K-State to take on No. 1 Texas in Ahearn Field House

Oct. 25, 2013

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K-State Athletics

The K-State volleyball team will look to bounce back after a tough four-set loss at Baylor this past Wednesday when it takes on No. 1 Texas in Ahearn Field House at 7:30 pm on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Entering Saturday, the Wildcats have two conflicting trends: record in Ahearn Field House and record against Texas. Over the last three seasons, K-State is 28-7 (.800) at home, including 6-1 this season. However, over the last 10 seasons, the Wildcats have dropped 19 straight to Texas. K-State's last win against the Longhorns was on Oct. 15, 2003 - in Ahearn Field House nonetheless.

Saturday's match is also a first for K-State. The Wildcats have faced the No. 1 team in the country nine times in program history, all of which have been against former Big 12 foe, Nebraska. Texas, which has beaten four ranked teams this season, will be the first No. 1 team K-State has squared off against not based in Lincoln, Neb. The Wildcats are winless in their previous nine matches against the nation's top team.

Leading the pack for the Wildcats is hot-hitting Courtney Traxson. Over the last six matches, the senior outside hitter is averaging 3.14 kills per set, helped by 14 against Baylor. The Cheney, Kan. native has 168 kills this season, matching her career-high.

Senior Kaitlynn Pelger had a team-best eight blocks on Wednesday, contributing to a 14-block output by the Wildcats. K-State, which has eight or more team blocks in 15 straight matches, is best in the Big 12 with an average of 2.78 blocks per set.

Third on the list of blocks per set in the Big 12 is Texas. The Longhorns not only block well, but they are swinging and defending their opponents' swings really well as of late. In conference-only matches, where Texas is a perfect 7-0, the Longhorns are best in the Big 12 in hitting percentage (.313) and opponents' hitting percentage (.161). Texas enters Saturday sporting not only an unblemished record in conference but also a 10-match winning streak overall.

Tickets for Saturday's match start at $3 by showing one's football game ticket against West Virginia (kickoff is at 2:45 pm). For fans not in the area, the match can be streamed live on K-StateHD.TV or heard on KMAN 1350, with Rob Voelker calling the action. Pre-match show starts at 7 pm. Live stats will be available on k-statesports.com and in-match updates will be provided by @kstate_gameday.

A special recognition of the 2003 Big 12 Champions will take place between sets two and three. Nine players from one of the Wildcats' most successful teams will be on hand - the same group that was the last K-State team to beat Texas.

Notes: Katie Brand leads all Big 12 setters with 1.63 points per set. The second-best points per set average by a Big 12 setter is 1.08 by West Virginia's Brittany Sample ... Brand also leads all conference setters in kills and blocks ... Courtney Traxson has 168 kills this season, matching her career-high previously set in 2011 ... Tristan McCarty recorded her second 20+ dig match - both tallied this season - when she had a match-high 23 digs at Baylor. The senior libero has double-digit digs in seven straight matches ... K-State allowed 10 aces against Baylor, its most aces allowed in a Big 12 match since Oct. 2, 2004 when the Wildcats beat Iowa State, 3-2. The Cyclones had 11 aces.

More notes can be found here.

No. 1 Texas (14-2, 7-0 Big 12) vs. K-State (14-6, 2-5 Big 12)
7:30 pm in Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, Kan.

All-time series: Texas leads 29-7
Last meeting: Texas won 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-19) on Nov. 2, 2012 in Austin, Texas

Series notes: K-State has lost 19 straight matches to Texas ... The last win for the Wildcats against the Longhorns was on Oct. 15, 2003 in Ahearn Field House.