Wildcats Close Texas Two-Step in Austin

Lauren Mathewson

Oct. 21, 2010

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State completes its road trip through the state of Texas on Friday when the Wildcats take on No. 10 Texas at 6:30 p.m. from Gregory Gymnasium. The Wildcats began this week’s extended road trip with a three-set loss at Baylor on Wednesday night and look to snap a recent losing streak against one of the nation’s top teams.

The Wildcats and Longhorns are obviously familiar with each other as conference foes, but the two teams played late in the first rotation of Big 12 action this season and now open the second half of league play against each other as each team will have its opponent fresh in its memory. The Longhorns got the best of the Wildcats in Manhattan two weeks ago rallying from behind late in the first set to win 25-21 after trailing 20-15. Texas then rolled through the next two sets 25-16 and 25-12.

A win by the Wildcats on Friday would not only snap their five-match losing streak, it would snap a five-match winning streak by the Longhorns. Texas has won five straight since losing at No. 3 Nebraska on October 2. All but one of those wins in the streak was a sweep. It also would mean the end of 14 straight wins by Texas over K-State. The last time K-State defeated Texas came in the 2003 season when the Wildcats won the Big 12 title.

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

Live stats will be available through kstatesports.com and texassports.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. Free live video streaming is available through UT’s site for a fee as well.

The Series
Texas leads the all-time series 24-7 and has won 14 straight over Kansas State. The last time the Wildcats defeated the Longhorns was in Manhattan on October 15, 2003, in five sets. K-State went on to win the Big 12 title that year. Suzie Fritz is 3-16 against Texas as the head coach at K-State. The series also has a recent history of going the distance with two of the last three played in Manhattan taking five sets to determine a winner.

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 .637.

Texas: Jerritt Elliott (Cal State Northridge ‘91) is in his 10th year at Texas where he has led the Longhorns back to being among the nation’s elite programs. He has taken Texas to the Final Four the last two years and lost the national championship match against Penn State in 2009.

Scouting the Longhorns
Texas entered the season ranked among the nation’s Top 10 teams and remain there in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll. The Longhorns are 13-5 overall with all but one of those losses coming to teams ranked No. 5 or better in the Top 25, with the lone loss to an unranked opponent coming at the hands of rival Texas A&M on the road.

The Longhorns have one of the more potent offenses in the conference and the nation. Texas is hitting .287 on the year to rank first in the Big 12. This week’s NCAA rankings (which do not include Wednesday’s matches when the Longhorns hit .425 at Kansas) has Texas ranked No. 15 in the nation. The impressive numbers are aided by middle blocker Rachel Adams. The junior is fifth in the nation in hitting percentage at .433. Adams also is second on the team in kills per set averaging 2.92 a set. She also is a force at the net defensively ranking fourth in the conference with 1.32 blocks a set.

Senior outside hitter Juliann Faucette is the first option for the Longhorns as she is pounding out 3.00 kills a set and hitting .191 on the year. Faucette also is second in the Big 12 in aces per set and is averaging a strong 2.27 digs a set for an outside hitter. Amber Roberson provides a third option for the Longhorns on offense. The junior outside hitter is averaging 2.88 kills a set and makes an impact on defense with 1.64 digs.

The Longhorns have been dominant on their homecourt this season with a 9-1 record. Their lone loss at Gregory Gymnasium came at the hands of No. 5 Illinois in three sets. Texas has defeated two ranked opponents at home besting No. 9 Iowa State and No. 23 Long Beach State in five sets. Seven of UT’s home wins have been sweeps.

In their last match, the Longhorns swept the Kansas Jayhawks with some impressive numbers. Adams posted 11 kills with a .562 hitting percentage, and middle blocker Jennifer Doris pounded out 10 and hit an even better .643. Amber Roberson led the team with 19 kills overall as the Longhorns posted 55 kills over the three sets and hitting .425 as a team. Kansas kept it close forcing extra points in the opening stanza and did not trail by much throughout much of the second before Texas closed the door in the third winning 29-27, 25-21, 25-17.