SE: Volleyball Off to All-Time Start

Caitlyn Donahue and the No. 19 Wildcats are off to the best start in school history.

Sept. 13, 2012

by Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - “Ever” is a long, long, long time. As in ever.

With that said, this is Kansas State’s best start to a volleyball season…ever.

The No. 19-ranked Wildcats are 9-0 heading into the Tulsa Tournament that begins tonight at 7 against the 7-4 host Golden Hurricane, and will be followed by a 4 p.m., match Friday against 7-1 and No. 10 Minnesota, and a Saturday match at 11 a.m., against 7-2 and No. 20 ranked Dayton.

On the accomplishment to date, coach Suzie Fritz talks in Bill Snyder-ese when she says, “We’re just trying to get better. I’m trying hard to enjoy the start, but the truth of the matter is that we’re constantly searching for whatever is next. Keeping rested, keeping healthy and keeping prepared is a challenge at this time of the year.”

Challenging, but this K-State team has met each of them in a way that has Fritz doing a comparison to her 2003 team that won the Big 12 Conference.

“I’m not comparing our play at the start of the season, but we do have the same kind of senior leadership with a lot of upperclassmen playing significant roles,” said Fritz.

On the court Fritz says that the sweeps of UC-Irvine and St. Mary’s “…are maybe as well as any K-State team has ever played.”

But she quickly added, “The problem is there were seven other matches. We’re striving for consistency and doing things well more often than we are. We still have a lot to work on. We’re good to great where we are right now. We think we’re good, but we want to be great.”

Areas where she would like to see somewhat immediate improvement are with her attackers making better choices, a better focus on passing and being in-system with more consistency when it comes to defensive play and “… seeing and responding to things together.”

Playing ranked teams this weekend in Minnesota and Dayton is exactly what she wants heading into the grueling 16-match Big 12 schedule.

“We’re ready for the next challenge. I think our team needs that,” said Fritz. “We’ve had success, but we need more challenges to see exactly where we are.”

K-State played its first nine matches over a 15-day period, and after this weekend will open the Big 12 Conference grind at Oklahoma on Sept. 19.

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen or Kansas State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.