Sunflower Showdown Saturday at Ahearn

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats are looking to get a winning streak going against rival Kansas on Saturday after snapping a seven-match skid on Wednesday. The Wildcats and Jayhawks are set for a 1 p.m. start at Ahearn Field House for the beginning of a complete Wildcat Weekend in Manhattan.

K-State will take on Texas A&M in football at 6 p.m. and fans can get into Saturday's volleyball match for $3 with their ticket to the football game. Following the match, fans can stop by Bramlage Coliseum on their way to the football game for a women's basketball open practice at 3 p.m.

The Wildcats are fresh off their first conference win of the season after stumbling in their first six matches against Big 12 foes. On Wednesday night, K-State put together a complete performance against Missouri to get the win in four sets controlling the first set and coming from behind in the third and fourth sets to get the victory.

Against the Jayhawks, the Wildcats will face a team that has struggled away from Lawrence this season with just one road win and none in conference play. Kansas has lost at Missouri, Baylor, Texas A&M and Nebraska while getting its only Big 12 wins at home against Oklahoma and Colorado.

On The Airwaves

K-State's match against Kansas can be heard on with 1350 KMAN with Brian Smoller calling the action and Rob Voelker on color commentary. The broadcast will also be available on the station's Web site www.1350kman.com.

Online
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.

The Series
The Wildcats lead the all-time series with Kansas 60-37-1 and have dominated since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1996. The Jayhawks have beaten the Wildcats just twice in the Big 12 era. Last season, K-State defeated the Jayhawks in four sets in Manhattan 25-17, 25-17, 23-25, 25-14.

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 (178) and winning percentage (.667).

Kansas: Ray Bechard (Fort Hays State '80) is coaching the Jayhawks for the 12th year. He led Kansas to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2003-05.

Scouting the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are seeking their first win on the road in Big 12 play this season after dropping their first four. Kansas has struggled on the road all year with a 1-4 record overall with its only road victory coming at Arkansas in three sets.

Kansas is led by Karina Garlington with 3.65 kills per set who ranks fourth in the conference in the category. Garlington and the Jayhawks struggled in their last match against Texas as she tallied nine kills. No Jayhawk reached double digits in the match while the Longhorns got the sweep.

Allison Mayfield joins Garlington as one of the top Jayhawks on offense. Mayfield is pounding out 3.25 kills per set while digging 2.17 balls to help sure up the defense as well.

On the back row, libero Melissa Manda is averaging 4.20 digs per set to rank sixth in the Big 12. The Jayhawks have four players averaging at least 2.17 digs a set with setter Nicole Tate (2.37) and defensive specialist Katie Martincich (2.46) joining Manda and Mayfield.

Tate leads Kansas in service aces from the line where the Jayhawks have been fairly consistent this year in not making mistakes. The Jayhawks have a total of 75 aces with 88 errors for the best ace to error ratio in the conference. Kansas also ranks third in aces per set at 1.25.

Catching up with the 'Cats
K-State snapped a seven-match losing streak on Wednesday night while also getting its first conference win of the season against Missouri. The Wildcats had four players post double digits in kills for the third time this season as well led by Kathleen Ludwig with 15.

The Wildcats battled back from late deficits in the third and fourth sets to get the win as Missouri led 16-12 in the third and 16-9 in the fourth before the Wildcats rallied back for the wins 25-20 and 25-22 respectively. During those rallies, K-State had solid serving from Kelsey Chipman and Lauren Mathewson. Each posted multiple aces and Mathewson tallied more than the entire Missouri team with a career-high four.

It was a career night defensively for a pair of Wildcats in the win over Missouri with Caitlyn Donahue and Soriana Pacheco posting career-highs in digs. Donahue led the team with 22 digs to mark her third 20-dig match of the season. Pacheco was second on the team with 16 digs for her sixth double-double of the season.

- k-statesports.com -