K-State Volleyball Opens Training Camp

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team began its preparation for the 2009 season on Monday with the opening of training camp. The Wildcats are anticipating for another strong season and head coach Suzie Fritz hopes her team will keep its place among the top in the Big 12 Conference and nation.


“Our internal expectations don’t change from year to year,” Fritz said of the 2009 approach. “We want to have an opportunity to compete at the highest level in the Big 12 Conference. There are a lot of factors that go into becoming a great team and although this team lacks experience, they also have tremendous cohesiveness, work ethic and character. Those qualities will take them a long way.”


After graduating five seniors, the Wildcats return three major players from last year’s squad in middle blocker Kelsey Chipman, setter Soriana Pacheco and libero Lauren Mathewson. Joining the trio will be three more Wildcats with significant experience on the court. Outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm and middle blocker Sarah Allison are expected to produce for the team with more playing time, and Abby Fay looks to make an impact on the back row after converting to a defensive specialist during the offseason.


Fritz said the team gelled during spring workouts and summer sessions after the loss of five seniors and was happy to see her athletes make such a devotion to the unit.


“This team made as great of a commitment in the off-season as any team we have ever had,” she said. “They put in their time and made getting better a high priority over the summer.”


The Wildcats welcome six new players to the team along with two redshirt freshmen to bring a total of eight newcomers to the roster. Izabela Grot and Kathleen Ludwig are expected to contribute at the outside hitter position after redshirting last year and are joined by junior college transfer Vanessa Murray at the position.


A trio of middle blockers; Audrey Horton, Alex Muff and Kacia Turner, come to K-State as true freshmen. Libero/defensive specialist Caitlyn Donahue and setter Ashley Kelican round out the incoming class of new Wildcats for 2009.


K-State prepares for the 2009 campaign in anticipation of the annual Runza/AVCA Showcase, where the Wildcats will start their season against Minnesota on August 28 at 6 p.m. in Omaha, Neb. The Wildcats will then take on Michigan the following day of the event with Nebraska playing each Big Ten Conference representative as well over the two days of exciting action.


For tickets to the AVCA Showcase or to inquire about season tickets to K-State Volleyball in Ahearn Field House this season contact the K-State Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS.


– k-statesports.com –