Buffs Host Cats in Saturday Match

MANHATTAN, Kan. - After suffering its first home and conference loss, 16th-ranked Kansas State will compete to return to winning ways as the Wildcats take on Colorado in Boulder, Colo., on Sat., Sept. 22. The contest between the 10-3 (2-1 Big 12) Cats and 5-5 (0-2 Big 12) Buffs is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. CT from the Coors Events Center.

K-State will look to avenge a snapped five-match winning streak while Colorado is in seach of its first conference win after five-game losses to Texas Tech and Baylor. Both teams lost 3-2 on Wednesday night: K-State fell to Oklahoma by scores of 30-16, 28-30, 26-30, 30-16, 13-15 and CU was defeated by Baylor 26-30, 32-30, 30-27, 26-30, 14-16.

The match can be found on 1350 KMAN with Brian Smoller calling the play-by-play and live stats can be found linked on www.kstatesports.com. A complete recap of the Big 12 battle will be posted on K-State’s official athletic website, www.kstatesports.com, following the match.

Kansas State Pre-Match Report
Two days following the release of the Wildcats’ 16th-place ranking, their highest since Oct. 1, 2005, K-State lost its first contest in six matches and third overall of the season. The Oklahoma Sooners knocked off their second ranked Big 12 opponent in five as they upset the Wildcats 3-2; OU defeated then-No. 25 Texas A&M 3-2 (26-30, 26-30, 30-27, 30-24, 15-13) in the conference opener for each program.

The Cats finished with positive numbers against the Sooners as they tallied 72 kills and 27 errors on 161 attacks for a hitting clip of .280. Rita Liliom tied a career-high in kills with 23 on .381 hitting. Nataly Korobkova added 18 and Jenny Jantsch converted for 11 kills. Putting up 59 assists for the attackers was senior Stacey Spiegelberg, who set a new season high with the effort. K-State continued the nation’s longest streak of matches with one or more ace with eight on the night including a career-high four from Liliom. Both Megan Farr and Kelsey Chipman recorded nine blocks againt OU. Angie Lastra finished as the only Cat in double-digit digs as she dished out 13.

Liliom, with two matches of 20+ kills on the season, has 166 total kills to average 3.61 per game. The Budapest, Hungary, native is hitting .264, similar to right-side hitter Korobkova who is hitting .263. Junior Korobkova leads K-State in kills with 181 (4.31 kpg) and is third for the Cats and 10th in the conference in service aces with 16 (0.38 sapg).

Senior Spiegelberg is atop the K-State charts in assists and service aces. The product of Overland Park, Kan., has 600 assists on the year with an average of 13.04 per game. She also leads in aces with 26 at 0.57 sapg which sits as the second best among the Big 12.

Lastra has notched 188 digs this year to average 4.09 per game. The senior from Carolina, Puerto Rico, has marked five matches of 15 or more digs on the season, including a season high of 24 versus Cal Poly. Juniors Farr and Chipman are one-two in blocks for K-State; Farr has eight solo and 66 block assists for 74 on the year (1.61 bpg) and Chipman has put back 63 (four solo, 59 assisted).

At Stake
Kansas State is ranked 16th - highest since being No. 16 Oct. 1, 2005... K-State currently experienced its first loss since Sept. 2nd against No. 5 UCLA... Prior to OU loss, team won five-consecutive matches with each coming in three games... The Wildcats have six straight matches of hitting over .250, and nine overall this season... K-State’s ace streak continues and sits at 268 straight matches of at least one service ace... KSU and CU have split the last 10 matches in Boulder... The Wildcats’ last victory at Colorado was in 2003... The Cats have held their last six opponents under .250 hitting... K-State has 10-straight matches that the Cats have hit .300+ in at least one game... The Wildcats have won their single Big 12 road match this season, defeating Kansas 3-0 on Sept. 12.

Scouting Report: Colorado
Colorado had a rough start to its season with two losses in the first weekend against Tulane and Furman in five games. The following week the Buffaloes were able to gather wins including a sweep of then-No. 11 California (30-28, 30-25, 30-28). Since the upset, CU has gone 2-3 including a 0-2 mark in conference play.

The Buffs opened Big 12 action against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, and fell to the Red Raiders 2-3 by scores of 19-30, 24-30, 30-24, 30-27, 12-15. In the first conference match at home, Colorado hosted Baylor who was coming off a loss at K-State. The Bears picked up their first Big 12 win by defeating CU 3-2 (30-26, 30-32, 27-30, 30-26, 16-14).

Against Baylor, four CU members had 10 or more kills including 20 from Mallori Gibson. Emilee Sisco added 16 on .216 hitting and Schylur Edelman put down 10. Alex Buth finished with a double-double with 13 kills and 13 digs. The Buffs’ setter, Kaitlyn Burkett, finished with 61 assists, seven kills and six digs.

Gibson leads the .242 Buff hitting attack on the year, producing 162 (4.26 kpg) of the teams kills on .229 hitting. Alex Buth has triple-digit kills with 118 (3.11 kpg) and is also second on the team in digs (98; 2.58 dpg) and in blocks with 26 (0.68 bpg). Kaitlyn Burkett had 462 assists to average 12.49 per game. Callie Webster is the only Buffalo to have notched more than 10 aces as she has 12. Webster also leads in digs with 157 (4.13 dpg).

Flashback: vs. Colorado
During the 2006 season, Colorado captured the series for the first time since 1997, marking the second time since the start of the Big 12. The first loss came in Manhattan, Kan., as the Buffs swept the Cats in Ahearn Field House. Colorado slightly outhit K-State .206 to .189. With each game finishing as close as possible, the Buffaloes won by scores of 31-29, 30-28, 34-32.

Stacey Spiegelberg led K-State with a double-double after notching 39 assists and 11 digs. Jenny Jantsch tallied three service aces and 11 digs. Also with 11 digs was Angie Lastra. Sandy Werner and Megan Kroeker led the K-State attack with 17 and 11 kills, respectively.

Kansas State sought revenge on the home loss when the Wildcats traveled to Boulder, Colo., to face Colorado at the Coors Events Center. The battle drew out to five games in which CU won 27-30, 37-35, 33-31, 23-30, 15-12. With fewer kills (80 to 90) K-State finished with higher accuracy as it had a hitting clip of .258 compared to the Buffs’ .230.

Spiegelberg again led the way for KSU with another double-double, notching 62 digs and 14 digs. With the aid of Spiegelberg’s assists, Kelsey Chipman converted on 20 kills, Megan Kroeker for 15, Angie Lastra 11 and Ginta Gabruseva with 10. Lastra recorded a double-double with the addition of 16 digs. Lauren Rosenthal led the defense with 18 digs.

The night also marked a bit of history for Chipman as she put back 15 blocks assists (see following note: Note Flashback).

2006 Note Flashback:
Her Own Chip of History
Freshman middle blocker Kelsey Chipman secured her place in the K-State record books with her incredible performance at Colorado on Nov. 1.

The product of Topeka, Kan., carded a career-high 20 kills and a school record in block assists for all matches with 15. It is the first double-double and first 20-kill match of her career and the first double-double and 20-kill performance by a true freshman since Sept. 19, 1998 when Liz Wegner tallied 21 kills and 17 digs against No. 22 Illinois.

The 15 block assists also breaks the Big 12 Conference record for block assists in a five-game match, surpassing the previous record of 13 held by Alison Koepke of Colorado (Dec. 7, 1997; vs. Oral Roberts) and Tanisha Webster of Oklahoma (Oct. 4, 1997; vs. K-State).

After becoming a full-time member of the rotation on Oct. 7, Chipman had 106 kills (1.93 kpg) on a .221 hitting percentage and 74 total blocks (1.35 bpg).