Notes: Cats End Non-Conference Slate in Michigan

Notes - Michigan InvitationalGet Acrobat Reader


Match #12-14
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Arena: Cliff Keen Arena
 
Eastern Michigan (Neutral #5)
Friday, Sept. 19 - 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT
Series: K-State leads, 1-0
TV: None
Radio: None
Online Audio: www.k-statesports.com
 
Michigan (Road #3)
Friday, Sept. 19 - 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT
Series: K-State leads, 3-1
TV: Big Ten Network Plus
Radio: None
Online Audio: www.k-statesports.com
 
Youngstown State (Neutral #6)
Saturday, Sept. 20 - 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT
Series: First Meeting
TV: None
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP: Rob Voelker)
Online Audio: www.k-statesports.com, www.1350kman.com
 
 
AT A GLANCE
• K-State wraps up its non-conference schedule for the 2014 regular season this weekend with the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich.
• The Wildcats enter the weekend on an eight-match winning streak, including a 3-0 win over South Dakota State at home on Tuesday.
• It is the first ever trip to Ann Arbor for K-State.
• The Wildcats will open the weekend with a 1 pm ET match against Eastern Michigan, which has won four straight matches but plays a non-conference match against UC Irvine on Thursday.
• K-State quickly turns around to play Michigan on Friday at 7:30 pm ET before ending the weekend with a 1 pm ET contest against Youngstown State.
 
CRAZY EIGHTS
• The Wildcats are riding an eight-match winning streak into this upcoming weekend, their longest winning streak since they won 12 straight matches to open the 2012 season.
• The eight-match winning streak is also tied for the second-longest by K-State over the last 11 seasons (since 2004).
• The longest winning streak under head coach Suzie Fritz is 16 (2003).
• This season marks the fourth-straight year in which the Wildcats had a winning streak of at least seven matches.
 
HOT START
• K-State is out to a 10-1 start this season, making it the third straight season in which the Wildcats have won at least 10 of its first 11 matches to start a campaign.
• The Wildcats were 11-0 to begin the 2012 campaign - a mark that was eventually improved to 12-0 and settled at 13-1 in first 14 - while last year, K-State went 10-1 in its first 11 matches (12-1 in first 13, 12-2 in first 14).
• This year is the fourth time under head coach Suzie Fritz that the Wildcats opened a year winning at least 10 of its first 11 matches.
 
DYNAMIC DUO
• There are only two teammates in the Big 12 with at least 125 kills, and they are on the K-State roster: sophomore Brooke Sassin (125) and freshman Kylee Zumach (129).
• The pair of Wildcat newcomers - Sassin is a transfer from Mississippi State - rank among the conference leaders in kills, with Zumach leading the team and sitting in third in the conference with 3.49 kills per set while Sassin is fourth in the Big 12 with 3.38 kills per set.
• The duo of Sassin and Zumach have supplied exactly 50% of the Wildcats' 508 kills this season entering the Michigan Invitational.
 
FLOOR GENERAL
• Setting the K-State offense, which is fifth among Big 12 teams with a .252 hitting percentage, is Preseason All-Big 12 selection, Katie Brand.
• The redshirt sophomore is second in the Big 12 with 11.35 assists per set this season.
• Brand entered the week 18th in NCAA Division I with 11.44 assists per set.
• Over the last four matches, Brand is averaging 12.86 assists per set (180 assists/14 sets).
• She has 40 or more assists in six of the first 11 matches this season and 50 or more assists in two matches.
• Last season, Brand averaged 10.06 assists/set.
 
ALL AROUND
• Outside hitter Chelsea Keating enters this weekend as the only Big 12 player to average 2+ kills, 2+ digs, 0.6+ blocks and 0.3+ aces per set this season.
• Keating, who has never averaged more than 1.52 kills or 0.86 digs per set in a season in her career, has already surpassed her career-high for digs with 82 this season (previous: 66 in 2013).
• She also has a career-high 13 aces, besting her previous high of seven set last year.
• Keating has five matches this season, including the last on Sept. 16 vs. South Dakota State, in which she had 5+ kills, 5+ digs and 2+ aces.
• Keating is one of four Wildcats to have played in all 37 sets this year.
 
IN THE POLLS
• K-State continued to receive votes in the latest AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll, checking in with 23 points.
• The 23 points are up from last week's 13, with last week being the first time this season K-State received points in the weekly poll.
• The Wildcats are one of five Big 12 teams at least receiving votes as Texas is No. 2 and Kansas is No. 24 while Oklahoma and Iowa State received 19 and 14 points, respectively.

PASSING BY
• The Wildcats are third among Big 12 teams with 15.81 digs per set this season.
• The team is led by libero Kersten Kober and Katie Brand in digs, as the two Wildcats make up the only pair of teammates in the Big 12's top 10 for digs per set.
• Kober is averaging 3.57 digs (8th in Big 12) while Brand is averaging 3.14 digs (10th).
• K-State has out-dug its opponent in 10 matches this season, winning each contest.
 
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
• With wins at Green Bay and Southern Illinois earlier this season, the Wildcats enter this weekend winners in 11 consecutive true road matches in non-conference action.
• The Wildcats have not lost a true road match against a non-conference opponent since losing at Georgia Tech on Aug. 26, 2011.
 
OFFENSIVE FIRE POWER
• K-State's offense is much more effective this season, with averages and hitting percentage up from last season through the first 11 matches.
• This season, the Wildcats are averaging 13.73 kills per set (4th in the Big 12). In 2013, K-State had 12.53 kills per set through the first 11 matches.
• Over the same number of matches, K-State is hitting .252 this season (5th in the Big 12) while last year it was hitting .205.
• Last season, K-State hit .300 or higher in two matches. This season, it has already hit over .300 in three matches. 
• Also, K-State has hit .250 or higher in six matches this season, compared to last year's eight matches for the entire campaign.
 
FIGHTING FOR FIVE
• K-State has only played one of its 11 matches this season to the full five sets, but the Wildcats staved off Missouri State for a win on Sept. 8.
• The win against the Bears extended K-State's winning streak in five-set matches to 12.
• The Wildcats have not lost a five-set match since Oct. 29, 2011 at Baylor.
• K-State has won 20 of its last 21 five-set matches, dating back to Sept. 28, 2010.
 
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
• After leading all Big 12 freshmen and ranking second among all conference players in kills and points per set last week, Kylee Zumach was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the second week in row for the period ending Sept. 14.
• Zumach averaged 3.88 kills and 4.41 points per set last week, helping lead K-State to a 4-0 record in its matches.
• Zumach had 23 kills on Sept. 12 vs. Marshall, the most kills by a Big 12 player this season.
• Zumach's 23 kills were also the most by a Wildcat since Oct. 5, 2013 (Kaitlynn Pelger, 23).
• Zumach is the first Wildcat to earn Big 12 player of the week awards in consecutive weeks since 2011 (Sept. 19 & 26, Pelger).
 
BLOCK BY BLOCK
• K-State is among the Big 12 leaders in blocks per set, ranking second with a 2.81 clip.
• Middle blockers Katie Reininger (1.30 blocks/set; 5th in Big 12) and Natali Jones (1.21; 8th) are in the Big 12's top 10 for blocks.
• Seven Wildcats have at least 15 blocks in 2014.
 
EASTERN MICHIGAN SERIES
• K-State won the only previous match against Eastern Michigan, a sweep in Manhattan on Sept. 14, 1996.
• Friday's match will be the first match for K-State against a MAC team since 2003 (Ohio - W, 3-0, Dec. 5, 2003).
 
MICHIGAN SERIES
• K-State leads the series against Michigan, 3-1.
• The Wildcats lost the last meeting, 3-1, on August 29, 2009, a match that took place in Omaha, Nebraska.
• K-State won the first three meetings, all of which took place from 2001 to 2003.
• Friday will be the first time K-State and Michigan have met in Ann Arbor.
 
YOUNGSTOWN STATE SERIES
• Saturday's match will be the first meeting between K-State and Youngstown State.
• The Penguins are members of the Horizon League, a conference in which K-State is 5-2 all-time against its current members.