Wildcats, Tigers Tangle in Wednesday Match

MANHATTAN, Kan. - In their second of a two-match road trip, the Kansas State Wildcats will look to capture the series against the Missouri Tigers as they travel to Columbia, Mo., on Wed., Oct. 24th. The 15-6; 7-4 Big 12 Wildcats defeated the Tigers for the first time in five meetings earlier in the conference season with a 3-0 score in games of 30-21, 30-20, 30-20 on Sept. 26th. The two will begin battle at 6:30 p.m. from the Hearnes Center, where the Tigers are 5-4 through 33 games.

Both teams will look to avenge a loss from the weekend as K-State fell in four to Oklahoma on Friday and Mizzou lost Saturday night to No. 6 Texas in three. The K-State matchup marks the third-straight home match for the Tigers, as they hosted No. 1 Nebraska as well last week, falling to the undefeated Huskers 3-0.

Wednesday’s contest will be broadcast live on 1350 KMAN with Brian Smoller calling the play-by-play and live stats will be linked through http://www.kstatesports.com/. A complete recap will be posted along with statistics on Kansas State’s official athletic website, http://www.kstatesports.com/, following the match’s conclusion.

At Stake
Kansas State is ranked 15th, a drop from 14th in the previous poll... K-State is 6-4 in the last 10 contests with three losses being handed to the Cats from ranked squads... K-State has a 5-3 road record with a 3-2 Big 12 road record... K-State’s nation-leading ace streak continues and sits at 276 straight matches of at least one service ace... The Wildcats have six matches of 10 or more aces this year... K-State won the first match against Mizzou this year, marking the first in five meetings... The last KSU road win at MU was Sept. 25, 2004, in a 3-0 sweep... The Wildcats lead the series 36-30... K-State is 14-1 against unranked teams in 2007, with lone loss against Oklahoma who was receiving votes at time of contest... KSU is 15-10 on the road against MU, while head coach Suzie Fritz owns a 9-4 record over the Tigers... The Cats have held 12 of their last 14 opponents under .250 hitting, including their last three under .200.

Kansas State Pre-Match Report
The 15th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats started the season with a hot-streak after accumulating a 13-3 record but the Wildcats have stumbled as of late to Big 12 Conference squads, including going 2-3 in the last five matches with three loss to ranked opponents. In its latest match, K-State dropped a tug-of-war road battle in Norman, Okla., to 23rd-ranked Oklahoma. The loss, paired with defeats by No. 1 Nebraska and No. 7 Texas, has taken the Cats from second in the Big 12 to a fight for fourth as Iowa State is one win behind with a 6-4 record.

As the team is fourth in conference rankings, it also sits among the top four in six statistical categories when compared to league competitors, including leading the Big 12 in service aces and aces per game. The Wildcats have recorded 163 aces to average 2.14 through 76 games. Texas A&M is second in number with 120, while No. 1 Nebraska ranks second in average with 1.80 per game (99 aces in 55 games). Three Wildcats have tallied 25 or more aces this season, with senior Stacey Spiegelberg leading all with 33 to average 0.43 per game and rank third in the Big 12. Junior Nataly Korobkova has 30 (0.42 sapg) and Jenny Jantsch has 25 (0.36) as the two rank fifth and eighth, respectively, in the conference.

The Cats rank third in assists as a team with an average of 14.99 per game, while primary setter Spiegelberg is third individually with a 13.05 average.

K-State ranks fourth in three stats: hitting percentage (.259), kills per game (15.92) and blocks per game (3.00). Listed in the individual top 10 is Megan Farr at sixth for hitting percentage with a clip of 174 kills and 39 errors on 365 attempts for .370 percent. Sitting at fourth in kills is Korobkova with 320 kills through 72 games (4.44 kpg), and Rita Liliom enters the ranks at 10th with 3.51 kills per game in 76 appearances. The Wildcat block has three members in the top 10 in the conference: Kelsey Chipman is second (1.49 bpg), Farr sits at third (1.39 bpg), and Korobkova is 10th (1.15 bpg).

In the Wildcats’ last outing, K-State faced its third ranked opponent in five contests as No. 23 Oklahoma hosted a Friday match at McCasland Field House. The Sooners captured the home victory 3-1 in sets of 30-27, 30-25, 26-30, 30-28. Despite the loss, a number of individuals put up key stats, including a sixth career double-double from Korobkova, who notched 21 kills and 11 digs. The junior from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, added five blocks (one solo, four assisted) and one service ace.

Spiegelberg, who had a match high 56 assists, tallied a season-high seven kills while adding nine digs, four blocks and a service ace. Angie Lastra had a season high in digs after dishing out 29. Freshman JuliAnne Chisholm continued her improvement through Big 12 play as she put down a career-high 10 kills and added her first career solo block.

The Wildcats finished with 65 kills and 32 errors on 199 attempts to hit at .166 percent. K-State outhit Oklahoma who powered to the win off of a .151 hitting percentage. The match featured 42 tie scores and 18 total lead changes.

Scouting Report: Missouri
When Kansas State and Missouri initially met this season, the Tigers were on a three-match losing skid to which the Wildcats added a fourth. Following that loss, Mizzou found an answer and responded to opponents with a five-game win streak including an upset of then-No. 25 Oklahoma, who had not lost in conference play. The Tigers held off the Sooners in five after OU fell behind 2-0 and surged back to tie the match at 2-all.

The last two events have been a different story for Missouri, as it was unable to take a game from either No. 1 Nebraska or No. 6 Texas. The Huskers took the match in scores of 31-29, 30-18, 30-14.

On Saturday, the Tigers fell 3-0 in sets of 30-32, 17-30, 22-30 to the Longhorns. Texas was elevated to the win on .397 hitting, while it held MU to .108 (42k-27e-139a). Team-leader Na Yang paced the Tigers in kills with 19 on the night on .333 hitting. She also added five digs and the team’s lone solo block. Weiwen Wang pitched in for 10 kills, while Lei Wang notched 28 assists for the offense. Tatum Ailes, the team leader in digs, dished out 11 in the loss, while Lei Wang posted nine.

Na Yang has tallied 336 kills on the season to average 4.42 per game, a slightly lower average than injured Julianna Klein who has 120 through 27 games (4.44 kpg). Yang ranks fifth in the conference, while averaging 4.51 through Big 12 matches only to sit in fourth. Lei Wang has been MU’s primary setter through the year, as she has 765 assists and an average of 10.07 per game, 10th in the Big 12.

Ailes sits with 363 digs on the year to average 4.78 per game. She ranks first in the conference, ahead of Sarah Grace of Baylor (4.49 dpg). Ailes has a slightly lower average through 41 Big 12 games at 4.44 to rank fourth. Amanda Hantouli leads Missouri in blocks with 78 (five solo, 73 assisted) and averages 1.10 per game.

As a team, the Tigers are first in the conference for digs with an average of 16.42 after tallying 1248 through 76 games. The only other category that MU is in the top half of the conference for is hitting percentage with a clip of .250 with 1166 kills and 401 errors on 3055 attempts. The Tigers rank the following in the remaining categories: sixth in kills (15.34 kpg), seventh in blocks (2.66 bpg), eighth in assists (13.96 apg) and service aces (1.28 sapg); and ninth in opponent hitting percentage (.217).