Varney's Invitational Next on Slate

Alex Muff

Sept. 2, 2010

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Wildcat volleyball team hosts its annual Varney's Kansas State Invitational this weekend at Ahearn Field House as the team continues its strong nonconference schedule in preparation for Big 12 Conference action. K-State will take on Georgia Tech, Loyola Marymount and Oral Roberts in the round-robin tournament.

K-State takes on Loyola Marymount from the deep West Coast Conference at 12:30 p.m. Friday to close the morning session of the tournament and then play Oral Roberts at 7:30 Friday night. The Wildcats close the tournament with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who are looking to return to the NCAA Tournament after losing in the first round a year ago.

The Wildcats will also be welcoming a number of former players as part of the K-State Volleyball Reunion this weekend. Last season, the Athletics Department began an initiative to host reunions for two to three teams each year to bring former Wildcats back to campus to see today's student-athletes in action. The reunion will begin with a welcome reception at the Alumni Center at 5 p.m. Friday.

Tickets are available for the tournament this weekend through the K-State Ticket Office with individual tickets on sale for $7 for adults and $4 for seniors and youth tickets. Saturday's match against Georgia Tech will be part of a Wildcat Weekend special as fans can get into the match for just $3 with their ticket stub from Saturday's football game against UCLA.

On The Airwaves
K-State's matches this weekend can be heard on KMAN1350 with Brian Smoller calling the action and Rob Voelker assisting with color commentary. They can also be heard on the station's Web site The pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to first serve. Friday night's match against Oral Roberts will be tape delayed live on the air due to other live coverage, but will be live online at

Live stats will be available through for fans wanting to track the action live on the web. Live video streaming of the match will also be available through K-State's site with the radio call for audio.

The Series
When the Wildcats take on Oral Roberts it will be the first time the two teams have met since 2004. That was their first meeting since 1995 as the two teams played regularly in the mid-90's and throughout the 80's. The series is currently tied with each team winning 11 matches.

K-State's match against Loyola Marymount will be the first time the two teams have tangled on the court.

Saturday night will be just the second meeting between the Wildcats and Yellow Jackets with Georgia Tech getting the edge 3-1 in 2002 at the South Florida Adidas Invitational.

The Coaches
Kansas State: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic '94) is in her 10th year as head coach of the Wildcats she is the winningest coach in the program's history in terms of wins (184) and is no far off of the best winning percentage in school history as well at .648.

Georgia Tech: Tonya Johnson (LSU `93) is in her second year leading the Yellow Jackets after taking her team to the NCAA Tournament last season and going 21-10.

Loyola Marymount: Tom Black (UC San Diego `96) is leading a program for the first time at the Division I level after coaching heading he UC San Diego program for five seasons. The team was ranked each week of his final four seasons at UC San Diego.

Oral Roberts: Sheera Sirola (Oral Roberts `98) is in her eighth year coaching her alma mater where she has accumulated a record of 140-89.

Scouting the Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech returns five starters from last year's NCAA Tournament teamand is looking for another bid to the postseason. The Yellow Jackets opened their season last week by hosting the Georgia Tech Courtland Marriot Classic taking on Alabama A&M, Indiana and UAB. Georgia Tech fell in five sets to Indiana to open the tournament and responded with sweeps over Alabama A&M and UAB.

Monique Mead leads the attack for Georgia Tech averaging nearly four kills a set (3.91) through the first three matches of the season. She also has proven to be efficient at the outside hitter position hitting at a .270 clip. Mead also leads the team in aces.

Asia Stawicka sures up the Yellow Jackets' play at the net both offensively and defensively leading the team in kills averaging one a set and pounding out 2.27 kills per set on a .417 hitting percentage. As a team Georgia Tech is hitting .248 this season. Jordan McCullers leads the team in digs averaging 3.64 per set.

Scouting the Lions
Loyola Marymount has opened the season with a 2-1 record playing in a tournament hosted by No. 10 USC. The Lions lost to USC to start the tournament and then defeated Cal State Fullerton in five sets and swept Bucknell. The Lions used much of their roster over the weekend with 13 players seeing action.

Felicia Arriola leads the attack averaging 3.55 kills per set and hitting .240. She also leads the team in digs (2.82) through the first three matches of the season. Olivia Bailey directs the offense with 9.82 assists per set and helping the team to a hitting percentage of .224.

Fans will see something out of the norm for volleyball with the Lions on the floor this weekend. Arriola wears number 67 on her jersey, and Bailey has 55 on her back.

Scouting the Yellow Golden Eagles
Oral Roberts stands at 2-2 so far this season after going 2-1 at a tournament hosted by UT-Pan Am where the Golden Eagles defeated Lamar and UTPA while losing to Idaho State. They followed that with a loss to Arkansas in five sets at home on Tuesday.

Elizabeth McVicker leads ORU on offense averaging 2.44 kills per set, but the Golden Eagles spread the ball around with five players tallying 20 or more kills through four matches this season. The Eagles are hitting .241 as a team. Defensively, Cassidy Holmes is averaging nearly five digs a set (4.89) for the Eagles and leads the team in aces with seven as the team has combined for 17 so far.