Notes: Cats, Shockers Open NCAA Tournament in Lincoln
Notes: Cats, Shockers Open NCAA Tournament in Lincoln
NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
Full NCAA Tournament Bracket
AT A GLANCE
AT A GLANCE
• For the 16th time in program history, and the fourth time over the last five years, K-State heads to the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats open this year’s postseason slate against Wichita State in Lincoln, Nebraska on December 4 at 4:30 p.m.
• The Wildcats and Shockers are among the four teams at the Lincoln sub-regional, as they are joined by No. 4 national seed Nebraska and first-time tournament participant Harvard.
• The winner of the K-State-Wichita State match will face the winner of Nebraska-Harvard on Saturday at 7 p.m.
• The Lincoln sub-regional is part of the Lexington Regional.
• K-State finished tied for fourth in the Big 12 standings while Wichita State won both the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and postseason championship.
• The Wildcats have now punched a ticket into the NCAA Tournament 16 times in program history.
• K-State has also advanced to postseason play for the second straight year and fourth time over the last five seasons.
• K-State’s 16 NCAA Tournament appearances are the most of any Kansas school.
• Under head coach Suzie Fritz (since 2001), K-State has made it to 11 NCAA Tournaments.
• The Wildcats are 14-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including an 11-4 mark in the first round.
• Under Fritz, the Wildcats are 9-10 in the tournament.
DECEMBER IN LINCOLN
• K-State has now opened postseason play for its fourth straight NCAA Tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska.
• The Wildcats faced Utah in last year’s first round, Northern Iowa in 2012, and Wichita State in 2011.
• K-State is 2-2 in Lincoln in NCAA Tournament action, with both wins coming in 2011 when it swept the Shockers and beat Nebraska in five sets.
• The Wildcats are one of the top defensive teams out of the Big 12 as they have held all opponents this season to a .209 hitting percentage against.
• K-State has held its opponents to a .209 hitting percentage or less in six straight seasons.
• In conference-only matches, K-State limited Big 12 opponents to the fourth-best hitting efficiency against (.208).
• As a conference, the Big 12 was the highest hitting league in Division I as the nine teams combined for a .242 clip.
• The Big Ten was second with a .233 clip.
• Helping K-State in its defensive efforts are its ability to dig balls as the Wildcats lead all Big 12 teams in both overall (17.45) and conference-only (18.18) digs per set.
• K-State is 16th in Division I in digs/set.
• The Wildcats’ average of 17.45 digs/set in overall matches is their highest in a season since 2002 (18.01).
• The conference-only clip (18.18) is K-State’s best average since 2002 (18.50) as well.
• The Wildcats are the first team to average more than 18.0 digs/set in Big 12-only matches since Iowa State in 2011 (18.21).
• K-State’s total of 1,797 digs so far this season are more than it had in all of last season (1,721) despite playing in 13 fewer sets (103 this year; 116 in 2014).
• The 1,797 digs are the Wildcats’ most in a campaign since 2011 (1,925 in 126 sets; 15.28/set).
• For the first time in program history, K-State has four different players with 300+ digs, led by Kersten Kober (476).
• Katie Brand (320), Bryna Vogel (317) and Brooke Sassin (310) round out the quartet of Wildcats.
• For overall matches, K-State was the only team to have multiple players in the Big 12’s top-10 for digs/set (Kober, 4th; Brand, 9th; Vogel, 10th).
• Junior Brooke Sassin, with career-highs in kills (360) and digs (310), is the first Wildcat outside hitter with 300 kills and digs in a season since 1999.
• Sassin is the eighth different Wildcat in K-State’s Double-300 Club and just the second in the rally-scoring era (since 2001).
• The last Wildcat to have 300 kills and digs in a single season was middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger in 2011 (500 kills, 337 digs).
• Dawn Cady, with 622 kills and 434 digs in 1999, was the last K-State outside hitter to have a Double-300 campaign.
• With the help of a Double-300 campaign, Brooke Sassin has 15 double-doubles on the year, second-most in the Big 12 (Most: Katie Brand, 19).
• The 15 double-doubles are the most by a K-State outside hitter since Dawn Cady had a program-record 24 in 1999.
• Sassin has a double-double in three straight matches entering this weekend and four in the last five.
DOUBLE DOUBLE, PT. 2
• While Brooke Sassin leads all Big 12 outside hitters in double-doubles, Katie Brand is pacing the entire league with 19.
• Brand’s career-high for double-doubles in a season is 20, set last year in 31 matches.
• Brand has 50 career double-doubles, which are the third-most in program history and the most by a Wildcat since Dawn Cady had 52 from 1996-99.
• Brand needs one more double-double to tie the K-State record by juniors (20, Kim Zschau, 1997).
• Katie Brand finished the regular season as the only player in Division I with averages of 11.0 assists, 1.2 kills, 0.10 aces, 3.0 digs, and 0.75 blocks.
• Brand also averaged 1.77 points, the highest clip among the nation’s top-30 in assists/set.
• Brand’s current averages in assists, kills, digs and points are all career-highs.
• Her 128 kills are also the most by a K-State setter since 2005 (Stacey Spiegelberg, 134).
• Brand is 28th in Division I in assists/set (11.10).
• Kersten Kober enters the weekend with 476 digs, the most by a Wildcat since 2011 (Kuulei Kabalis, 478).
• Kober’s 476 digs have already cracked the K-State’s top-10 for most digs in a season as she is currently 10th.
• Kober is 4th in the Big 12 with 4.62 digs/set.
• Katie Brand is sixth in K-State history with 3,473 career assists.
• Kersten Kober is 10th in program history with 1,102 career digs (9th: Caitlyn Donahue, 1,107).
• K-State was the only team to have two players on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team: Alyssa Schultejans and Macy Flowers.
• Schultejans finished the regular season third among Big 12 freshmen in kills (255).
• Schultejans’ 255 kills are also the 12th-most by a K-State freshman.
• Flowers finished the conference season fourth in blocks/set (1.27).
• Flowers’ 1.27 blocks/set are the most by a Big 12 freshman since K-State’s Megan Kroeker averaged 1.30 in 2005.
• Flowers currently owns the second-best blocks/set average ever by a K-State freshman (1.33, Tiffany Johnson in 2006).
• Katie Reininger, who earned her first career all-conference honors this season, is second on K-State in kills (263) and hitting percentage (.283).
• Reininger has hit .300+ in 15 matches, with K-State going 14-1 in such contests.
• K-State’s offense ranks top-30 in the nation in kills/set as the Wildcats are 27th with 14.15.
• The Wildcats have not averaged more than 14.0 kills/set for a season since 2007 (16.24).
• Among Big 12 teams, K-State is one of just three to average more than 14.0/set so far this season (KU, 15.36; Texas, 14.27).
• K-State has given up the second-fewest aces in Division I so far this season, surrendering just 64 (Fewest: KU, 51).
• The 64 receiving errors are the fewest in program history, besting the previous low of 94 set in 2013 (105 sets).
WICHITA STATE SERIES
• K-State leads the all-time series against Wichita State, 38-15.
• The Wildcats have won nine straight against the Shockers, a streak that started in September 1995.
• K-State and Wichita State have not played since 2011 when the Wildcats swept the Shockers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
• K-State head coach Suzie Fritz is 5-0 all-time against Wichita State.
• K-State trails in the all-time series against Nebraska, 4-80.
• K-State won the last matchup in 2011, a five-set win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
• The 2011 victory snapped K-State’s 14-match losing streak to the Huskers and seven-match losing streak in Lincoln.
• K-State and Nebraska met in an official scrimmage this past spring in Grand Island, a match won by the Huskers, 3-0.
• K-State and Harvard have never played.
• The Wildcats are 1-0 all-time against the Ivy League (Cornell, 2008).