Seven Named Academic All-Big 12

Complete 2015 Academic All-Big 12 Team

MANHATTAN, Kan.
– Seven K-State volleyball student-athletes were named to the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 Team, including six on the first team, as the conference office announced the complete list of 54 award winners on Tuesday.

Three-time honoree Katie Brand (Life Sciences major) and 4.0 GPA-holder Kersten Kober (Accounting), both named to the first team, headlined the group of seven Wildcats. Brand is one of eight student-athletes recognized this year who have earned the honor three times while Kober is among a group of three that turned in perfect GPAs. The two juniors also earned Academic All-District 7 honors earlier this month from CoSIDA and are eligible for the organization’s Academic All-America ballot.

Other first team honorees for K-State include redshirt junior Katie Reininger (English-Creative Writing), who was recognized for the second time in her career, as well as first-time members redshirt sophomore Mattie Batchelder (Kinesiology), junior Brooke Sassin (Psychology), and sophomore Bryna Vogel (Animal Sciences & Industry – Production Management).

Redshirt freshman Devan Fairfield also garnered her first career academic accolade as she was named to the second team. The defensive specialist is the first K-State freshman to earn Academic All-Big 12 honors since Brand in 2013.

The success in the classroom blends with the group’s on-the-court contributions as well. Brand and Kober are the team leaders in assists and digs, respectively, while Sassin, Reininger and Vogel rank first, second and fourth in kills. Fairfield has played in all 89 sets this year, registering 132 digs, while Batchelder has a career-high 12 aces.

This marks the fifth straight year that K-State had at least six selections, totaling 36 over the stretch. The Wildcats have earned the most overall Academic All-Big 12 honors in conference history (130) as well as the most first team selections (110). Under head coach Suzie Fritz, K-State has earned 100 distinctions, also the most in the conference since 2001.

First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA. 

To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

The Wildcats wrap up their four-match homestand on Wednesday when they take on Iowa State in Ahearn Field House at 7 p.m. K-State is fourth in the Big 12 standings with an 8-4 record (16-8 overall), trailing the third-place Cyclones (9-4 Big 12, 16-8 overall). 

Tickets for the penultimate home match can purchased by visiting www.k-statesports.com/tickets, calling 1-800-221-CATS or visiting the ticket window at Ahearn Field House starting one hour before first serve. The match can also be watched on ESPN3 and heard on News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM/1350 AM).

2015 Academic All-Big 12 Team
First Team
Mattie Batchelder – SO (RS)*
Katie Brand – JR (RS)^
Kersten Kober – JR#
Katie Reininger – JR (RS)#
Brooke Sassin – JR*
Bryna Vogel – SO*

Second Team
Devan Fairfield – FR (RS)*

* First career honor
# Second career honor
^ Third career honor