No. 14 KSU, No. 23 OU to Battle in Rematch

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The second half of the conference season gets underway for 14th-ranked Kansas State with a two-match road swing beginning at No. 23 Oklahoma Fri., Oct. 19th. The match will pit the 15-5 overall, 7-3 Big 12 squads against each other in a battle for third place in the conference behind No. 1 Nebraska and No. 6 Texas. The first serve from the McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla., is set for 6 p.m. Friday’s match will also feature the Dig for the Cure campaign in an effort to help in the fight against breast cancer.

Following the contest against the Sooners, K-State will travel to Columbia, Mo., the home of the surging Missouri Tigers for a midweek match on Wed., Oct. 24th.

Those wishing to listen to the KSU-OU match can find play-by-play action on 1350 KMAN as well as online at www.kstatesports.com and www.1350kman.com. Live stats will be linked through www.kstatesports.com, while a complete recap will be posted as play concludes.

Dig for the Cure
Kansas State and Oklahoma will participate in an additional battle on Friday as the teams will be playing to help fight against breast cancer in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. Oklahoma will be hosting the event that others across the country have joined in, including the West Coast Conference, Atlantic 10 Conference as well as Central Florida, UAB, Miami, Kansas, Cincinnati, Maryland, South Florida, Presbyterian, Tusculum, Texas State, Stanford, New Hampshire, Wake Forest, Eastern Illinois, Michigan, UVA Wise, St. Andrews, Big Bend CC, South Carolina, Marietta College, University of New Orleans, SUNY Geneseo, Northwestern, Missouri Southern State, Elon, Oklahoma, Florida State, Rice, Ursuline College.

The Dig for the Cure campaign supports the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and those wishing to donate are given the option of pledging money per dig or with a flat donation. The drive was originally started in 2003 by Charlotte Head Coach Lisa Marston, while Nancy Brinker started the foundation in honor of her sister Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36.

For more information about breast health or breast cancer and also for information on donation, visit the Foundation’s award-winning website at www.komen.org or call the Foundation’s national toll-free helpline at 1.800.IMAWARE (1.800.462.9273).

Kansas State Pre-Match Report
The Wildcats are back to their winning ways as they have swept their last two opponents in Iowa State and Texas Tech to close the first run through conference foes. K-State has upped its play since losing two straight against Nebraska and Texas, as the Cats have tallied 112 kills and 35 errors on 237 attempts for .325 hitting in the last six games. The numbers are a combination of the .237 hitting from the Iowa State match and a Big 12-season high .449 against Texas Tech.

In the Wednesday home match versus the Red Raiders, K-State tallied its highest hitting against a conference opponent since powering to a .470 percentage Sept. 17, 2005, against Texas Tech. Five Wildcat hitters finished the night with hitting .300 or better, including .500 percent with 16 kills from junior Nataly Korobkova. K-State’s middles Megan Farr and Kelsey Chipman each converted for nine kills on .750 and .583 hitting, respectively. JuliAnne Chisholm tallied a career-high after posting eight kills on .462 hitting. Stacey Spiegelberg captained the offense with 46 assists, while also dishing out four digs for the defensive effort.

The Wildcats received help from a number of defenders as 10 members pitched in for at least one dig, including more than five from three. Angie Lastra paced the squad with a match-high nine. Lauren Mathewson added seven while also registering a career-high two service aces.

Kansas State sits in the top four in the conference for six categories: hitting percentage, opponent hitting percentage, assists, kills, blocks and service aces per game. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in aces per game with an average of 2.19, while three individuals are listed in the top six for average. Spiegelberg is fourth with an average of 0.44 per game with a team high 32, while Korobkova is fifth (0.43; 29 total) and Jenny Jantsch is sixth (0.36; 25).

K-State is third in opponent hitting percentage, allowing a hitting clip of .181 overall and .197 in conference play. The team has a hitting percentage of .266, up from .259 prior to the Texas Tech match. KSU ranks fourth in hitting percentage behind Nebraska (.346), Texas (.323) and Texas A&M (.283). Megan Farr is fifth among Big 12 competitors in individual hitting with a percentage of .379 through 72 games.

KSU is also third in assists per game and averages 14.94 with 1076 assists on the year through 72 games. As the Wildcats’ primary setter, Spiegelberg has 936 after playing in all games for K-State this year; she averages 13.00 assists per game to rank third in the Big 12.

K-State sits at fourth in kills and blocks per game, as it has 1145 kills to average 15.90 and 382 blocks with an average of 2.96. Korobkova and Liliom lead in kills as Korobkova has 299 (4.40 kpg) to sit at fourth in the Big 12, while Liliom is 10th with 257 and a 3.57 average. Chipman, Farr and Korobkova are second, third and 10th in the Big 12 in blocks per game with Chipman leading all Cats with a 1.47 average.

Although K-State is 10th in digs per game, Lastra ranks fourth in the conference after notching 305 this season. She is averaging 4.24 per game and 4.27 in conference play.

At Stake
Kansas State is ranked 14th, up from 16th in the previous poll and marking the highest spot this season... K-State is 7-3 in the last 10 contests and has a 5-2 road record... K-State’s ace streak continues and sits at 275 straight matches of at least one service ace... The Wildcats have six matches of 10 or more aces this year... K-State has lost the last three to Oklahoma but is 8-3 in the last 11... The Sooners lead the series 43-23-1... K-State is 1-4 against ranked teams in 2007, with lone win against Cal Poly in the season opener... KSU is 10-18 on the road against OU with the last win in 2005 (3-0)... The Cats have held 11 of their last 13 opponents under .250 hitting, including their last two under .200.

Scouting Report: Oklahoma
The 23rd-ranked Sooners started conference action with a hot-streak after winning the first five Big 12 matches, including two come-from-behind wins in five after being down 2-0 (at Texas A&M and vs. Colorado). Oklahoma was unable to pull out a third miraculous victory when it fell behind 2-0 at Missouri as the Sooners dropped their first Big 12 contest 3-2 to the Tigers. Oklahoma then captured wins over Iowa State and Texas Tech, but is currently on a two-match losing streak after being overtaken by No. 1 Nebraska and No. 6 Texas at home.

In their latest match, the Sooners fell in sets of 21-30, 20-30, 21-30 to the Longhorns at McCasland Field House on Wednesday. Oklahoma fell to a Texas team that had few misfirings, as the Longhorns ended with .418 hitting; the Sooners notched .135 hitting with 36 kills and 21 errors on 111 attempts. Sarah Weiland was the only Sooner in double-digit kills with 12, while Julie Chester led in assists with 31. Defensive leaders were Bridget Laplante in digs with six and Lacy Barnes who added four.

The Sooners are led by three attackers who have each notched over 200 kills to average 3.00 kpg or better. Mariana Blum paces the squad with 262 total on a 3.45 average. Laplante averages 3.30 kpg after converting for 234 kills in 71 games. With an average of 3.11, Weiland is third on the team with 236 kills. Aiding the attack effort, Chester ranks fourth in the Big 12 with an average of 12.67 assists per game after dishing out 963 in 76 games.

Hannah Sharp is Oklahoma’s defensive leader with 300 digs, as she ranks fifth in the conference with a .395 dpg average. Blum trails with 227 digs to average 2.99 per game. Blocks leader Anna Stadel has 77 total on the year (1.01 bpg) with a team-high nine solo.