Volleyball to Welcome Back 2003 Big 12 Champions

Oct. 24, 2013

K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The 2003 K-State volleyball team, the most successful team in program history, will be reuniting at the Wildcats' match on Saturday, October 26th against #1 Texas in Ahearn Field House. Nine student-athletes from the 2003 team that won the Big 12 championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament - a group that includes three All-Americans - will be at the 7:30 pm match. The former student-athletes will be recognized after the second set.

The nine players to be honored on Oct. 26 include Lauren Goehring, Gabby Guerre, Vali Hejjas, Sandy Werner, Katie Stanzel, Lisa Martin, Kris Jensen, Cari Jensen and Laura Downey.

The 2003 Wildcats went 30-5 and 18-2 during their Big 12 schedule en route to winning the program's only Big 12 title. The team, led by current head coach Suzie Fritz, was ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation and reached the Regional Semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, tied for the best finish in the postseason tournament in school history. After a loss to No. 10 Penn State ended their season, the Wildcats finished No. 11 in the final coaches' poll of the campaign.

Goehring, recently inducted into the K-State Athletic Hall of Fame earlier this month, was named to the AVCA All-American First Team in 2003. The 2003 Big 12 Player of the Year was selected to the All-Big 12 First team twice and All-Big 12 Academic three times in her career. The middle blocker is among K-State's top 10 in career kills, hitting percentage and blocks.

Guerre was named an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention in 2003 after she became one of only three players in K-State history to reach the century mark in four statistical categories (221 kills, 294 digs, 1,517 assists, 110 blocks). The setter was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and All-Big 12 Academic Team three times each in her career. She is second in program history with 4,943 career assists.

Hejjas was named 2003 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and led the Wildcats in kills in their two NCAA Tournament wins that season. Hejjas was honored as an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention in 2004 and selected to the All-Big 12 First Team twice in her career.

Downey was named Big 12 Libero of the Year twice in her career, including during the 2003 season. Her team-best 534 digs in 2003 are the fourth-most ever by a Wildcat in a single season. She is currently fourth on K-State's career digs list.

Cari Jensen was a two-time Academic All-American and three-time All-Big 12 Academic Team selection. She tallied over 1,100 career kills and was also named to the 2002 All-Big 12 First Team.

Kris Jensen played in all 126 sets during the 2003 season as a defensive specialist. She was selected to the All-Big 12 Academic Team three times and registered over 600 career digs.

Martin led the 2003 team in blocks, and she went on to tally over 400 blocks in her career. She is sixth all-time in program history in career block assists (395). She also had over 800 career kills, including a career-high 301 in 2003. The middle blocker was named an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention twice in her career.

Stanzel was a four-time All-Big 12 Academic Team selection. The outside hitter and defensive specialist had over 300 digs, 100 blocks and 100 kills in her career.

Werner was one of four freshmen on the 2003 team, but was the only first-year player to play in the Sweet 16 match against Penn State that season. Werner finished with over 1,100 career kills and helped the Wildcats also reach the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2005.

The 2003 Team Reunion is part of Homecoming Week at Kansas State. Fans may purchase $3 tickets for the Oct. 26 volleyball match by showing their West Virginia football game ticket at the Ahearn Field House ticket office. Doors open at 6:30 pm.