Notes: Top-25 Matchup Set, No. 25 K-State Hosts No. 2 Texas
Notes: Top-25 Matchup Set, No. 25 K-State Hosts No. 2 Texas
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Ahearn Field House
Texas (Home #8)
Saturday, Oct. 18 - 7 p.m.
Series: Texas leads, 31-7
Last Meeting: Texas won, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-15), in Austin on Nov. 23, 2013
TV: FOX College Sports (PBP - Brian Smoller; Analyst - Kelsey Stringer [Chipman])
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP - Rob Voelker)
Online Audio: www.k-statesports.com, www.1350kman.com
Pack the Field House - $1 tickets, $1 hot dogs (while supplies last)
AT A GLANCE
• Following a sweep at TCU this past Wednesday, No. 25 K-State will return home and take on No. 2 Texas on Saturday, October 18.
• The Wildcats enter the Big 12 matchup riding a four-match winning streak.
• Texas has not lost a match all year, entering Saturday with a 13-0 record and 5-0 mark in conference play.
• The Longhorns have not played since October 9, when they swept Texas Tech at home.
TOP 25 MATCHUP
• Saturday will not only be the 39th all-time meeting between K-State and Texas, but it will also be the 17th time the two programs have faced each other while both ranked in the Top 25 poll.
• When both the Wildcats and Longhorns are nationally ranked, K-State is 2-16 against Texas.
• The last time K-State and Texas squared off as Top 25 teams was on Nov. 2, 2012 (Then-no. 7 Texas won, 3-0, in Austin; K-State was No. 16).
• K-State's two wins against Texas when both teams were ranked were during the 1999 season: 11/10/99 in Manhattan (3-0) and 10/9/99 in Austin (3-1).
FILLING IN THE RANKS
• For the first time since the Nov. 19, 2012 poll, K-State is ranked in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 poll as the Wildcats jumped in at No. 25 in this week's rankings.
• K-State, which had been receiving votes for the last five weeks, becomes the fourth different Big 12 team to be ranked in the top 25 poll.
• Texas, which is No. 2 in this week's poll, is the highest ranked Big 12 team while KU and Oklahoma were each ranked earlier this season.
• The Wildcats have been ranked in the AVCA Top 25 poll 166 times in program history and 120 times under head coach Suzie Fritz.
K-STATE VS. NO. 2
• K-State enters Saturday's matchup with a 1-12 all-time record against teams ranked No. 2 in the country.
• The last time K-State faced the nation's No. 2 team was on Dec. 2, 2011 when it beat Nebraska in five sets in Lincoln in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Against teams ranked No. 1 or 2 in the AVCA poll, K-State is 1-23.
OPENING THE CONFERENCE SLATE
• The Wildcats enter Saturday's top-25 matchup riding a four-match winning streak in conference play, its longest since 2008.
• The four-match winning streak has helped K-State open its Big 12 schedule with a 4-1 record, its best start to a conference slate also since 2008.
• K-State had two four-match winning streaks in 2008, both of which were ended when it faced the nation's No. 3 team: 10/4 at No. 3 Texas (3-0) and 11/8 at No. 3 Nebraska (3-0).
• The Wildcats have not won five straight Big 12 matches since Sept. 22-Oct. 6, 2004--a streak that ended at five after a 3-0 loss at home to No. 11 Texas on Oct. 9.
• Saturday will be a matchup between two of the Big 12's top blocking teams as K-State (3.22) leads the conference in blocks/set in conference-only matches, ahead of second-place Texas (2.97).
• K-State's 64.0 team blocks are tied with Texas Tech for the most total blocks in Big 12-only contests.
• In overall matches, K-State (3.06) trails Texas (3.12) for the top spot in blocks/set.
• The Wildcats have 13 or more blocks in each of the last two matches (3.86/set) and have double-digit blocks in six of the last seven matches and in 11 overall contests this season.
• Last season, K-State had 10 or more blocks in 13 contests.
• Powering the block for K-State has been its pair of starting middle blockers, including redshirt senior Natali Jones.
• Through Oct. 16, Jones was tops in the Big 12 and 12th in the nation in blocks/set with 1.47 in overall matches.
• In Big 12 play, Jones is averaging 1.79 blocks/set, easily leading second-place Hannah Shreve of West Virginia (1.47).
• Jones has 13 blocks over the last two matches (2.17/set) and 49 blocks over the last seven contests, a stretch that started when she had a career-high 10 blocks at Michigan.
• Jones has 5+ blocks in 10 matches this year.
• Entering this season, Jones had two career matches with 5+ blocks.
• Another K-State middle blocker, Katie Reininger, has been effective on both sides of the net similar to Jones.
• Reininger, who is third among Big 12 players with 1.32 blocks/set this season, has provided efficient offense to her defensive play, hitting a team-best .306 on the season.
• The redshirt sophomore has hit over .500 in each of the last two matches, including .522 vs. Iowa State on Oct. 8 and .556 at TCU.
• Reininger has hit over .300 in 10 matches this season and over .400 in five contests, including in three of the last six matches.
• Over the last eight matches, Reininger is hitting .375 with 87 kills.
• K-State's blocking does not stop at the middle blocker position as setter Katie Brand has moved into the Big 12's top 10 in conference-only matches in blocks/set (T-7th, 1.25).
• Brand, who had six blocks at TCU on Wednesday, has five or more blocks in four of the five conference matches this season.
• Over the last eight matches, Brand is averaging 1.43 blocks/set.
• With Brand, Jones and Reininger, K-State is the only team with three different players in the Big 12's top 10 for conference-only matches entering the weekend.
• Brand's 70 blocks this season have helped the redshirt sophomore lead all Big 12 setters in points this season.
• In addition to points, Brand leads all conference setters in kills, digs and blocks.
• Brand is third in the Big 12 in assists/set for overall matches (11.14) and fourth in conference-only matches (10.45).
• Nationally, Brand is 24th in assists/set.
• Sophomore Kersten Kober paced the Wildcats in digs for the 11th time this season when she had 14 digs at TCU on Wednesday.
• Kober is tied for fourth with 4.00 digs/set in Big 12-only matches this season.
• The libero has 12 or more digs in each Big 12 match this year, and she has 10 or more digs in 14 contests overall (she had 6 in 2013).
• K-State hit .307 in the match at TCU on Wednesday, its highest in a Big 12 match since Nov. 9, 2013 vs. West Virginia (.317).
• The Wildcats are hitting .247 on the season, which is the fourth-best mark among Big 12 teams.
• K-State has now hit .250 or higher in 11 matches this season after doing that only eight times last season.
• The Wildcats have hit .250 or higher in each of the last two matches--a first for the Wildcats in consecutive Big 12 matches since it did so in three-straight from Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2012.
PLAYER OF THE WEEKS
• For the first time since 2010, two Wildcats, Katie Brand and Katie Reininger, earned Big 12 player of the week awards in the same week this past Monday.
• The award was Brand's second career Big 12 weekly honor (Rookie, Sept. 16, 2013) and Reininger's first career award.
• K-State has garnered six weekly awards from the conference this season, the most in program history.
IN THE RPI
• In this year's second RPI rankings, released by the NCAA, K-State moved up from No. 19 to No. 17, which is the second-highest ranking among Big 12 teams (Texas, No. 3).
• K-State has four wins against teams ranked 33 or higher in the latest RPI rankings, which include at Michigan (No. 33), vs. UCF (No. 27), vs. Iowa State (No. 24) and at KU (No. 20).
• Overall, K-State is 4-1 against teams in this week's top 50 (loss vs. Arizona on 8/30).
• The Wildcats are 8-2 against the top 100.
• K-State trails in the all-time series vs. Texas, 7-31.
• The Wildcats are 4-14 all-time against the Longhorns in Manhattan.
• Texas has won 21 straight vs. K-State.
• The Wildcats' last win against Texas was on Oct. 15, 2003 in Manhattan (3-2).
• K-State head coach Suzie Fritz is 3-23 against Texas.
• The Wildcats have been swept by the Longhorns in each of the last four meetings.