K-State Continues Homestand Against Texas Tech

MB Lauren Goehring has 13 of her team-leading 14 service aces in the last five matches.

Sept. 30, 2002

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KANSAS STATE (6-6, 2-2) VS TEXAS TECH (6-6, 1-2)

Wednesday, October 2, 2002 * Ahearn Field House (5,000) * Manhattan, Kan. * 7 p.m.

Radio: Brian Smoller can be heard on the radio at 1350 AM KMAN in theManhattan area or over the internet at www.k-statesports.com or atwww.1350kman.com.

Rankings: Neither team is ranked.

Coaches: Kansas State's Suzie Fritz is 26-14 (.650) in her second year. Sheis 1-1 versus Texas Tech. Texas Tech's Jeff Nelson is 158-87 (.645) in hiseighth year. He is 5-7 against Kansas State.

Series: K-State leads the all-time series, 9-7. However, the two teams havesplit the last eight meetings, including last year. The Wildcats are 6-0against the Red Raiders in Manhattan.

K-STATE CONTINUES HOMESTAND AGAINST TEXAS TECH...On the heels of an uncharacteristic performance in the 3-0 loss to Texas onSaturday at home, Kansas State (6-6, 2-2 Big 12) looks to get back on thewinning track on Wednesday, as the Wildcats play host to Texas Tech (6-6,1-2 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House beginning at 7 p.m. The contest will bethe last for this week, as the team takes a much-needed break this weekendbefore resuming league play on Wednesday, Oct. 9 against Oklahoma. Kansas State saw its two-match winning streak end on Saturday, as theWildcats dropped a 30-27, 30-26, 30-16 decision to Texas, snapping theteam's six-match winning streak in the series that dated to 1999. The losswas just the fifth in the last 32 home matches for the Wildcats and first tosomeone other than Nebraska since a 3-2 loss to Colorado on Nov. 3, 1999.It was also just the fourth time that the team has been swept at home since1998 and first time by someone other than Nebraska since Texas did it onOct. 25, 1997. The Wildcats posted a near season-worst .104 hittingpercentage in the match, the lowest since hitting .103 in the opener againstColorado State on Aug. 30, while the Longhorns' .301 hitting percentage wasthe highest allowed by an opponent this season. Senior co-captain JenniferPollard and junior OH Cari Jensen each tallied 11 kills to pace the Wildcatoffense, while sophomore S Gabby Guerre barely missed a double-double with32 assists and nine digs. This will be the 17th meeting with Texas Tech, as the Wildcats hold anarrow 9-7 series advantage. Kansas State has played Texas Tech more times(16) than any other school from Texas. The series began on Oct. 16, 1982with the Wildcats taking a 15-8, 15-10 win at the Oral Roberts Invitationalin Tulsa, Okla. K-State won the four of the first five meetings in Big 12play before Tech snapped the four-match winning streak with a 3-1 win inLubbock in 1998. The two team have now split the last eight meetings witheach squad winning on its home court, including last season's split. TheWildcats are 6-0 all-time at home against the Red Raiders with four of thosesix meetings at Ahearn Field House going four or more games. K-State returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 9, as the Wildcats travelto face Oklahoma (4-8, 2-2 Big 12) at 7 p.m.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK... Kansas State went 1-1 last week by splitting a pair ofthree-game matches, winning 3-0 on the road against Iowa State on Wednesdaybefore dropping a 3-0 decision to Texas at home on Saturday... The Wildcatsare 2-2 after four Big 12 matches for the first time since 1998 when theyopened with wins at home against Oklahoma and Kansas before losses to Texasand Texas A&M on the road. On Wednesday, the Wildcats ran their winning streak over the Cyclones to13 matches in a 30-25, 30-24, 31-29 victory at Valley High School in WestDes Moines, Iowa... K-State has won 12 of the 13 contests against ISU inthree games dating back to 1996, including 39 of 40 games... The Cycloneshit just .177 in the contest, marking the seventh time this season that theWildcats have held an opponent below a .200 hitting percentage... Senior OHJennifer Pollard led a balanced attack with her team-tying fifthdouble-double, as she posted 13 kills and 11 digs. Kansas State saw its two-match winning end on Saturday, as Texas broke asix-match losing streak in the series with a 30-27, 30-26, 30-16 win atAhearn Field House... The loss was just the fifth in the last 32 homematches for the Wildcats and the first to someone other than Nebraska sincea 3-2 loss to Colorado on Nov. 3, 1999... K-State posted a near season-worst.104 hitting percentage in the match - the lowest since hitting .103 in theseason opener against Colorado State.

'CATS IN THE BIG 12 STATISTICS... Kansas State had several players show up inthe individual conference statistics released on Monday... S Gabby Guerreranks 6th in hitting percentage (.367) and 7th in assists (11.51)... L LauraDowney-Wallace still continues to lead the Big 12 in digs per game with a4.56 per game average, while senior OH Jennifer Pollard remained 7th with a3.02 per game average... Downey-Wallace also ranks 9th nationally... Shealso leads the category after just two league matches with a 4.92 average...MB Lauren Goehring ranks 3rd in aces (0.83) in Big 12-only matches, while MBLisa Martin is third in blocks (1.33) in league-only contests.

'CATS RANK 17TH IN NATIONAL ATTENDANCE... Kansas State is ranked 17thnationally in home attendance with an average of 1,246 fans per match infour matches this season... This is nothing new for Kansas State, which hasfinished among the national Top 15 in home attendance the last fiveseasons... The Wildcats are one of six Big 12 schools to rank among thenational Top 30 in attendance... Nebraska ranks second with a 5,009 permatch average, while Missouri (19), Texas A&M (20), Texas (21) and Colorado(28) all trail Kansas State... The 2,876 fans that attended Kansas State'smatch with Nebraska on Sept. 18 ranked as the 22nd-largest crowd in the NCAAthis year and the 12th-largest on the mainland.

GABBY THE GREAT... Sophomore S Gabby Guerre continues to show her tremendousall-around ability as a volleyball player, as she has collecteddouble-doubles in four of the last seven matches, including all threematches at the USF Invitational on Sept. 13-14... She saw her streak of fourstraight double-doubles end on Sept. 21 at Baylor, but she still displayedher tremendous abilities with six kills on .667 hitting to go with 30assists, two service aces and six blocks... She narrowly missed her sixthdouble-double of the season on Saturday in her 32-assist, nine-dig effortagainst Texas. She currently ranks 6th in the Big 12 in hitting percentage with a .367percentage, while she ranks 7th with an 11.51 assists per game average...She also averages 1.51 kills per game, 2.12 digs per game and 0.66 blocksper game. Guerre narrowly missed her first career triple-double and first by aWildcat since 1998 with her performance against Georgia Tech (9/14)... Sheposted nine kills on .350 hitting with 52 assists and 10 digs against theYellow Jackets... She also turned in a career-high 12 kills on .529 hittingagainst No. 19 Michigan State with 46 assists and six digs... She also hadthe 'standard' double-double by a setter against South Florida with 50assists and 10 digs. She ran her streak of double-doubles to four, as sheadded 33 assists and 11 digs in the 3-0 loss to No. 5 Nebraska (Sept. 18).

DOWNEY-WALLACE ADJUSTING TO NEW LIBERO... When the AVCA adopted the libero for the 2001 season, the organization could not have found a better person forthe position than junior Laura Downey-Wallace... A setter/defensivespecialist for the Wildcats last season, she has made an instant impact forthe team in 2002, averaging a team and Big 12-best 4.56 digs per game... Theaverage also ranks 9th nationally... She has posted double-digit dig totalsin 11 of the 12 matches thus far, including 20 or more on four occasions.She has surpassed her 2001 dig total of 107. In the first two Big 12 matches of the year, she is averaging aleague-best 4.92 digs per game, including a 21-dig performance againstBaylor last Saturday... Her 59 digs in four league matches represent nearly32 percent of the team's total of 187 and are nearly three times as many assecond place total of 25 (Guerre & Sleichter). She tallied an amazing 5.17 digs per game during the USF Invitational(Sept. 13-14), including back-to-back 20-dig efforts against No. 19 MichiganState and Georgia Tech on Sept. 14... She had a career-best 25 digs versusthe Jackets. With her 4.56 digs average, she is on pace to break both Kim Zschau'ssingle-season marks for both average (4.17) and total (455) set in 1998.

POLLARD, CARI JENSEN PACE WILDCAT OFFENSE... Senior co-captain JenniferPollard and junior OH Cari Jensen have become the most effective 1-2 punchesfor the Wildcat offense this season... Together, they have combined toaccount for 43 percent of the team's kills (258 out of 605) and 40 percentof the team's points (303.5 out of 769) this season... Jensen paces thesquad in kills (3.24 per game), aces (0.34 per game) and points (160.5),while Pollard is second in kills (3.05 per game) and digs (3.02 per game)and third in points (143.0)... Jensen has totaled double-digit kills in nineof the first 12 matches, including seven in the last eight matches...Pollard, who has 10+ kills in 23 of the last 37 matches, has totaleddouble-digit kills in eight matches and double-digit digs in seven conteststhis season... Pollard has started 58 of the last 68 matches in her career.

A LOOK AT TEXAS TECH... Texas Tech enters Wednesday's match with a 6-6 overallrecord and 1-2 mark in Big 12 play... The Red Raiders dropped both leaguematches last week, falling 3-0 at home to No. 5 Nebraska on Wednesday beforelosing 3-0 at Kansas on Saturday... Tech opened Big 12 play with a 3-0 winat Iowa State on Sept. 21... The Red Raiders opened the season with threestraight victories to win the Hofstra/Asics Classic... Sophomore OH KellyJohnson leads the team in kills (4.18 per game), aces (0.36 per game) andpoints (188.5)... Senior OH Melissa McGehee and junior OH Angela Mooneyaverage 3.79 and 3.00 kills per game, respectively, while Mooney posts ateam-best .323 hitting percentage... Sophomore libero Jessy Herrera boasts ateam-leading 3.67 digs per game average... The team as a whole is hitting.239, while opponents manage just a .178 percentage... The team returns nineletterwinners and two starters from 2001... The Red Raiders are coached byeighth-year head coach Jeff Nelson, who has 158-87 record at Texas Tech.

A LOOK AT OKLAHOMA... Oklahoma enters the match on Wednesday, Oct. 9 with a4-8 overall record and 2-2 mark in Big 12 play... The Sooners host Texas A&Mon Oct. 2 before traveling to Colorado on Oct. 5... Oklahoma started theseason with five straight losses, but has rebounded to win four of its lastseven... The Sooners have already equaled their Big 12 win total (2) of 2001in Saturday's 3-1 over Baylor... Senior transfer Megan O'Connell leads theteam in both kills (3.34 per game) and hitting percentage (.284)... JuniorOH Christina Barlow and sophomore OH Candice Woods average 3.03 and 2.37kills per game, respectively, while Woods adds a team-best 1.16 blocks pergame... Senior S Jessica Barney paces the team in assists (9.71 per game)and aces (0.47 per game)... The team returns seven letterwinners and fivestarters from 2001... The Sooners are coached by third-year head coachKalani Mahi, who has 14-59 mark at Oklahoma and 52-112 overall.

GOEHRING BECOMES AN ALL-AROUND THREAT... Junior MB Lauren Goehring hasdeveloped into one of the Wildcats' top all-around offensive threats in2002... She currently ranks second on the team in four categories, includinghitting percentage (.333), blocks (0.78 per game) and points (156.5). Although she has seen her hitting percentage fall in the last couple ofweeks, she has again surfaced as one of the team's best servers... The teamleader in 2001 with 37 aces, she is currently tied for the lead with 14...Of these 14, 13 have come in the last five matches, including three eachagainst Nebraska (9/18) and Baylor (9/21). On the strength of a .543 hitting percentage against Arkansas State andWichita State, Goehring became the Big 12 leader in hitting percentage witha .490 clip (58 K-10 E/98 TA) on Sept. 9... Against Arkansas State (9/8),she turned in a season-best 17 kills on .652 hitting - the highest hittingpercentage by a Wildcats since Goehring posted a .857 mark against Air Force(9/9/00) at the Wildcat Classic... In being named the MVP of the CSUUniversity Park Classic on Aug. 31, Goehring posted the fifth-highesthitting percentage in the 16-year history of the tournament with a .460average.

NEARING 200 WINS AT AHEARN... With just two more wins, Kansas State canachieve 200 wins at Ahearn Field House this season... One of the toughesthome courts in the nation, the 'Old Barn' has been the home to Wildcatvolleyball since its inaugural season in 1974... The program has compiled animpressive 198-118-5 (.627) since that season, including a 55-15 (.786) markover the last five years... In all, the Wildcats have upset 13 ranked teamsin Ahearn since 1997 and have a streak of 34 consecutive wins at home overnon-conference foes dating back to 1994... K-State was 13-2 at home lastseason and has won 27 of its last 32 home matches over the last three years.

'CATS GO WINLESS AT USF ADIDAS INVITATIONAL... Kansas State dropped threematches at the USF Adidas Invitational Sept. 13-14, falling in four games tohost South Florida, No. 19 Michigan State and Georgia Tech... It was thelongest losing streak for the Wildcats since 1999. For the tournament, Kansas State was outhit .252 to .225 and wasoutblocked 33.5-17.5 by its three opponents... In addition, they committed41 service errors compared to just 32 by its opponents, while tallying just13 service aces... Going into the tournament, the Wildcats had tallied 40service errors in five matches.

'CATS FINISH AS RUNNER-UP AT CSU CLASSIC... Kansas State finished as therunner-up to host Colorado State at the University Park Holiday Inn Classicheld Aug. 30-31 in Fort Collins, Colo. ... The Wildcats posted a 2-1 record,losing a five-game heartbreaker to the host Rams before sweeping matchesagainst Connecticut and Western Michigan. For their stellar efforts, junior MB Lauren Goehring and junior L LauraDowney-Wallace were named to the all-tournament team with Goehring garneringmost valuable player honors... Goehring posted 3.18 kills/game on .460hitting percentage in the three-match tournament, the fifth-highest hittingpercentage by a player in the 16-year history of the tournament...Downey-Wallace was the tournament's top libero, averaging a tournament-best3.82 digs/game.

WHAT'S BACK FOR KANSAS STATE... Kansas State returns eight letterwinners,including three starters, from the 2001 season... The Wildcats return anumber of proven performers, including starters - senior OH JenniferPollard, junior MB Lauren Goehring and sophomore S Gabby Guerre - to goalong with key reserves in junior libero Laura Downey-Wallace, junior OHCari Jensen and solid defensive specialists, junior Kris Jensen andsophomore Jami Sleichter... However, the team must overcome the loss ofthree starters, including two-time All-American OH Liz Wegner andall-conference selection Lisa Mimick. From a statistical standpoint, the'Cats return 44 percent of their kills, 68 percent of their aces, 65 percentof their digs and 49 percent of their blocks from the 2001 totals.

RULES CHANGES... After adding the rally scoring format last season, the NCAAadopted several more rules changes for the 2002 season, most notably addingthe libero (pronounced LEE-bah-ro), a designated back-row played intended tobe used as a ball-control specialist... Other changes for the 2002 are the useof the pursuit rule and changes sides at eight points in the deciding fifthgame... The pursuit rule allows players to retrieve a ball that has crossedthe centerline outside the court after a team's first contact or block... Theteams must now switch sides at eight points in game five that goes to 15points in rally score.

POLLARD, DOWNEY-WALLACE NAMED CO-CAPTAINS Prior to the start of preseasondrills, senior OH Jennifer Pollard and junior libero Laura Downey-Wallacewere named as co-captains by head coach Suzie Fritz... Pollard has started 48of 58 matches over the last two years at outside hitter and was the teamco-leader in double-doubles (14) in 2001... Downey-Wallace averaged 2.56digs/game in 14 matches last season and will man the new libero position forthe Wildcats.

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL ALUMNI MATCH... Before the annual Purple and Whitescrimmage on Aug. 24, Kansas State held its Alumni match, which attracted anumber of former players, including including Jayne Christen (1998-2000),Kelli Luther (1995-96), Lisa Mimick (1998-2001), Julie Thomas (1997-2000)and Val Wieck (1995-98)... Also in attendance were five members of the1969-70 Wildcat squad - Susan Koehn-Buck, Susan Drews-Horton, KathyTeahan-Jantch, Susan Haas and Julie Blasi-Watts. Although the program onlyachieved varsity status in 1974, the university has had a volleyball teamdating back to early 1960s.

'CATS RANKED No. 22 IN PRESEASON AVCA POLL... For the fourth consecutive year,Kansas State earned a ranking in the preseason American Volleyball CoachesAssociation (AVCA)/USA Today Top 25 poll released August 12, as the Wildcatschecked in at No. 22... The Wildcats received 232 total points from the65-member coaching panel... Overall, the poll featured four Big 12 teams - No.2 Nebraska, No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 21 Colorado and No. 22 K-State - alongwith four others - Texas, Missouri, Baylor and Texas Tech - who receivednine or more points... K-State earned its first-ever preseason ranking in 1999when the AVCA ranked the Wildcats at No. 23 in its annual poll, while theprogram received its highest-ever preseason ranking in 2000 at No. 17... Lastyear, the Wildcats started the season ranked at No. 19.

'CATS PICKED FIFTH IN BIG 12... In a vote of the league head coaches, KansasState was picked to finish fifth in the 2002 Big 12 Conference race onAugust 13... The Wildcats received 67 votes to finish fifth behind four-timedefending league champion Nebraska (100), second-place Texas A&M (86) andtwo teams that finished in a third-place tie, Colorado (72) and Missouri(72)... The Wildcats were followed in the poll by Texas (64), Baylor (45),Texas Tech (40), Kansas (31), Iowa State (14) and Oklahoma (14)... TheCornhuskers garnered every first-place vote possible... Despite Nebraska'sunanimous selection to repeat as champion, there was a tight race for spotstwo through six with 22 points separating the positions, including justeight for three through six... The coaches' poll was based on a10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system with a first-place vote receiving 10 points.

RECAPPING 2001... Kansas State posted a 20-8 overall record and 15-5 mark inBig 12 Conference play last year, highlighted by its sixth consecutiveappearance in the NCAA Tournament... It was the program's seventh straightseason of at least 19 wins and third consecutive 20-win season... For thefirst time since the NCAA changed the tournament to a 64-team bracket, theWildcats hosted first- and second-round action at Ahearn Field House wherethey played host to Arkansas, Oral Roberts and defending NCAA championNebraska... After defeating the Lady Razorbacks to advance to the secondround for the fourth straight season, the Wildcats lost to the eventualFinal Four participant Huskers in four games... K-State ended the yearranked 18th in the final AVCA polls, its fourth straight final Top 25ranking.

TEAM EARNS PRESTIGIOUS ACADEMIC HONOR... Kansas State was recently named as one of a record-number 177 volleyball programs nationally to receive the2001-02 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/Molten Team AcademicAward... The award, which has been given annually since 1992-93, honorscollege and high school teams that displayed excellence in the classroom bymaintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale during the school year.Among the 47 Division I schools, Kansas State was one of just six thatadvanced to NCAA Tournament last season, including NCAA champion Stanfordand Final Four participant Nebraska. The Huskers joined the Wildcats as theonly Big 12 schools to earn the honor... Kansas State posted thethird-highest grade-point average (3.59) of the 47 Division I schoolsselected, trailing only Belmont (Tenn.) University (3.69) and Liberty (Va.)University (3.64). Five of the 13 players on the team earned cumulative 4.0GPAs during the 2001-02 academic year, including current players LauraDowney-Wallace, Cari Jensen and Kris Jensen. It marked the second time theprogram has received this honor and first time since 1996-97.

29 YEARS OF KANSAS STATE VOLLEYBALL... The 2002 campaign marks the 29th season of intercollegiate competition for the Wildcats... K-State owns an all-timemark of 520-455-11 (.533) in 986 matches... The match against Oklahoma onOctober 9 will represent the 1,000th in school history... After posting justa 24-66 record from 1991-93, Kansas State has reeled off eight straightwinning seasons, including 20-win seasons in six of the last seven years...In fact, the 163 wins that the Wildcats have tallied since 1994 are morethan the program recorded the entire decades of the 1980s and 1990s...K-State started its streak of eight straight winning seasons in 1994 withtheir first winning record in five years... The team followed that successwith the first of three 20-win seasons in 1995 and the program's first in 10years... The Wildcats continued its upward spiral in 1996, as the team setthe school record for wins in a single-season with a 26-9 record, includinga 13-7 mark in the first year of the Big 12 Conference... After a 19-12 markin 1998 snapped its streak of 20-win seasons, the program has since strungtogether three consecutive 20-win campaigns.

TOUGH SLATE AWAITS 'CATS... Ten NCAA Tournament teams, including Final Fourparticipant Nebraska, highlight the 2002 Kansas State University volleyballschedule... In addition to matches with the Cornhuskers, the 28-matchschedule features battles with 2001 NCAA Tournament participants Baylor,Colorado, Colorado State, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Missouri, Texas,Texas A&M and Texas Tech... In all, the schedule includes 17 matches with2001 NCAA Tournament teams and eight contests with teams that were ranked inthe final USA Today/AVCA Top 25... The 18 teams on the schedule had acomposite record of 281-196 (.588) in 2001 and have combined for 125appearances in the NCAA Tournament... In 2001, 14 of the 18 squads hadwinning records, including seven that recorded 20 or more wins... Inaddition, Kansas State will play eight matches against five teams ranked inthe preseason AVCA poll, including three against two teams ranked in theorganization's Top 15... In all, the team will play 18 matches against 11teams that received votes in the preseason poll...

MOVING FROM THE COURT TO THE BENCH... Head coach Suzie Fritz will have alittle extra help on the bench this season, as former standouts Lisa Mimickand Liz Wegner will serve the team as student assistant coaches as theyfinish their degrees... Wegner, the program's only two-time All-American,holds 21 school career, single-season and single-match records, includingthe record for career kills (1,907)... Mimick was a first team All-Big 12selection as a senior in 2001 and ranks in the top 10 in several careercategories, including third in 20-dig matches (10)... In all, the two combinedto start 195 matches (and 229 matches) with 2,457 kills on 6,451 totalattempts with 2,259 digs and 432 blocks.