Notes: K-State Rides Winning Streak into Homestand Finale vs. Iowa State


MATCH PREVIEW
NOV 18, 7 PM

Ahearn Field House
Manhattan, KS

NR
IOWA STATE
CYCLONES
16-8 (9-4 Big 12)

NR
K-STATE
WILDCATS
16-8 (8-4 Big 12)

ESPN3
News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM/1350 AM)


AT A GLANCE
In the midst of its longest Big 12 winning streak in 11 years, K-State wraps up its four-match homestand on Wednesday, November 18 when it takes on Iowa State at 7 p.m. in Ahearn Field House.
The Wildcats have won five consecutive matches and seven of their last eight.
In its last time out, K-State needed five sets to dispatch Oklahoma as the Wildcats rallied from an 11-7 deficit in the fifth set by scoring eight unanswered points to defeat the Sooners for the second time this season.
Iowa State had its three-match winning streak snapped in its last outing this past Saturday against No. 5 Texas (0-3).
The Cyclones have won six of their last eight matches.
Iowa State has also not lost to an unranked opponent over its last 16 contests.
K-State trails Iowa State by half a match for third-place in the Big 12 standings.

HIGH FIVE
With last Wednesday’s win against Oklahoma, K-State improved its winning streak to five, the program’s longest in Big 12 play since it also won five straight in 2004 (September 22-October 6).
K-State’s five-match winning streak is its second-longest this year, trailing a six-match stretch from September 4-12.
This marks the first time since 2013 that K-State had a pair of winning streaks of five+ matches in the same season.
In 2013, K-State opened the season winning seven consecutive then wrapping up non-conference action with a five-match span.
The current five-match winning streak is also the longest active stretch among Big 12 teams.
The Wildcats have not won six straight conference matches since 2003 when they captured 16 in a row en route to winning a Big 12 title.

HOME COOKING
K-State enters Wednesday 8-1 at home, including 5-1 in Big 12 action.
The Wildcats now have eight or more home wins in season in five straight years while they have nine or more wins in each season from 2011-14.
Since 2011, K-State is 49-13 (.790) at home (3-1 vs. Iowa State).
Under head coach Suzie Fritz (since 2001), the Wildcats are 154-55 at home (9-5 vs. Iowa State).

AGAINST THE UNRANKED
With an 8-0 record this season against unranked opponents at home, K-State has improved its mark in such contests to 45-6 (.882) since 2011.
The Wildcats are 24-4 in sets against unranked teams at home this year.
Iowa State, meanwhile, has not lost to an unranked opponent, home or away, since September 11 at Iowa (L, 1-3) - a stretch of 16 matches.
The Cyclones are 11-5 over that same span, losing twice to KU (No. 10/10) and Texas (3/5) as well as once to Nebraska (4).

GETTING DEFENSIVE
K-State’s recent stretch in which it has won seven of its last eight matches follows its first meeting against Iowa State on October 7 in Ames (L, 0-3).
Since that defeat to the Cyclones, K-State has rebounded with an improved defense as the Wildcats are holding opponents to a .178 clip over the last eight contests.
In the first four Big 12 matches of the season, in which K-State went 1-3, the Wildcats’ opposition had a .220 hitting efficiency.
A primary factor in the improved defense is K-State’s block, which is averaging 2.56 blocks/set (69.0/27) over the span.
In the first four conference contests, the Wildcats averaged 1.80 blocks (27.0/5).
Three players - Macy Flowers (1.33), Katie Brand (1.15), and Katie Reininger (1.11) - are averaging more than a block per set over the last eight matches.
Only one player, Zsofia Gyimes (1.30), averaged more than a block per set through the first four Big 12 matches.

UNDER .200
K-State is one of just two Big 12 teams entering this week holding opponents to an attack percentage below .200 in conference-only matches as the Wildcats’ .193 clip against trails Texas (.179) for the top spot.
The Wildcats have limited Big 12 teams to a sub-.200 hitting percentage seven times this year, including four times over its current five-match winning streak.
Last year, K-State held Big 12 teams to an attack percentage below .200 seven times as well.
In the first meeting of the season, K-State held Iowa State to a .179 clip - the fourth straight match in which the Wildcats held the Cyclones to a sub-.200 attack percentage, a stretch that started on November 30, 2013 in Manhattan (K-State won, 3-0).
The Wildcats have also held Iowa State to a clip below .200 in three straight home matches (record: 3-0).

CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Kersten Kober recorded 25 digs last week against Oklahoma, which was her fifth 25-dig match this year.
That ties a K-State record for most in a single season, a record last set by Lauren Mathewson in 2009.
Kober’s seven 20-dig efforts this year are the most by a Wildcat since Mathewson had 10 in 2010.
Kober has 10 matches in her career with 20 or more digs, which are tied with Lisa Mimick (1998-01) for the fifth-most in school history.
Kober, with 1,020 career digs, is five digs shy from cracking K-State’s top-10 in that category.
Mary Kinsey (1984-87) is currently 10th with 1,025 digs (9th: Caitlyn Donahue, 1,107, from 2009-12).
Kober also needs six more digs to give her 400 on the season, which would make her the fourth Wildcat ever to have back-to-back 400-dig seasons and first since Mathewson had three straight from 2008-10.
Kober enters this week third in the Big 12 with 4.93 digs/set in conference-only.

ALL-AROUND OUTSIDE
Brooke Sassin’s team-high 15 kills last week against Oklahoma helped bring her season total in kills to 312 - matching her career-high set in 2014.
Sassin is averaging 3.51 kills/set this year (4th in the Big 12) compared to 2.79 last season.
In addition to 300+ kills, Sassin has 256 digs, making her the sixth Wildcat in the rally-scoring era (since 2001) to have 300 kills and 250 digs in a single campaign.
The junior also has 12 double-doubles, the most by a K-State outside hitter since 2001.
Over the last eight matches, Sassin is averaging 3.26 kills and 3.11 digs - the highest and second-highest on the team.

2016 SIGNING CLASS
Head coach Suzie Fritz announced the 2016 signing class last week, a group that includes Elle Sandbothe (Lee’s Summit, Missouri/Lee’s Summit West), Rachel Stark (Minneapolis, Minnesota/Washburn), and Peyton Williams (Topeka, Kansas/Cair Paravel Latin School).
A 5-foot-11 middle blocker, Sandbothe is an all-state and all-conference honoree out of Lee’s Summit who comes from an athletically-gifted family (mom is in the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Hall of Fame and sister plays volleyball at Ohio State).
A 6-foot outside hitter, Stark was Washburn’s team leader in kills over the last two seasons, including this year when she paced the conference and helped the Millers go 27-0 in the regular season.
A 6-foot-3 middle blocker, Williams will be a dual-sport athlete at K-State as she is set to redshirt for the volleyball team in 2016 and play basketball for its 2016-17 campaign.

RPI RANKINGS
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).
Iowa State is No. 21 this week, down from No. 14.
K-State is 2-8 against the top-50 in RPI (14-0 against No. 51+).
The Wildcats’ final four regular season matches are against teams ranked in the top-50.

IOWA STATE SERIES
K-State trails in the all-time series against Iowa State, 39-48.
K-State has won three straight against Iowa State at home but has a 3-4 overall record since 2012.
The Wildcats are 20-18 all-time against Iowa State in Manhattan (14-24 in Ames).
Over the 14 last matchups, 12 have been decided in three sets.
The two sides have not played a five-set match since October 22, 2008 in Ames (K-State lost).
Under head coach Suzie Fritz, K-State is 15-14 against Iowa State.