Wildcats Seek to Slow Cyclones

Lauren Mathewson

Oct. 12, 2010

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State will play its first road match against a ranked opponent in conference play as the Wildcats travel to take on No. 13 Iowa State at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Wildcats look to prevent a three-match losing streak after dropping two home matches last week to Oklahoma and No. 11 Texas.

The match will be played in unfamiliar territory for the Wildcats as the Cyclones have moved their home matches this season to Ames High School Gymnasium after flooding in Ames this summer caused damages at Iowa State’s home Hilton Coliseum. Ames High has taken the Cyclones in and fans are packing the small high school gym with an average attendance of 1,755 to rank 21st nationally.

A win over Iowa State would snap a four-match losing streak to the Cyclones with K-State’s last victory against Iowa State coming in 2007. The Cyclones also have won six of the last eight meetings between the two teams.

Senior libero Lauren Mathewson is fast approaching second on the career digs list at K-State as she currently stands at 1,509 digs. She already is third in career digs and is within striking distance of second on the all-time list just 69 digs behind Kim Zschau. She also is on pace to post her third season among K-State’s 10 best in terms of digs in a single season.

On The Tube
K-State’s match against Iowa State on Wednesday will be broadcast on Metro Sports for fans with Time-Warner Cable and Brenda VonLengen will be calling play-by-play for the match with Ken Corum assisting the broadcast with color commentary.

On The Airwaves
Wednesday’s match can be heard on KMAN 1350 with Rob Voelker calling the action.

Live stats will be available through cyclones.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 Series
Iowa State holds the edge in the all-time series with K-State 40-36 as the Cyclones dominated the series during the 80’s and early-90’s. K-State has won 22 of the 28 meetings in the Big 12 era to cut into Iowa State’s lead. The Cyclones have turned the series around of late winning six of the last eight against the Wildcats.

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 (192) and is not far off of the best winning percentage in school history as well at .644.

Iowa State: Christy Johnson-Lynch (Nebraska ‘96) is in her sixth year leading the Cyclones and has turned Iowa State into a national powerhouse in short time. She has taken Iowa State to the NCAA Tournament four straight years advancing each year.

Scouting the Cyclones
Despite losing one of their top players to injury in the opening set of the season, the Cyclones are still among the elite teams in the nation currently ranked No. 13 in the latest AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. Outside hitter Victoria Henson has responded to lead Iowa State with 4.20 kills per set ranking first in the Big 12 Conference. Henson also is hitting .306 on the year to rank among the top percentages in the league this year. She also averages 2.56 digs a set to make a significant contribution defensively for the Cyclones.

Henson is not the only offensive weapon for Iowa State as she is joined by Carly Jenson and Jamie Straube as players averaging more than 2.25 kills a set. Jenson provides 2.93 kills while hitting .247 and adding 2.94 digs. Straube pounds out 2.31 kills and is Iowa State’s main blocking threat averaging 1.02 a set.

After graduating All-American setter Kaylee Manns, the Cyclones are directed by Allison Landwehr as she averages 11.33 assists a set and helps lead Iowa State’s offense to an impressive .277 hitting percentage for the season.

All-American libero Ashley Mass is back for her senior season and is again putting up big number for the Cyclones averaging 4.39 digs a set overall this year and 4.89 in conference play.

Iowa State played three ranked opponents in nonconference action this season taking on No. 13 Florida and No. 14 Kentucky at the Runza/AVCA Showcase to open the season. The Cyclones fell in four to Florida but were able to defeat Kentucky in four. Iowa State’s other nonconference ranked opponent was No. 18 Northern Iowa with the Cyclones defeating the Panthers in straight sets.

In their last match, the Cyclones fell in four sets at Kansas on Saturday. The Jayhawks defeated Iowa State 25-14, 25-23, 20-25, 25-17 for the win holding the Cyclones to well below their average hitting percentage at .182. Iowa State could not slow KU’s offense as the Jayhawks hit .226 for the match and had three players post double digits in kills with hitting percentages all above .230.

Iowa State currently stands alone at fourth place in the Big 12 standings as the conference continues to remain log jammed from second down to eighth.