No. 22 Wildcats Look to Bounce Back vs. Oklahoma
No. 22 Wildcats Look to Bounce Back vs. Oklahoma
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Ahearn Field House
Oklahoma (Home #9)
Wednesday, Oct. 22 - 7 p.m.
Series: Oklahoma leads, 52-27-1
Last Meeting: K-State won, 3-0 (25-22, 29-27, 25-22), on Nov. 3, 2013 in Manhattan
TV: FOX Sports Midwest (PBP - Brian Smoller; Analyst - Liz Wegner-Busch)
Online Audio: Here or www.1350kman.com
Cats for the Cure - First 100 fans receive a free pink t-shirt
AT A GLANCE
• After going 1-1 last week--sweeping TCU on the road and losing in straight sets to #2 Texas at home--No. 22 K-State will return to the court to take on Oklahoma in Ahearn Field House on Wednesday, October 22 at 7 p.m.
• The matchup is a battle between two of the top teams in the Big 12 standings as K-State is third with a 4-2 record while OU is second with a 5-1 mark.
• K-State is 6-2 at home this season, with both losses occurring over the last three matches, while it has won two of the last three home contests against OU.
• The Sooners, who face No. 2 Texas in Austin later this week, are 10-3 since falling out of the AVCA Coaches Poll on Sept. 8.
• Oklahoma is 2-5 on the road this season, having split its two Big 12 matches on the road (win at West Virginia; loss at Iowa St.).
• K-State's 17-3 record entering Wednesday's match marks the third time since 2008 that the Wildcats have won 17 of their first 20 matches in a campaign.
• Under head coach Suzie Fritz, K-State has started a season 17-3 four times: 2003, 2008, 2012 and 2014.
• Of the three previous teams to start a campaign 17-3, the 2003 and 2012 teams went on to go 18-3.
• The 17-3 start to a season is tied for the second-best in program history (1977, 18-1-1).
AT THE POLLS
• K-State moved up from last week's No. 25 ranking to No. 22 in this week's AVCA Division I Coaches Poll.
• It is the highest the Wildcats have been ranked since they were No. 20 in the Nov. 12, 2012 poll.
• The Wildcats are one of two Big 12 teams ranked this week, trailing No. 2 Texas, which also received four first-place votes.
• This Wednesday's opponent, Oklahoma, received votes and finished with the 28th-most points (45).
• K-State had the second-highest climb among teams ranked in the poll from last week to this week, behind Illinois jumping five spots from No. 15 to No. 10.
PROTECT THE HOUSE
• Despite last Saturday's loss to #2 Texas, K-State is still 6-2 at home this season.
• The Wildcats have won 10 of their last 12 home matches, a stretch that started when they swept No. 25 Oklahoma on Nov. 3, 2013.
• Since the start of the 2011 season, K-State is 38-10 (.792) in Manhattan.
• The Wildcats have not lost back-to-back matches at home since 2011 when they lost to No. 16 Iowa State on Oct. 5 and then to No. 10 Texas on Oct. 15.
• While Oklahoma sports one of the top hitting percentages in Big 12-only matches this season, K-State is among the conference's toughest defenses, holding Big 12 opponents to a .189 clip--the third-best mark in conference action.
• K-State has held its opponents a .170 hitting percentage for the entire season, which is the fourth-best mark among Big 12 teams.
• The Wildcats have only allowed their opponents to hit higher than .250 in a match once this season (Texas, 10/18, .406).
• K-State has held its opponents to a sub-.200 hitting percentage in three of the last four contests and in 13 total matches this season.
• The Wildcats are 12-1 this season when they hold their opponent to a .200 attack or less.
BLOCK BY BLOCK
• In addition to the opponent attack percentage, K-State has showcased its defense this season by averaging 3.11 blocks/set in conference-only matches, the best mark in the Big 12.
• In all matches, K-State is tied with Texas for the Big 12 lead with 3.03 blocks/set.
• K-State is ninth in NCAA Division I in both blocks/set and total blocks (221.0).
• The Wildcats have out-blocked their opponents in all but three matches this year, going 14-3 in such contests.
• The K-State block is powered by its pair of middle blockers, Natali Jones and Katie Reininger, who rank first and third, respectively, in the Big 12 in blocks/set for overall matches.
• In conference-only matches, Jones is first (1.68 blocks/set) and Reininger is seventh (1.22).
• Redshirt senior Natali Jones has enjoyed a breakout campaign in her final year as a Wildcat, already tallying career-highs in kills (105) and blocks (91).
• Jones entered this season with 38 kills and 34 blocks over 37 career sets.
• In addition to her ranking among top Big 12 players, Jones is near the top nationally in blocks/set, slotting in at 13th in Division I.
• Over her last five matches, Jones is averaging 2.06 kills and 1.76 blocks per set (35 kills, 30 blocks, 17 sets).
• Since Oct. 1, Jones leads K-State with a .303 hitting percentage while her 53.0 points are third-best.
• Offensively, K-State is hitting .242 this season, which is helped by it hitting .250 or higher in a match 11 times this season.
• The last time the Wildcats hit .250 or higher in a match was last Wednesday at TCU (.307).
• In 2013, K-State had only eight matches in which it hit .250 or higher.
• As for set by set, K-State has a .350+ hitting percentage in 15 different sets this season.
• Last season, K-State only had 11 sets in which it hit .350+.
• One of those 11 sets last year was in the first set of the Nov. 3 match vs. Oklahoma (.441).
• The Wildcats hit .266 in their win last November against the Sooners (.135 in the loss on Oct. 12 in Norman).
DROPPING THE ACE
• Kersten Kober, who is second on K-State with 19 aces this season, has an ace in four straight matches (five aces over the stretch).
• Of Kober's 19 aces this season, 11 have been registered over the last nine contests (0.31 aces/set).
• Kober's five aces over the last four matches tie her entire total in Big 12 matches as a freshman in 2013.
• Kober has more than one ace in four matches this season (Last: 10/4 at Texas Tech).
• Freshman Kylee Zumach has led K-State in kills in 12 matches this season, helping her pace the Wildcats with 258 kills.
• Zumach, who is just the 10th freshman in K-State history with 250+ kills in a season, is third among Big 12 players with 3.53 kills/set in overall matches.
• In Big 12-only matches, Zumach is sixth in kills/set (3.39).
• Zumach has 10+ kills in 16 matches this year, including in 10 of the last 11 contests.
• Chelsea Keating has also enjoyed a breakout season in her senior campaign, establishing career-highs in kills (144), aces (24), digs (164) and blocks (52).
• Keating enters Wednesday's slate of matches as the only Big 12 player with 140+ kills, 20+ aces, 150+ digs and 50+ blocks.
• With six more kills and one more ace, Keating would become the first K-State outside hitter to have 150+ kills, 150+ digs, 50+ blocks and 25+ aces in a season since Kathleen Ludwig in 2009.
• Keating is sixth in the Big 12 with 0.33 aces per set this season.
• Keating has 13 aces in the last nine matches.
IN THE RPI
• K-State remained at No. 17 in the latest RPI rankings released by the NCAA on Monday.
• The Wildcats were No. 17 last week.
• K-State is one of five Big 12 teams ranked in the RPI top 30, behind No. 3 Texas and ahead of No. 18 Kansas, No. 25 Oklahoma and No. 26 Iowa State.
• The Wildcats are 6-0 in true road matches, has four wins against this week's top 50 in RPI and holds an 8-2 record against the top 100.
• The Big 12 has the second-highest RPI among all conferences, trailing the Pac-12.
• K-State trails in the all-time series vs. OU, 27-52-1.
• The Wildcats won the last meeting, 3-0, on Nov. 3, 2013 in Ahearn Field House.
• K-State is 14-19 against Oklahoma at home, but it has won two of the last three meetings in Ahearn Field House.
• Oklahoma is 8-2 against K-State in the last 10 meetings.
• Head coach Suzie Fritz is 14-12 against OU in her career.