Wildcats Look to Stuff Buffs

Caitlyn Donahue

Sept. 21, 2010

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – After opening Big 12 Conference play with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2007, the Kansas State Wildcats are now eyeing their first 3-0 start since 1999 when they travel to take on the Colorado Buffaloes on Wednesday night. K-State and CU will take to the court at 7:30 p.m. MT from the Coors Event Center after two strong performances last week by the Wildcats.

K-State brings both the defending Big 12 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week in JuliAnne Chisholm and Alex Muff with the pair looking to stay hot against the Buffs. Last season, Chisholm and Muff each had one of their best matches of the season in Colorado as Chisholm pounded out 16 kills, and Muff had her freshman breakout party posting 11 and hitting .435.

The Wildcats had strong performances across the board last week to start league action as Chisholm, Muff and setter Caitlyn Donahue all lead the Big 12 in at least one statistical category. Chisholm leads the league in kills and points while Muff leads in blocks and hitting percentage. Donahue helped direct the offense to back-to-back impressive showings as she also leads the league in assists per set.

The Buffaloes will be starting a three-match homestand with Wednesday’s match as they get to play in the comforts of their own gym against K-State before taking on Kansas this Saturday and Texas A&M next Wednesday. The Wildcats will return home Saturday to take on a Missouri team that is receiving votes in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll as part of another Wildcat Weekend with the football team hosting Central Florida.

On The Airwaves
Wednesday’s match can be heard on KMAN 1350 and live online at both kstatesports.com and 1350kman.com with Rob Voelker on the call.

Live stats will be available through cubuffs.com for fans wanting to track the action live on the web. Live audio of KMAN’s broadcast will also be provided through kstatesports.com. The match can also be heard on 1350kman.com.

The Series
Kansas State has controlled the series with Colorado since Suzie Fritz took over the program in 2001. The Wildcats trail the all-time series 22-25, but Fritz is 13-5 against the Buffaloes. The Wildcats have won six straight against Colorado with the last Buffs’ win coming when they took both matches in the 2006 season.

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 (190) and is not far off of the best winning percentage in school history as well at .651.

Colorado: Liz Kritza (Tulane, 2000) is in her second year coaching the Buffaloes after leading them to a 7-22 record last season. Including this season she has a career record of 86-66 having coaches at her alma mater prior to CU.

Scouting the Buffaloes
Colorado’s roster has a lot of new faces on it this year with only two returning players from a year ago. Kerra Schroeder leads the attack against she averages 3.55 kills a set, and Rosie Steinhaus is fifth on the team in kills this season through eight matches. Schroeder is one of the team’s top passers as well averaging 2.00 digs per set and she leads the team in aces.

One of the top newcomers making an impact for Colorado this season is Anicia Santos. The transfer from Cal Poly leads the team in hitting percentage at .329 and blocks stuffing 0.83 per set. Santos also is pounding out 2.28 kills per set representing the No. 2 option in the Buffalo attack. Freshman Nikki Lindlow has emerged as another offensive threat for CU averaging 2.14 kills a set and 0.62 blocks.

In their last match, the Buffaloes struggled to find an offensive rhythm against Nebraska hitting lower than .100 as a team while Nebraska hit an efficient .362. No Colorado player tallied more than five kills for the match. In the second set, Colorado failed to score consecutive points as Nebraska posted a 100-percent sideout percentage. Colorado was swept 25-13, 25-7, 25-17.