K-State Ready for Rival Nebraska on Road

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats close their week of road trips Saturday facing rival Nebraska where the Wildcats are one of a select few to have defeated the Cornhuskers on their home floor in recent years. K-State is still seeking its first Big 12 Conference win of the season and looking to upset No. 9 Nebraska and keep the 'Huskers from climbing into the race for the conference title with the match set to start at 7 p.m. from NU Coliseum.

K-State is the only team to have defeated Nebraska at home twice since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996 with its most recent win coming in 2003 when the Wildcats won the conference title. Nebraska has already tallied two losses at home - both coming against Top 10 teams.

Last season in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers swept the Wildcats in a tight match as K-State kept each set close. This year, six of Nebraska's 11 wins have been sweeps while the Wildcats have been swept in three straight matches.

On The Airwaves
K-State's match against Nebraska can be heard on 1350 KMAN with Rob Voelker calling the action. This broadcast will also be available on the station's Web site www.1350kman.com.

Live audio and stats will be available through k-statesports.com for fans wanting to track the action live on the web. An audio only feed is through the Wildcat Audio Package. Live stats will also be provided at huskers.com.

The Series
The Wildcats have defeated the Cornhuskers just three times with their last win over their conference rival coming in 2003 when K-State won both matchups. Nebraska won the first 58 meetings in the series before K-State got its first win in 1999.

Nebraska has been a dominant team at home throughout its history, and K-State is the only team to beat the Cornhuskers on their home floor twice since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1996.

The Coaches
Kansas State: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic '94) is in her ninth year as head coach of the Wildcats she is the winningest coach in the program's history in terms of wins (177) and winning percentage (.668).

Nebraska: John Cook (San Diego '79) has helped Nebraska maintain its position as one of the elite programs in the nation in his nine years with the program. Cook has taken Nebraska to five NCAA Semifinal appearances and won two national titles.

Scouting the Cornhuskers
The Cornhuskers find themselves in unfamiliar territory at this point of the season tied for fourth in the Big 12 Conference standings. Nebraska is currently 4-2 in league play after falling on the road to Texas A&M on September 26 and then to No. 2 Texas at home. Nebraska was picked to finish second in the conference this year by the coaches.

Despite its fourth-place standing in the Big 12, the 'Huskers are still ranked No. 9 in the nation and boast a strong lineup led by outside hitter Tara Mueller with 3.19 kills per set. Three other Cornhuskers are averaging more than two kills per set to help Mueller on the attack.

Middle blocker Brooke Delano is averaging 2.36 kills and leads the team in hitting percentage at .355 in her new role in the starting lineup. Lindsey Licht pounds out 2.46 kills per set from the right side playing the team's opposite position. Licht also provides a big block at the position standing 6-5 and averaging 1.05 blocks per set. Freshman Hannah Werth has stepped into the lineup in her first year with the team to average 2.86 kills a set and 2.76 digs.

Nebraska has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year again opening at the Runza/AVCA Showcase along with K-State to take on Michigan and Minnesota. The Cornhuskers also traveled to LSU for the Tigers' tournament, and hosted national powers BYU and UCLA in their own home tournament.

The 'Huskers home match against then-No. 8 UCLA was played in the Devaney Center - Nebraska's basketball arena - and set an NCAA record for attendance. A total of 13,870 fans came to watch the Cornhuskers take on the Bruins with UCLA getting the win in five sets. The match also pitted Nebraska coach John Cook against his own daughter Lauren who is the starting setter for UCLA.

In their last match, the Cornhuskers swept Kansas 25-20, 25-20, 25-21 with Werth leading the team in kills tallying 15 while Delano added 10. Nebraska hit .275 for the match compared to KU's .136.

- k-statesports.com -