 in her last 38 career contests.
• She also enters the weekend third in the Big 12 with 11.12 assists/set and ninth in digs/set with 3.14.
BETTER AS IT GOES
• Alyssa Schultejans recorded 12 kills in her first career Big 12 match on Wednesday at KU as the freshman now has double-digit kills in three of the last four matches.
• The outside hitter is averaging 3.05 kills/set on a .269 clip over the four-match stretch.
• Also over the last four matches, Schultejans has improved as the sets go on as she is averaging 4.0 kills on a .383 hitting percentage after the second set.
• In sets one and two, she is averaging 1.88 kills/set on a .122 clip.
• Brooke Sassin, who is fourth in the Big 12 in kills/set (3.75) and points/set (4.10), has 10 or more kills in each of the 13 matches this season.
• It is the longest streak of double-digit kills by a Wildcat since Kaitlynn Pelger and her 18 consecutive matches in 2012.
• Sassin has also led the Wildcats in kills in eight of the 13 matches this year.
• Her 15 kills at KU on Wednesday matched her Big 12 career-high (Last: 10/25/14 vs. West Virginia).
BIG 12 HOME OPENERS
• K-State is 11-8 in conference home openers in the Big 12 era, but it has lost two straight entering Saturday.
• The last time the Wildcats won their conference home opener was in 2012 when they swept West Virginia.
• K-State has won three of its last five Big 12 home openers.
• The Wildcats have opened their home conference slate against Baylor four times, going 3-1 (2014, 2011, 2007, 2000).
• The one loss was last season when the Bears came back from a 2-1 set deficit.
• Saturday will mark the 40th all-time meeting between K-State and Baylor, with the Wildcats holding a 26-13 lead in the series.
• The two sides have split the season series over the last two years.
• In 2014, Baylor beat the Wildcats in Manhattan on Sept. 27 while K-State captured the match in Waco on Nov. 15 - with both matches being five sets.
• K-State is 15-5 against Baylor at home.
• The Wildcats have won five of the last eight meetings against the Bears, including three of the last four in Manhattan.
• The last time either side won back-to-back matches in the series was 2012 when the Wildcats swept the season series with a pair of four-set wins.
• K-State and Baylor have never played three consecutive five-set matches (two straight entering Saturday).
• The first meeting took place on Sept. 3, 1993 - a 3-0 win for Baylor in Manhattan.