No. 15 KSU Hosts Iowa State Saturday

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Only two weeks have passed since Kansas State and Iowa State first met on the court, but the two Big 12 foes will face off again on Sat., Oct. 27th, in Wildcat territory at Ahearn Field House. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. with the 15th-ranked Wildcats (16-6; 8-4 Big 12) battling to maintain fourth-place in the conference over the Cyclones who sit at 13-8 overall, 7-4 in the Big 12.

Both programs survived their latest test with 3-0 victories, as K-State swept Missouri and Iowa State took the match from Texas Tech. In their first match versus each other on October 13th, the Wildcats prevailed in the 3-0 win by scores of 30-24, 30-25, 30-27 on .237 hitting.

Saturday’s contest will be broadcast live on 1350 KMAN as well as online at www.kstatesports.com and www.1350kman.com. Live stats can be followed at www.kstatesports.com, where a complete recap will be posted after 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 7-2 home record with a 3-2 Big 12 record... K-State’s nation-leading ace streak continues and sits at 277 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 Iowa State this year, marking the first in three meetings... The last KSU home win over the Cyclones was Oct. 8, 2005, in a 3-0 sweep... The Wildcats lead the series 36-35 and are 18-2 in the last 20 meetings... K-State is 15-1 against unranked teams in 2007, with lone loss against Oklahoma who was receiving votes at time of contest... KSU is 14-12 in Ahearn against ISU, while head coach Suzie Fritz owns a 11-2 record over the Cyclones... The Cats have held 13 of their last 15 opponents under .250 hitting, including their last four under .200.

Kansas State Pre-Match Report
No. 15 Kansas State bettered their record with a victory on Wednesday over the Missouri Tigers, as the Wildcats are now 16-6 overall and 8-4 in the conference. With a 3-0 win over the Tigers in Columbia, Mo., K-State notched its sixth sweep of a Big 12 opponent this season and third since losing back-to-back matches Oct. 3 and Oct. 6. The Cats enter the match against the unranked Cyclones with a record of 15-1 over programs that are not ranked and possessing the upperhand after defeating the Cyclones 3-0 in Ames, Iowa.

This past Wednesday night, the Wildcats picked up their eighth conference win after handling the Missouri Tigers in three by scores of 30-23, 30-19, 30-27. K-State was elevated to the win with 60 kills and 17 errors on 142 attempts for a hitting percentage of .303. The Tigers were unable to match that performance as they had only 38 kills with 19 errors on 129 attacks to hit at .147 percent. K-State out-performed in other categories, such as assists (57 to MU’s 34), digs (62 to MU’s 58) and blocks (10 to MU’s 7).

Pacing the KSU attack was junior Nataly Korobkova, who notched 23 kills to tie for fifth most in a three-game match in school history. The native of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, finished with .462 hitting while also posting seven digs and four blocks. Rita Liliom put down an additional 13 kills for K-State after hitting .235 on 34 attempts. Kelsey Chipman had 10 kills with one error on 17 attempts for .529 hitting.

Defensive leaders included Angie Lastra, who again had a 20 dig match, her 28th career contest of 20 or more. Four other Wildcats registered over five digs, including seven from both Korobkova and freshman Lauren Mathewson. Chipman and Megan Farr each notched five block assists to tie for a  match-high in the category.

Kansas State as a team has a hitting percentage of .261 through 79 games, ranking fourth in the Big 12 Conference. It allows opponents to hit at .178 with is third lowest among conference competitors. The Wildcats are averaging 16.08 kills per game, fourth in the Big 12. Korobkova and Liliom are both in the top 10 in kills per game with Korobkova at fourth averaging 4.57, while Liliom is ninth with a 3.54 average. Korobkova leads with 343 total kills and has seven-straight matches of 15 or more, including three of over 20. The junior has an average of 4.59 through 44 conference games and is hitting .232. Liliom has notched 280 kills on the year on .239 hitting.

Stacey Spiegelberg is averaging 13.14 assists after tallying 1038 this season. She ranks third in the category while K-State also ranks third with an average of 15.14 per game. The Overland Park, Kan., senior leads the conference in aces per game with an average of 0.44 with 35 on the year. She is a large contributor to the league-leading 2.14 average of the Wildcat squad. Korobkova ranks fifth in the conference with 0.40 sapg, while Jenny Jantsch is listed at eighth after putting down 25 through 73 games (0.34 sapg).

K-State’s career leader in digs, Lastra, also is pacing the Cats through 2007 as she has dished out 354 digs through 79 games to average 4.48. She ranks third in the conference behind Missouri’s Tatum Ailes and Colorado’s Callie Webster. The Wildcats, who were once 10th in the conference as a team, have upped their percentage to 14.51 digs per game to improve to eighth out of the 11 Big 12 schools.

Chipman and Farr lead K-State in blocks, as Chipman has a team-high 118 with nine solo and 109 assisted. She averages 1.49 to sit at second in the conference behind Baylor’s Anna Breyfogle who averages 1.63. Farr is right behind in third place with a 1.41 blocks per game average as the Manhattan, Kan., product has 12 solo and 99 assisted for 111 total. The two power the K-State block that is averaging 3.01 per game to place fourth in the conference.

Scouting Report: Iowa State
When Kansas State last defeated Iowa State, it was the Cyclones’ third consecutive loss as they also fell to Oklahoma and No. 1 Nebraska. Since then, Iowa State has won its last two matches as it won in five over Colorado and swept Texas Tech 3-0. The Cyclones pulled out the come-from-behind win in Boulder as they prevented the Buffaloes from winning their first conference game. ISU won in games of 24-30, 30-24, 25-30, 30-19, 15-13. In Lubbock, the Cyclones handled the Red Raiders by scores of 34-32, 30-15, 30-24.

Against Tech, Iowa State finished with a hitting percentage of .339 on 57 kills and 17 errors through 118 attempts. Four Cyclone attackers finished the night with .300 hitting or better. Lauren Cummings hit .314 to tally a match-high 15 kills. Erin Boeve added a dozen kills with .409 hitting, while Victoria Henson converted for 11 on a .450 hitting clip. The Cyclones held the Texas Tech attack down to .233 hitting with Amy Gandy leading on 14 kills. Ashley Mass and Laura Cady each had double-digit digs with 19 and 10 respectively. Mass, along with Amy Vos, each recorded two service aces on the night, accounting for four of Iowa State’s five.

Other leaders from Iowa State included a match-high in assists from Kaylee Manns, who tallied 46. Boeve put back four block assists, as Manns and Cummings recorded three each.

The Cyclones average .219 hitting on the year, while letting opponents hit .174 (second lowest in the conference) and are led by Jen Malcom in percentage with 181 kills on a .310 clip. In kills, Erin Boeve paces Iowa State with 287 on the year to average .378, eighth in the conference. Leading in assisting duties is Kaylee Manns who has passed for 818 assists  to rank fifth in the Big 12 with her 12.58 assists per game average. As a team, the Cyclones average 14.13 assists per game and 15.40 kills to sit in sixth for both categories.

Iowa State has the highest average of blocks per game of any Big 12 team, as it averages 3.32 per game with 255.5 on the year. Three individuals are in the top 10: Malcom averages 1.36 and is fourth, Boeve is sixth with a 1.24 average, and Diane Kieger ranks eighth averaging 1.22 per game.

ISU is dishing out 16.13 digs per game, fifth best in the conference, while Mass averages 3.88 per game to rank eighth on the individual listing.

Iowa State schedule notes: Cyclones started 1-4 in first five matches of season; they went on to win seven-consecutive matches before falling to then-No. 7 Texas;  won three in a row (Missouri, at Texas Tech, Kansas) before dropping three in a row (at Oklahoma, at Nebraska, Kansas State); currently on a two-match win streak.