Notes: Cats Host Bears in Big 12 Home Opener

MATCH PREVIEW
SEPT 26, 7 PM

Ahearn Field House
Manhattan, KS

NR
BAYLOR
BEARS
11-2 (0-0 Big 12)

NR
K-STATE
WILDCATS
8-5 (0-1 Big 12)

COX KS / 
K-STATEHD.TV
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.

MY HOUSE
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.

HOME SPLITS
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.

DIGGIN’ IT
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.

ALL OUT
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.

DOUBLE UP
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.

KILLS LEADER
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.

BAYLOR SERIES
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.