Notes: K-State Back on the Road, Takes on No. 5 Texas

NOV 21, 4 PM

Gregory Gym
Austin, TX

17-8 (9-4 Big 12)

23-2 (13-1 Big 12)

Longhorn Network
News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM/1350 AM)

K-State, currently on its longest Big 12 winning streak since 2003, hits the road for the first time in November when it takes on No. 5 Texas in Gregory Gym on Saturday, November 21 at 4 p.m.
The Wildcats are coming off a season-long four-match homestand, in which it won all four contests to stretch its active winning streak to six.
K-State has won eight of its last nine matches, with the one loss being to then-No. 2 Texas in Manhattan on October 21 (0-3).
Texas has won five straight entering the weekend, including two at home.
K-State is 8-7 in road/neutral matches this year while Texas is 15-1 at home.
The Wildcats are third in the Big 12 standings with a 9-4 record, trailing Texas (13-1) and KU (11-2) - both of which K-State will face over the next five days.

For the first time in 12 years, K-State is in the midst of a six-match winning streak in Big 12 play.
The Wildcats’ last winning streak in conference action of six matches or longer was when they won 16 in a row from September 27-November 26, 2003.
This is also the second time this season K-State has won six matches in a row as it turned in its first such streak during non-conference play September 4-12.
This year is only the fifth time in program history, and third over the last 21 seasons, that the Wildcats had two overall winning streaks of six or more in the same year (Last: 2003 - 12 and 16). 
K-State’s 16-match Big 12 winning streak in 2003 was snapped by Texas in Austin when the Longhorns beat the Wildcats in four sets on November 29.
Prior to this season, the last two times that K-State had a conference winning streak of six matches or longer (13 in 2002; 16 in 2003), both streaks were broken by Texas in Austin (L, 1-3 on November 23, 2002).
K-State has also won three straight road matches entering Saturday (all sweeps).

Over the course of the six-match winning streak, K-State’s defense, with blocks and digs, has helped lead the way for the Wildcats as opponents are hitting .162 against (267k-130e-846att).
None of the six opponents have hit higher than .202 in a match (Oct. 31 vs. TCU) while two of the last three have hit .111 or below (.094, Texas Tech and .111, Iowa State).
K-State has double-digit blocks in three of the six matches, including in each of the last two.
The Wildcats are averaging 2.60 blocks/set since October 24 and 3.19 blocks/set over the last two contests.
In addition to blocks, K-State’s back row has contributed to the stout defense as the Wildcats are averaging 18.33 digs/set over the last six.
Four Wildcats are averaging at least 2.95 digs/set since October 24, led by Kersten Kober and her 5.33 average (112 digs/21 sets).
The other three Wildcats include Bryna Vogel (3.14), Katie Brand (2.95) and Brooke Sassin (2.95).

The last six matches are a sample of K-State’s defense throughout this year’s conference schedule as the Wildcats (.188) are second to Texas (.181) for the lowest hitting percentage against in conference-only matches.
K-State is also first in digs (17.33) and third in blocks (2.37).
The Wildcats are the only Big 12 team to rank among the conference’s top-three in blocks, digs and opponent hitting percentage for conference-only matches entering the weekend.

In overall matches, K-State is averaging 16.95 digs/set - the highest mark among Big 12 teams and 27th in Division I.
K-State has not averaged more than 16.0 digs/set in a season since 2002 (18.01).
Its 1,559 total digs already rank more than 2013 (1,513) and 2012 (1,471).
Last year, the Wildcats had 1,721 digs in 116 sets (14.84/set).

TOP 10
Kersten Kober is the key piece to K-State’s back row defense as the junior libero is third in conference-only matches with 5.02 digs/set.
Over the last four matches, she is averaging 5.8 digs/set (87 digs/12 sets).
With the help of her 19 digs in three sets against Iowa State on Wednesday, Kober moved into K-State’s top-10 for career digs.
Her 1,039 career digs are 10th-most in program history and 68 shy of tying Caitlyn Donahue (1,107, 2009-12) for ninth on the all-time list.
Kober enters the weekend with 413 digs this season, matching her career-high set last season.
She is just the fourth Wildcat in program history to have back-to-back 400-dig seasons.

Kersten Kober, who tied for the team-lead in aces with two on Wednesday, has also helped K-State by controlling the service line.
K-State is third in the Big 12 with 1.09 aces/set in conference-only matches.
In terms of errors, the Wildcats have committed the fewest service errors in Big 12-only matches (53).
K-State has also surrendered the fewest aces in Big 12 play (28) and sports the best aces allowed average (0.62).
Over its six-match winning streak, K-State is averaging 1.10 aces/set (23 total) while allowing just 0.38/set (8 total).
The Wildcats’ 52 return errors on the year would easily rank as K-State’s best in a single campaign, with the previous program-low falling at 94 in 2013.
K-State’s 52 return errors are also the second-fewest in Division I.

Redshirt junior Katie Brand has continued to be the top all-around setter in Division I as she enters the weekend as the only player averaging 11.0 assists, 3.0 digs, 1.0 kill, 0.10 aces, and 0.75 blocks.
Her 1.81 points per set are also best among Division I setters averaging at least 11.0 assists.
Brand’s career-high 115 kills this year are the most by a K-State setter since 2007 (Stacey Spiegelberg, 123).
Brand is averaging 12.29 assists over the last six matches.

VS. TOP 25
K-State is 0-3 against top-25 teams in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll this year.
The Wildcats have lost six straight to ranked teams, with their last win against a top-25 team coming in the 2013 season finale against No. 25 Iowa State (3-0).
Since 2011, K-State is 8-20 against top-25 teams.

For the fourth straight week, K-State moved up in the RPI rankings as the Wildcats are ranked No. 48 (Last week: 51).
It is K-State’s highest RPI ranking of the year.
The Big 12 is No. 2 in the RPI among conferences as six of the nine teams are in the top-50 and two in the top-five (No. 2 Texas, No. 5 KU).
K-State is 3-8 against the RPI’s top-50 (14-0 against No. 51+).
The Wildcats’ final four regular season matches are against teams ranked in the top-50.

K-State trails in the all-time series against Texas, 7-34.
The Wildcats have lost 24 straight matches to the Longhorns, a stretch that started on November 29, 2003 in Austin.
The last time K-State beat Texas was on October 15, 2003 in Manhattan (3-2).
K-State has also dropped 13 consecutive contests at Texas.
The Wildcats are 3-17 all-time in Austin, with their last win occurring on November 7, 2001 (3-1).
That 2001 match capped K-State’s six-match winning streak against the Longhorns from 1999-2001.
K-State took the first set against the Longhorns in last year’s matchup in Austin before losing in four.