Notes: Sunflower Showdown Set for Home Season Finale


MATCH PREVIEW
NOV 25, 7 PM

Ahearn Field House
Manhattan, KS

9
KU
JAYHAWKS
24-2 (12-2 Big 12)

NR
K-STATE
WILDCATS
17-9 (9-5 Big 12)

COX Channel Kansas/ESPN3
News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM/1350 AM)


AT A GLANCE
K-State, winners in eight of its last 10 matches, will play its final home contest of the 2015 season when it hosts Sunflower Showdown rival, No. 9 KU, on Wednesday, November 25 at 7 p.m. in Ahearn Field House.
The Wildcats had their six-match winning streak snapped last Saturday at No. 5 Texas as they lost in four sets.
Since October 10, K-State’s only two losses have been against the Longhorns (L, 0-3 on October 21).
KU has won two straight since falling in five sets to Texas on November 11, sweeping TCU at home and then West Virginia in Morgantown last Saturday.
K-State is 9-1 at home this season, including 6-1 in Big 12 play, while KU is 6-1 in conference road matches.
K-State is fourth in the Big 12 standings entering the final week of the regular season, 0.5 match back of Iowa State for third, and KU is second, trailing Texas (14-1) by one match for the top spot.

HOME SWEET HOME
K-State holds a 9-1 record at home this season, with the nine wins already matching its output from all of 2014.
The Wildcats’ home record in all matches as well as in conference contests (6-1) is third-best among Big 12 teams (1. Texas, 15-1/8-0; 2. KU, 12-1/6-1).
K-State’s current home record (.900 winning pct.) is its best in a season since 2003 when it was a perfect 16-0.
Since 2011, K-State is 50-13 (.794) at home.
Against ranked opponents, the Wildcats are 4-7 at home since 2011.

DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING
Helping K-State go 6-1 at home in Big 12 matches is its defense, which has limited opponents to a .184 clip against while averaging 17.50 digs and 2.48 blocks.
In the last three home matches, opponents have a .138 attack percentage.
Last season, in which K-State was 4-4 at home in Big 12 play, conference opponents swung at a .227 efficiency.
K-State also averaged 13.65 digs and 2.85 blocks in Big 12 home matches in 2014.
In all 10 home matches this season, K-State opponents are hitting .180.
The last time K-State held Big 12 teams under .200 for an entire home schedule was 2013 (.165; 6-2 record).

GOOD SERVICE
Both K-State and KU have handled serves well this season as the Wildcats have allowed the second-fewest aces in the country for overall matches (56), trailing the Jayhawks (49) for first.
In Big 12-only matches, K-State has allowed the fewest aces (32, 0.65/set) while KU is second (33, 0.69).
K-State’s 56 receiving errors are on track to be its fewest in program history, besting the previous low of 94 (2013).
In Big 12-only contests, K-State is third with 1.08 aces/set; KU, 6th (1.04).
In 10 home matches this year, K-State is averaging 1.41 aces/set (1.38 in Big 12 matches) while giving up 0.53/set (0.58/set in Big 12).
The Wildcats have allowed more than two aces in a home match just once this season: October 10 vs. West Virginia (3).
K-State had three aces in the first matchup vs. KU (six errors); KU, two (10 errors).

FLOWERS POWER
Macy Flowers, who did not play in the first matchup against KU, has helped improve the K-State block.
The freshman leads the Wildcats with 53 stuffs while her 1.26 blocks/set in conference-only are fourth-best in the Big 12.
Flowers has led the Wildcats in blocks in each of the last four matches.
Her seven blocks against Texas last Saturday were the most by a Wildcat against the Longhorns since 2008 (Kelsey Chipman, 7, on November 15).
There has not been a freshman from any school to rank in the top-five in blocks/set for Big 12-only matches since 2010 (5th - Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma, 1.18).
The last Big 12 freshman to rank fourth or higher in such matches was Jamie Straube of Iowa State in 2009 (3rd, 1.21).

THE KOBER REPORT
Kersten Kober enters Wednesday with a career-high 429 digs this season, the most by a Wildcat since Kuulei Kabalis had 478 in 2011.
Kober is averaging 5.42 digs/set over the last five matches (103 digs/19 sets).
The junior is fourth in the Big 12 with 4.47 digs/set in overall matches.
As she enters the final week of the regular season, Kober is currently the first Wildcat to average more than 4.0 digs/set since Lauren Mathewson averaged 4.78 in 2010 (540/113).
In conference-only contests, Kober is third with a 4.94 clip (242/49).
A Wildcat has not averaged more than 4.5 digs/set in a Big 12 season since Mathewson in 2010 (4.94; 356/72).
Last year, Kober averaged 3.76 digs/set in Big 12-only matches (218/58).

DIG AND SET
Katie Brand has 290 digs on the year while her average of 3.02 per set is ninth-best in the Big 12.
With 10 more digs, Brand will become the first Wildcat in program history to register two different seasons of 300 digs and 1,000 assists.
She is currently only one of two Wildcats (Caitlyn Donahue, 2011) in school history with one season of 1,000 assists and 300 digs.
Brand is already a member of the Triple-Triple Club as she has 120 kills, 1,077 assists, and 290 digs.
She is the first Wildcat since Stacey Spiegleberg (2005-07) to have consecutive seasons of 100+ kills, assists and digs.

IMPACT FRESHMAN
Alyssa Schultejans, who had 12 kills against KU in the first matchup of the season, enters the week with 241 kills on the season.
Her 241 kills are the 12th-most by a K-State freshman in school history.
She is averaging 2.74 kills/set over the last five matches while she also has six aces.
Her 0.27 aces/set this season are the eighth-best in the conference.

VS. TOP 25
K-State is 0-4 against teams ranked in the AVCA Coaches Top-25 Poll this season.
The Wildcats have lost seven straight matches to ranked opponents.
This marks the first time since 2009 that K-State has faced back-to-back top-10 opponents.
In 2009, K-State was swept by No. 8 Iowa State on November 14 in Manhattan then lost in three sets to No. 2 Texas in Austin on November 18.
The last time K-State beat a top-10 team was on September 14, 2012 vs. No. 10 Minnesota in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

RPI RANKINGS
Entering the final week of the regular season, K-State is ranked No. 44 in the NCAA RPI rankings.
It is the fifth straight week that K-State has moved up from the previous week’s rankings (Last week: 48).
It is K-State’s highest RPI ranking of the year as it has climbed 16 spots since October 19 when it was No. 60.
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-10 (No. 1 Texas, No. 8 KU).
K-State is 3-8 against the RPI’s top-50 (14-1 against No. 51+).
The Wildcats’ final two regular season matches are against top-50 teams.

KU SERIES
K-State leads the all-time series against KU, 63-47-1.
The Wildcats lost the first meeting of the season in Lawrence on September 23 (1-3).
K-State has lost six of the last seven matchups against the Jayhawks.
Last year, the two teams split the season series, with K-State winning in five sets in Lawrence then KU dropping the Wildcats in straight sets in Manhattan.
K-State is 28-16 all-time against KU at home.
The Wildcats have lost three straight to the Jayhawks at home, though.
Under head coach Suzie Fritz, K-State is 19-10 against KU, including 9-5 at home.