Notes: K-State Wraps Up Non-Conference Schedule with Creighton Classic
Notes: K-State Wraps Up Non-Conference Schedule with Creighton Classic
AT A GLANCE
• Riding a six-match winning streak, K-State will wrap up its regular season non-conference schedule this weekend with the Creighton Classic from September 18-20.
• The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back perfect weekends, going 3-0 at the Varney’s Invitational in Manhattan two weeks ago and then 3-0 in the Middle Tennessee Invitational last week.
• K-State will arrive in Omaha with a 5-1 record in road/neutral matches this season.
• The Wildcats have not played at Creighton since 2012 (Bluejay Invitational, Aug. 31-Sept. 1).
• K-State is a combined 15-5 all-time against Arkansas, Creighton and Wisconsin.
FOR THE WIN
• K-State’s current six-match winning streak is its longest since it won 11-straight from September 4-20, 2014.
• The Wildcats enter the weekend with the second-longest active winning streak among Big 12 teams (KU, 9).
• K-State has won 18 of its last 20 sets played, with four of its last six match wins being in straight sets.
• This is the fourth consecutive season that K-State has strung together a winning streak of six or more matches.
AGAINST THE NON-CON
• Beyond the six-match winning streak, K-State is 53-3 (.946) in its last 56 regular season non-conference matches, a stretch that dates back to 2011.
• Over the stretch, K-State is 12-1 in true road matches, 21-2 in neutral-site contests, and 20-0 at home.
• The 56-match span started on September 8, 2011 at Missouri State (W, 3-2) - five days after the Wildcats dropped a three-set contest against BYU at home.
• In all non-conference action, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament, K-State is 59-9 (.868) since 2011.
• Since 2012, K-State is 46-3 (.939) in regular season non-conference action, which is the best record among Big 12 schools.
• K-State has managed to open the season 8-1 or better for the fourth straight campaign behind one of the best Wildcat offenses in school history.
• Entering the week, K-State is second in the country in kills/set (15.12) and ninth in hitting efficiency (.304).
• The Wildcats are just one of three Division I teams through the first three weeks of the season averaging 15+ kills/set while they are also one of nine teams with a team hitting percentage of .300 or higher.
• K-State’s 499 kills so far this year are its most through the first nine matches of a season since 2007 when it had 514 (16.06 kills/set).
• The .304 hitting percentage, though, is the best ever for the Wildcats in their first nine matches of the season during the rally-scoring era (since 2001).
• The previous best was .281 in 2008 (451k-136e-1121att).
• K-State has a kill percentage of .419, helped by just 137 attack errors on 1,190 swings (84 non-blocking errors).
• The .419 kill percentage is second-best among Big 12 schools (First: KU, .426).
• Last year, through the first nine matches, K-State had a kill percentage of .397 (412k-135e-1039att) and a .267 hitting percentage in 30 sets.
• Two of the teams K-State faces this weekend, Arkansas (.120) and Wisconsin (.122), are 10th and 12th, respectively, in Division I in opponent hitting percentage.
• Over its last six matches, K-State is averaging 16.05 kills/set on a .316 clip.
• The Wildcats are out-hitting their opponents, .316-.187, over the stretch.
• Over the last 20 sets, K-State has hit .300 or higher 12 times and less than .230 just twice.
• K-State is also averaging 1.4 aces/set over the span, while its opponents have an average of just 0.3 aces/set.
• K-State has been aced just six times in the last six contests, and twice in the last three.
BIG 12 LEADER
• Brooke Sassin has 10 or more kills in each of the first nine matches this season, a first by a Wildcat since 2008 when Rita Lilliom had double-digit kills in 29 consecutive matches to start the season.
• Sassin has paced the Wildcats in kills in six of the nine matches so far.
• The junior is averaging a Big 12-best 3.88 kills/set, including a 4.05 average over the last six contests.
• Nationally, Sassin is 65th in kills/set.
• The outside hitter is also carrying a .304 attack percentage (128k-31e-319att).
• She has hit .345 or higher in her last two matches and .300+ in four of her last five contests.
• Last season, Sassin had 16 matches of 10+ kills and nine with a hitting percentage of .300+ (six total in 2015).
• Sassin’s impact goes beyond the offense, though, as the outside hitter leads the Big 12 with six double-doubles.
• Sassin, who has seven double-doubles in her career, has a double-double in three straight matches entering the weekend.
• Sassin’s six double-doubles are already the most by a Wildcat outside hitter since 2008 (Rita Lilliom, 11).
• Sassin’s 91 digs this season have already bested her previous career-high of 81 set last year.
• She is also the only player in the Big 12’s top-10 in kills/set averaging 2.75 or more digs/set.
SETTING THE SCENE
• Helping K-State excel offensively is redshirt junior setter Katie Brand, who is second in the Big 12 with 11.39 assists/set.
• Brand has 245 assists over the last six matches, averaging 12.25/set and guiding the team to a .316 hitting percentage.
• Brand enters this weekend seventh in school history with 2,706 career assists.
• She needs 448 more assists to tie Renee Whitney for sixth on K-State’s all-time career assists list.
• Overall, Brand leads all Big 12 setters in digs, kills, blocks and points.
• She averages 1.56 points/set this season.
FIRST AND SECOND CONTACT
• Katie Brand has also produced five double-doubles this season, the second-most in the Big 12.
• Brand has 36 career double-doubles, which are tied for the seventh-most in school history.
• Brand trails Devon Ryning (38) for sixth on the list (Leader: Kim Zschau, 69, 1995-98).
• Brand has a double-double in 23 of her last 34 career matches.
• Freshman Alyssa Schultejans leads the Wildcats with 11 aces, the most by a K-State freshman since Katie Brand (27) in 2013.
• Schultejans has recorded four aces in two different matches this season, which is a first for a Wildcat since Kaitlynn Pelger also had two in 2013.
• Schultejans is currently the only freshman in the Big 12’s top-10 for aces/set (0.37).
IN THE POLLS
• K-State jumped to just outside the AVCA Coaches Top-25 Poll this week, checking in at 63 points (26th-most).
• The Wildcats trail Kentucky (74 points, 5-5 record) and Pacific (74, 8-1) for 24th in the poll.
• Last week, K-State received votes for the first time this year, tabulating four points.
FILLING IN THE RANKS
• On Friday, K-State will face its first ranked non-conference team in the regular season since 2012 when it takes on No. 11 Wisconsin.
• In 2012, the Wildcats beat both No. 10 Minnesota (3-2) and No. 20 Dayton (3-0) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
• K-State has won three straight regular season matches against ranked non-conference opponents (other: 9/14/13 at No. 23 Cal).
• The Wildcats are 8-17 (.320) against all ranked opponents since 2011.
• Last year, K-State was 0-3 against ranked opponents, losing twice to No. 2/5 Texas and then No. 20 Utah in the postseason.