Wildcats Prepped for Contest Against Texas

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State will play host to the seventh-ranked Texas Longhorns on Saturday with a first serve set for 7 p.m. from Ahearn Field House. The No. 17 Wildcats will be looking to prevent back-to-back losses after falling to No. 1 Nebraska on Wednesday, 3-0. With the first three-game loss, K-State dropped to 13-4 on the season and 5-2 in Big 12 play. The Longhorns earned a victory midweek over in-state rival Texas A&M in a 3-0 sweep by scores of 30-25, 30-28, 30-25. The win improved Texas to 9-3 overall; 5-1 Big 12 and puts the Longhorns at second in the conference.

The match will be featured as part of the Wildcat Weekend and those in possession of a Kansas State vs. Kansas football ticket will receive admission for $1. Action can be found via radio broadcast on 1350 KMAN (or www.1350kman.com; www.kstatesports.com) with Brian Smoller calling the play-by-play. A complete recap will be posted online at www.kstatesports.com following the conclusion of the event.

Kansas State Pre-Match Report
Kansas State will be playing on Saturday to avoid its first consecutive losses and avenge the first 3-0 defeat of the year. Through 17 matches, the Wildcats have an overall record of 13-4 while they sit at fifth in the Big 12 standings with a 5-2 record. With four losses on the season, K-State has fell to three ranked opponents: No. 16 Hawaii, No. 5 UCLA and No. 1 Nebraska. The Wednesday match against the Huskers was the first time the Wildcats have been swept this season, as they lost in sets of 30-16, 30-16, 30-25.

Against the Huskers, senior Stacey Spiegelberg recorded her second double-double of the season as she dished out 30 assists and a team-high 10 digs. Junior Nataly Korobkova finished with a match-high 19 kills including 11 alone in the third game. The product of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, also registered two service aces and six digs. Megan Farr and Rita Liliom each converted on six kills, while Liliom also tallied five digs. Angie Lastra and Lauren Mathewson each aided the Wildcat defense with eight and six digs, respectively.

As a team, the Wildcats finished with their lowest hitting percentage of the year with 37 kills and 24 errors on 111 attempts for .117 percent. Prior to the Nebraska match, the lowest hitting by K-State was the first match of the season in the 3-2 win over then-No. 14 Cal Poly. Then KSU had 66 kills on 196 attempts for .153 hitting. K-State had a string of six matches following the tournament in Hawaii which featured a hitting clip over .250, but has only had one in the last four matches (vs. Missouri). In the four losses this season, three of them have had hitting below .250.

Korobkova and Liliom continue to pace the Wildcat attack as both juniors have tallied over 200 kills; Korobkova notched 242 through 57 games to average 4.25, while Liliom has 221 on the year with a 3.62 average per game. Kelsey Chipman and Megan Farr have 150 and 147 kills, respectively, as each has an average over 2.40 per game. Farr leads K-State in hitting percentage with .374 percent, sixth in the conference.

The Wildcats remain ahead of the Big 12 members in service aces, as K-State has 132 to average 1.80. Oklahoma is closest in amount with 96, while Nebraska is second in average with 1.80 per game. Spiegelberg leads KSU with 30 (0.49 sapg), while Korobkova has 25 (0.44 sapg) and Jenny Jantsch has 21 (0.34 sapg). The trio sit at third, fourth and ninth in the conference, respectively.

Overland Park, Kan., native Spiegelberg also leads the Wildcats in assists with 785 to average 12. 87 per game. With 109 digs, she is second on the team (1.79 dpg). Lastra leads in the category with 252 and a 4.13 dig/game average. Farr has 10 solo and 83 assisted blocks to pace K-State with 93 total. Kelsey Chipman is three back with 90 total (six solo, 84 assisted).

At Stake
Kansas State is ranked 17th, up from 18th in the previous poll... K-State is 8-2 in the last 10 contests... The Wildcats have hit over .250 seven of the last 10 matches and 10 times this season... K-State’s ace streak continues and sits at 272 straight matches of at least one service ace... The Wildcats have four matches of 10 or more aces this year... Kansas State is 4-7 against Texas in Manhattan... The Wildcats’ last victory against Texas was October 15, 2003 (3-2)... KSU is 1-3 against ranked teams, including 0-2 against teams in the top 10... The Cats have held nine of their last 10 opponents under .250 hitting... With win over Missouri, K-State equaled its overall and conference win total from 2006.

Scouting Report: Texas
The seventh-ranked Longhorns sit with three losses on the season with each coming against programs ranked in the top three. Texas opened the season with two losses at No. 3 Penn State, each coming in four games. They opened the conference season at No. 1 Nebraska and fell in three by scores of 30-24, 30-17, 30-25. The Longhorns have won their last five matches including 3-0 victories over Missouri, Iowa State, Colorado and Texas A&M.

On Wednesday, Texas rolled to a victory over rival Texas A&M in three with scores of 30-25, 30-28, 30-25, powered by .352 hitting. Leading the Longhorn surge was freshman Juliann Faucette with 20 kills on .395 hitting and 11 digs, her third career double-double. Lauren Paolini and Destinee Hooker added 13 kills each. Also in double-digit digs was Michelle Moriarty and Alyson Jennings, dishing out 12 and 10, respectively.

Faucette and Hooker lead through the season in kills. Faucette has 184 kills with an average of 4.97 per game on .362 hitting. Hooker is three behind with 181 kills (4.89 kpg) on .305 hitting. Hooker also leads the squad in service aces, having tallied 14 this year. She is third in both digs (86; 2.32 dpg) and blocks (42: 13 solo, 29 assisted; 1.14 bpg).

As the Longhorns primary setter, Moriarty has 528 assists through 40 games with an average of 13.20. The senior is second in digs with 100 to average 2.50 per game.

Alyson Jennings leads UT in digs with 129 digs. She is averaging 3.22 per game, but has a lower average of 3.11 through 19 conference games. Other defensive leaders include Brandy Magee in blocks with 44 (1.10 bpg), Paolini with 43 (1.08 bpg) and Jennifer Doris who has knocked down 35 (1.13 bpg).

Flashback: vs. Texas
The first match of the 2006 season between Kansas State and Texas went down to the wire, and the No. 8 Longhorns pulled ahead to capture the 3-2 win in Austin, Texas, by scores of 28-30, 25-30, 30-26, 30-16, 15-10.

The .188 KSU attack had four Wildcats finish with 10 or more kills, including a team-high 16 from Megan Kroeker, who also notched six blocks on the night. Sandy Werner tallied 11 kills and six digs, while Megan Farr and Ginta Gabruseva each finished with 10. Stacey Spiegelberg recorded a double-double in the loss after dishing out 47 assists and 18 digs. Angie Lastra had a match-high 26 digs, while Leslie Townsend added a career-high 13.

The second match against the Longhorns became Kansas State’s last loss of the 2006 season, when No. 8 Texas won 3-1 in Ahearn Field House. The Longhorns won the match on .256 hitting in sets of 30-26, 30-22, 23-30, 30-26. The Wildcats finished with 66 kills and 28 errors on 173 attempts for a hitting percentage of .220.

Farr notched a career-high 18 kills over the Longhorns while hitting .417 percent. She also added seven blocks. Lastra and Spiegelberg each registered double-doubles. Lastra had 11 kills and 11 digs, and Spiegelberg recorded 54 assists and 12 digs. Also notching a career high was Lauren Rosenthal with 24 digs. Kroeker and Werner tallied 15 and 14 kills, respectively.