Notes: Wildcats Start Second Half of Big 12 Slate at West Virginia

MATCH PREVIEW
OCT 28, 6 PM ET

WVU Coliseum
Morgantown, WV

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

NR
WEST VIRGINIA
MOUNTAINEERS
5-15 (0-7 Big 12)

Mountaineer TV
News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM/1350 AM)

AT A GLANCE

K-State opens the second half of its Big 12 schedule with a road match - its fifth over its last seven contests - at West Virginia on Wednesday, October 28 at 6 pm ET/5 pm CT.
The Wildcats will arrive in Morgantown having won three of their last four matches, a stretch that started with a sweep of the Mountaineers in Manhattan on October 10.
West Virginia enters Wednesday wedged in a nine-match losing streak, a span that began on September 19 vs. Murray State (L, 1-3).
K-State has won back-to-back matches on the road and is 7-7 away from Manhattan this year.
The Mountaineers are 1-6 at home, with the one win coming on September 15 vs. Marshall.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the second time in her career, Katie Brand was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
The setter was the only player for the period ending October 25 to rank in the Big 12’s top-10 for both digs (3rd, 4.83) and blocks (T-5th, 1.33) per set.
Brand had 15 digs and three blocks against No. 2 Texas, and then had 14 digs and five blocks at Texas Tech.
The redshirt junior picked up her first career Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award on October 13, 2014.
She has garnered three overall Big 12 weekly awards in her career as she was named the top rookie on September 16, 2013.
Brand is the second Wildcat this season to be named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week as junior libero Kersten Kober earned the honor on October 5.

CAREER ASSISTS
While Katie Brand stood out for her defensive efforts last week, the redshirt junior moved closer to climbing another spot on K-State’s career assists list as well.
Brand, who had 64 assists in last week’s two matches, enters Wednesday four helpers shy of tying Renee Whitney (1983-86) for sixth on K-State’s all-time list.
Brand has needed 295 sets so far to reach 3,150 sets while Whitney played in 337 sets to reach her career total of 3,154.
Brand is averaging 11.08 assists/set this season, which is the second-best clip in the Big 12 and 26th in Division I.

DOUBLE DOUBLE
Katie Brand has also moved up another all-time K-State list as she notched her 44th career double-double last weekend at Texas Tech (41 assists, 14 digs).
Brand is tied with Liz Wegner (1998-2001) for fourth on the K-State career double-doubles list.
Next up for Brand is third-place Shawnee Call, who had 46 double-doubles from 1985-88.
Brand’s 13 double-doubles this season are the most in the Big 12.
She has a double-double in each of her last two matches and in 31 of her last 45 career matches.

LIMITING THE ATTACK
K-State’s defense has been a key piece to the Wildcats’ recent stretch as it has held its opponents to a sub-.200 hitting percentage in four of the last five matches.
Since October 7, opponents are hitting .187 (198k-91e-571att).
In the Wildcats’ last three wins, teams are hitting .170 (114k-60e-317att).
Those three wins are against West Virginia (.194), Oklahoma (.135) and Texas Tech (.178).
In conference-only matches this season, the Wildcats are fourth in the Big 12 with a .208 opponent hitting efficiency.

STOUT D
K-State’s block has stepped over the last three contests as the Wildcats are averaging 3.33 blocks/set (30.0/9 sets).
K-State has double-digit blocks in two of the last three matches, after having just two such efforts in the first 17 matches.

BACK ROW DEFENSE
In addition to the play at the net, K-State’s back row has contributed to the stout defense as the Wildcats enter Wednesday first among Big 12 teams in overall contests in digs/set (16.55) and second in conference-only (16.52).
The Wildcats are also 31st in Division I in digs/set.
K-State has out-dug its opponent 13 times this year (11-2 record), including in three of the last four matches.
Last Saturday at Texas Tech was the fourth time this year that the Wildcats had 50 or more digs in a three-set match (five times in 2014).

TRIO OF DIGS
Helping K-State rank at the top of Big 12 teams in digs/set are three Wildcats: Kersten Kober, Katie Brand and Bryna Vogel.
Kober is fourth in overall and 3rd in conference-only matches while Brand is 9th/7th and Vogel is 10th/9th.
The Wildcats are the only Big 12 team to have three different players not only rank among the conference’s top-10 in digs/set for overall matches but conference-only contests as well.
No other Big 12 team has more than one player in the top-10 of either set of matches.
The combination of Kober’s, Brand’s and Vogel’s digs/set in conference-only matches (10.67) would rank ninth among Big 12 teams.

BLOCKS ON BLOCKS
Macy Flowers is only six matches into her K-State career, but the freshman middle blocker has made a name for herself as she enters Wednesday fifth in the Big 12 with 1.15 blocks/set in conference-only matches.
Since October 3 at TCU, when Flowers made her K-State debut, she leads all Wildcats with 23 blocks.
Flowers had five blocks last Saturday against Texas Tech, giving her three straight matches with at least five stuffs.
She is the first Wildcat freshman to have five or more blocks in three straight matches since Megan Kroeker did it in four straight matches in 2005.
Flowers had a career-high six blocks against No. 2 Texas last Wednesday as her 11 blocks were the most among Big 12 players over last week.
In Flowers’ first career match against West Virginia, she had two blocks but hit .636 to help her total eight kills.

EFFICIENT ATTACKER
Katie Reininger went off against Texas Tech last Saturday as the middle blocker finished with 12 kills on a .440 clip.
The redshirt junior has hit .400 or higher seven times this season, including twice in the last three matches (hitting .418 with 3.0 kills/set over the stretch).
When Reininger has hit .333+ this year, K-State holds an 11-1 record.
She is second on K-State in kills (201).

RPI RANKINGS
After a 1-1 week, K-State moved up five spots in this week’s RPI rankings, checking in at No. 55.
The Wildcats have played eight opponents ranked in this week’s top-50 so far, including four from outside of the Big 12: Texas (No. 3), KU (9), Wisconsin (11), Iowa State (21), Creighton (26), Miami (37), Baylor (39), and Arkansas (41).
K-State is 1-7 against the RPI’s top-50.
West Virginia is No. 166 in this week’s rankings.
The Wildcats are 9-0 against teams ranked 101 or higher in the RPI.

WEST VIRGINIA SERIES
The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Mountaineers, 5-2.
K-State swept the first meeting of the season on October 10 in Manhattan (25-20, 25-20, 25-23).
The Wildcats are 2-1 all-time in Morgantown, winning the last matchup, 3-2, on October 25, 2014.
Four of K-State’s five wins are sweeps.
Last year, both meetings were decided in five sets.
The two sides split the season series in 2013 and 2014 while K-State won the set in 2012.