SE: K-State Sports Extra Top 10 Moments of September 2015

At the end of every month during the athletic year, K-State Sports Extra glances back at the month’s best plays, victories and moments. From honoring Wildcat legends to opening new facilities to a comeback performance to freshmen stepping up big, the past month has been exciting ones, to say the least. 
  
Here are the moments K-State Sports Extra recognizes as the best of September 2015:
  
10. Madison Talley earns third-place finish at Schooner Fall Classic
K-State women’s golf junior Madison Talley carded a 6-under par 136 at the Schooner Fall Classic, helping the Wildcats to a tie for seventh in their first road tournament of the 2015-16 season. 
  
It marked the third top-five finish of Talley’s career, while her final round score of 5-under par 66 was the second lowest in school history behind Christine Boucher’s total of 64 in the 2002 Edwin Watts Invitational. 
  
“This was a great event for Madison,” K-State head coach Kristi Knight said. “I am very proud of her. We were looking to move up. There was a rough stretch during the round and it slowed us down, but we held on for a solid finish. They kept playing and competing and that’s what it takes when the going gets tough.”
  
9. Volleyball sweeps Baylor
The K-State offense broke out for a season-high .388 attack percentage to help the Wildcats snap a four-match losing streak with a sweep of Baylor (25-20, 25-10, 25-23) on September 26 in Ahearn Field House. 
  
The win marked K-State volleyball’s first Big 12 victory of the season.
  
“I thought we played extremely well,” said head coach Suzie Fritz. “We hit high .300’s – that’s rolling along pretty well. We didn’t press – sometimes in those tight-game situations you can press, make more service errors, attacking errors, net fouls, things like that. We stayed consistent and pretty low error. I thought that was the difference in the end.”
  
8. Morgan Wedekind off to hot start
K-State cross country junior Morgan Wedekind is off to a hot start this fall season. The runner from Wichita, Kansas, opened the year with a second-place finish at the Bob Timmons Classic in Lawrence, Kansas, on Sept. 1, and most recently added a fifth-place finish at the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Sept. 26. 
  
At the Bob Timmons Classic, Wedekind led the Wildcat women’s squad with a time of 18:25.1, while at the Cowboy Jamboree, her time of 21:26.9 was also a team-best.
  
“I think with experience you become mentally stronger,” Godfrey said. “I think (Morgan) is a believer that she is a major factor in the Big 12, where as a sophomore she was hoping she was. Now she believes that she is.”
  
7. Kody Cook’s one-handed touchdown catch
While wide receiver Kody Cook may have caught K-State’s game-winning touchdown in the Wildcats’ three-overtime win over Louisiana Tech, it wasn’t his only highlight of the day.
  
In the third quarter, Cook caught a 4-yard fade pass from quarterback Joe Hubener using only one arm, which he wrapped around a Bulldog defender to bring in the pass and tie the game at 13. 
  
Cook led K-State in the win with 73 receiving yards on only four catches, including a 31-yarder.
   
6. K-State defense opens 2015 season on high note
In its first nine quarters of football this season, the Wildcat defense gave up just three points… just one single field goal – and a 51-yarder at that.
  
The unit led the nation in red zone and total defense heading into its third game of the season, and heading into its Big 12 Conference schedule, the Wildcats are in the leagues’ top three in total defense, red zone defense and scoring defense. 
  
“We’re a bend-but-don’t-break defense,” said senior defensive tackle Travis Britz. “We have an attitude that we’re not going to let you score, especially in the red zone. We practice it all week, we understand that we’re going to beat our opponent (in the red zone). We may let them get that far, but we’re not going to let them get any further.”
  
5. K-State volleyball wins Varney’s Invitational
K-State volleyball went a perfect 3-0 from Sept. 4-5, as the Wildcats downed Green Bay, Cal and UNLV – 3-0, 3-1, 3-0, respectively – en route to a Varney’s Invitational title. 
    
Taking place in Bramlage Coliseum, the entire Wildcat roster stepped up to win the tournament title and extend K-State’s non-conference home winning streak to 20 matches. Redshirt junior setter Katie Brand was named the Varney’s Invitational MVP and junior outside hitter Brooke Sassin was named to the all-tournament team. 
      
“I liked the way we played,” said Wildcat head coach Suzie Fritz after the Wildcats swept UNLV on Sept. 5. “I thought we competed hard, and our chemistry was really strong. We have a lot of people doing a lot of things, and I like the fact that we’re not a one-person show – there are a lot of people contributing right now and that’s really exciting.”
  
4. Jeremy Gandon claims Golfweek Conference Challenge victory
Kansas State freshman men’s golfer Jeremy Gandon carded an 8-under par 66 in the final round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Sept. 28 at Spirit Hollow Golf Course to tie for first place at 11-under par 205. Gandon’s finish helped the Wildcats place fourth at 12-under par 852.
  
“Jeremy was rock solid all week,” head coach Grant Robbins said. “He hit the ball as well as anyone I have seen in a long time. He showed tremendous poise as a freshman, and I am really happy to see him get the win.”
  
After starting the day in fourth place, Gandon notched four birdies and eagled No. 10 and No. 18. The freshman recorded the 31st individual championship in K-State history, while his total of 205 tied for the 10th lowest 54-hole score in school history. His final-round score of 8-under par 66 tied for the 15th lowest round in school history.
  
3. Jack Cantele goes 4-of-4 in the Wildcats’ three overtime win
With Wildcat kicker Matthew McCrane sidelined during K-State’s 39-33 win over Louisiana Tech on Sept. 19, it was up to senior kicker Jack Cantele to take over the position. Cantele hadn’t held the role of the Wildcats’ primary kicker in a game in over a year, but he didn’t miss a beat and went a perfect 4-of-4 in field goals, including a pressure-packed 44-yarder to tie the game in the second overtime. 
  
“I’m awful proud of Jack. It’s so hard when you’re doing as well as he was doing up to that point in time last year to lose your position and not be able to get back on the field,” said K-State head coach Bill Snyder. “That’s not an easy circumstance to deal with, but life deals us those issues from time to time and I think he’s handled it great. He never pouted or did anything other than work hard and try to be the best teammate that he could possible be. Then, when the opportunity arose for him, he was prepared.”
  
For his outstanding performance, Cantele earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors as well as being named one of three Lou Groza Award “Stars of the Week.”
  
2. K-State cuts ribbon on new Vanier Family Football Complex
K-State Athletics celebrated the ribbon cutting of the new Vanier Family Football Complex on Sept. 5. The new facility, with more than double the amount of space for student-athletes and coaches, took just nine months to complete and provides world-class resources, equipment and facilities to create a more cohesive and efficient experience to train, study and compete. 
  
“I want to thank everyone here, it’s a very, very special day for our family, and it’s been a long time coming,” said John Vanier at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “It’s unbelievable. They exceeded every expectation that we had. It’s a phenomenal facility and it’s one that every other university in the country will aspire to have.” 
  
To watch the entire ribbon cutting ceremony, please click here
  
1. Four new faces enter the K-State Football Ring of Honor
On Sept. 5, four Wildcat greats were inducted into the K-State Football Ring of Honor. The third class in the award’s history, Michael Bishop (1997-98), Jordy Nelson (2004-07), Clarence Scott (1968-70) and Darren Sproles (2001-04) all returned to Manhattan for the induction. 

At halftime of the Wildcats’ home opener, the four were honored at midfield and their names, displayed in big, purple letters on the east side of the stadium, were unveiled for all to see.

“It’s a great feeling because you cried in that locker room, you sweat on that field, you jumped and you cheered in this stadium, so being a part of all that, at the end of the day, now seeing my name up there, it’s amazing,” said Bishop. “It’s something that can never be taken away from me. As long as this stadium is here, my name will be up there. It’s a great feeling.”

To watch the K-State Football Ring of Honor induction ceremony, please click here
  


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