Notes: K-State Opens Big 12 Slate with Sunflower Showdown at No. 15 KU
Notes: K-State Opens Big 12 Slate with Sunflower Showdown at No. 15 KU
SEPT 23, 6:30 PM
Horejsi Family Athletics Center
8-4 (0-0 Big 12)
12-0 (0-0 Big 12)
ESPN3/Cox Channel Kansas/TWCSC
AT A GLANCE
• Finishing out its non-conference schedule with an 8-4 record, K-State will now gear up for its 16-match Big 12 schedule as the Wildcats open up at No. 15 KU on Wednesday, September 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
• The Wildcats enter the contest stuck in a three-match losing streak while the Jayhawks are undefeated on the year (12-0).
• Prior to the losing stretch, the Wildcats had won six straight, four of which were sweeps.
• The Wildcats are opening up their non-conference schedule at KU for the first time since 2007 (W, 3-0).
• In 2010, K-State hosted the Jayhawks for its Big 12 opener (W, 3-1).
• Wednesday will be the 111th all-time meeting between K-State and KU, with the first meeting taking place in 1974.
• The Wildcats hold the lead in the series, 63-46-1 (.577).
• Since 2012, though, K-State has lost five of the last six contests.
• Last season, the Wildcats split the season series, with K-State beating KU in five sets in Lawrence on Oct. 1 and then losing in three in Manhattan on Nov. 12.
• The Wildcats are 29-13 (.690) all-time in Lawrence, and 10-4 under head coach Suzie Fritz.
• Each of K-State’s last eight wins in the series have been in four or more sets, including three five-setters.
• Since 2006, only six of the matchups, out of 18, have been decided in straight sets.
• This Wednesday will also be the first time K-State has faced KU when the Jayhawks were ranked since November 16, 2013 (L, 3-1).
• The Wildcats are 0-3 all-time against a ranked KU.
• K-State finished out its non-conference schedule with at least eight wins for the fifth straight season, helped by an improved offense.
• In regular season non-conference action, K-State is averaging 14.62 kills/set on a .267 hitting percentage, up from last year’s marks of 13.84 and .258.
• The Wildcats’ kills/set is their highest in regular season non-conference action since 2007 when they averaged 16.09 kills/set (563 kills, 35 sets).
• The hitting efficiency is K-State’s best since 2012 (.275).
• Brooke Sassin enters the KU matchup with a streak of six consecutive double-doubles, giving her a Big 12-best nine this season.
• The junior, who has 10 career double-doubles, has the most double-doubles in a season by a Wildcat outside hitter since Rita Liliom had 11 in 2008.
• Sassin is pacing the Wildcats in kills with 176 while she is third on the team in digs with 141.
• In the Big 12, Sassin is fourth in kills/set (3.74) and 11th in digs/set (3.00).
• Katie Brand has eight double-doubles this season, which are second-most on the team and in the Big 12.
• Of her eight double-doubles, two are 20-20 double-doubles, making her the first Wildcat with multiple 20-20 double-doubles in a campaign since 1999.
• In 1999, Dawn Cady (6) and Liz Wegner (3) each had multiple 20-20 double-doubles.
• Brand notched her most recent 20-20 double-double on September 20 at Creighton, totaling 57 assists and 24 digs.
• The 24 digs matched her career-high.
• Brand’s first 20-20 double-double was on August 29 vs. Illinois State when she had 56 assists and 24 digs.
• Brand is the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the conference’s top-10 in both assists (3rd) and digs (9th) per set.
• Brand is the only Wildcat in the rally-scoring era (since 2001) to have even one 20-20 double-double.
• Brand’s 39 career double-doubles are the sixth-most in school history.
• Sophomore Bryna Vogel trails Sassin and Brand for the Big 12 lead in double-doubles as she has six this season.
• With the help of Brand, Sassin, Vogel and Katie Reininger (1), K-State has tabulated 24 double-doubles this year - while the rest of the Big 12 has 41 among 23 different players.
• Last season, K-State had 27 double-doubles, including 20 by Brand.
BLOCK IT UP
• Katie Reininger is coming off her second career 10+ block match as the redshirt junior had a season-high 10 stuffs (1 solo, 9 assists) at Creighton on September 20.
• The middle blocker, who had a career-high 13 blocks on September 19, 2014 at Michigan, is now in K-State’s all-time top-10 for career matches with double-digit blocks (T-7th).
• Reininger is 7th in the Big 12 this season with a team-best 1.15 blocks/set.
• She has 5 or more blocks in three of the last four contests and five total matches this year.
• The back row defense for the Wildcats has proven crucial as K-State is first in the Big 12 in digs/set (16.57).
• K-State is the only school entering the week with three players in the Big 12’s top-11 in digs/set.
• Kersten Kober (5th in the Big 12) leads the way with 3.98 digs/set, followed by Katie Brand (9th) and Brooke Sassin (11th).
• Outside hitter Bryna Vogel is not far behind as she is averaging 2.91 digs/set.
• Last season, K-State averaged 14.84 digs/set, including 15.6 digs/set in non-conference action.
20 AND UP
• Kersten Kober, the team leader in digs, registered two 20-dig efforts this past weekend, bringing her season and career total to three and six, respectively.
• The junior is now tied for eighth in school history with six career 20-dig matches.
• Over the last three contests, Kober is averaging 4.29 digs/set.
• Kober has amassed 816 digs so far in her career, which are the ninth-most in program history during the rally-scoring era.
• The K-State offense is balanced mostly across four attackers, as the Wildcats are the only team in the Big 12 with four different players averaging 2.6 or more kills per set.
• Brooke Sassin (3.74 kills/set), Alyssa Schultejans (2.77), Bryna Vogel (2.70), and Katie Reininger (2.66) make up the quartet, combining for 80% of the team’s kills (550/687).
• The Wildcats are also the only Big 12 team with four attackers totaling 120 or more kills at this point in the season.
• KU is the next closest team as it has three attackers with 120 or more kills.
• K-State (14.62) trails KU (15.46) for the top spot among Big 12 teams in kills/set.
• K-State is ninth in the country in kills/set and 27th in hitting efficiency (.267).
ACE IS THE PLACE
• A pair of Wildcats are featured in the Big 12’s top-10 for aces/set as Alyssa Schultejans (5th, 0.30) and Mattie Batchelder (6th, 0.29) have combined for 20 of K-State’s 53 aces this season.
• Schultejans leads the team with 13 aces as well as four matches this season with two or more.
• Batchelder has three aces over the last two matches, helping her total seven on the season.
• Batchelder did not record any aces as a redshirt freshman in 2014.
• As a team, K-State is sixth in the Big 12 with 1.13 aces/set.
BIG 12 OPENERS
• In the Big 12 era (since 1996), K-State is 10-9 in conference openers.
• The Wildcats have lost three straight Big 12 openers, with their last win occurring in 2011 vs. Baylor (3-0).
• In conference road openers, K-State is 12-7 in the Big 12 era.
• The Wildcats have won three of their last five Big 12 road openers.