Three Wildcats Receive Preseason Nods

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Big 12 Conference volleyball coaches have spoken and the Kansas State Wildcats received their second-ever first-place vote in the annual preseason poll. The Wildcats are picked to finish third overall behind Texas and Nebraska, respectively, in the poll after a 23-9 season in 2007. Three Wildcats also received recognition on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team.


Texas received 10 first-place votes and 100 points in the poll to be the preseason favorite for the Big 12 title. Nebraska is picked to finish second with 88 points, and K-State is right behind at 84 points with the lone remaining first-place vote.


The last time the Wildcats received a first-place vote in the preseason poll was 2004 following the teams’ first conference championship. The Cats were picked to finish second by the coaches in that poll.


The coaches also voted on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team as well as preseason honors for player, newcomer and freshman of the year. In the poll, awards and all-conference team coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team or players.


Three Wildcats were chosen by the coaches for the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. All three, Megan Farr, Nataly Korobkova and Rita Liliom enter their senior seasons for K-State.


Farr earned an All-Big 12 nod last season receiving honorable mention after having a career-high 286 kills and 165 total blocks. She led the team and finished fourth in the conference in hitting percentage swinging at a .390 clip. Her hitting percentage as a junior ranked third all-time at K-State and was 17th in the nation last season. Farr had a hitting percentage of .300 or higher in 20 of K-State’s 32 matches and posted 13 double-digit kill matches. She had a career-high 20 kills in a five-set home loss to Texas.


Korobkova came onto the Big 12 scene last year as a transfer student-athlete from Russia and became the school’s eighth All-American. As a junior last year, Korobkova was named All-Big 12 first team as well as AVCA All-Central Region first team. She also earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Korobkova pounded out 498 kills on the year, which ranks fifth all-time at K-State. She also posted eight matches with 20 kills or more, which already puts her eighth in the career rankings.


Liliom returned in 2007 after missing the entire ’06 campaign with an injury. She stormed back with 438 kills just missing the school’s top 10 single-season list. Liliom pounded out a career-high 27 kills in a five-set loss to Oregon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. She also had 23 matches with at least 10 kills. In K-State’s two postseason matches last season, Liliom had 39 kills averaging nearly five kills a game and hit at a .408 percentage. 




Rank    Team (First-place Votes)          Points       

  1.        Texas (10)                                  100

  2.        Nebraska                                   88

  3.        Kansas State (1)                          84

  4.        Texas A&M                                71

  5.        Missouri                                     62

  6.        Iowa State                                  55

  7.        Colorado                                   38

  8.        Baylor                                        37

            Oklahoma                                  37           

10.        Kansas                                       23           

11.        Texas Tech                                10


Ten points were awarded for first-place votes, nine for second, etc. 


Preseason Co-Players of the Year:       Jordan Larson, Nebraska, OH, Sr. , 6-2, Hooper, Neb./Logan View

                                                                        Juliann Faucette, Texas, OH, So., 6-2, San Diego, Calif./Westview


Preseason Newcomer of the Year:       Sydney Anderson, Nebraska, So., S, 6-0, Salt Lake City, Utah/Utah



Preseason Freshman of the Year:        Rachael Adams, Texas, MB, Fr., 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame



Name, School                          Pos.     Cl.        Ht.       Hometown/Previous School

Taylor Barnes, Baylor                   S           Jr.         5-11      Arlington, Texas/Martin
Anna Breyfogle, Baylor                 MB        Jr.         6-0        Buda, Texas/Hays

Kaylee Manns, Iowa State              S           Jr.         5-10      Topeka, Kan./Washburn Rural
Natalie Uhart, Kansas                   MB        Sr.         6-2        Lansing, Kan./Lansing

Megan Farr, Kansas State              MB        Sr.         5-10      Manhattan, Kan./Manhattan 
Rita Liliom, Kansas State               OH       Sr.         6-0        Budapest, Hungary/Csik Ferenc 
Nataly Korobkova, Kansas State     OH       Sr.         6-3        Krasnoyarsk, Russia/State Siberian Technological
Weiwen Wang, Missouri               MB        So.        6-0        Nanjing, China/Jiangsu Education Institute
Kori Cooper, Nebraska                MB        Jr.         6-2        Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo 
Jordan Larson, Nebraska               OH       Sr.         6-2        Hooper, Neb./Logan View
Francie Ekwerekwu, Oklahoma      MB        So.        5-11      Arlington, Texas/Arlington

Ashley Engle, Texas                     S/RS      Jr.         6-3        Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza

Juliann Faucette, Texas                 OH       So.        6-2        San Diego, Calif./Westview
Destinee Hooker, Texas                OH       Jr.         6-4        San Antonio, Texas/Southwest
Lauren Paolini, Texas                   MB        Sr.         6-5        Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline

Sarah Ammerman, Texas A&M      OH       Jr.         6-2        Parker, Colo./Cal State Northridge

Mary Batis, Texas A&M                 OH       Jr.         6-0        San Antonio, Texas/Clark

Fourteen players are named to the preseason all-conference team -- a tie occurred in voting to result in 17 members.