Wildcats Host Cyclones at Home

Alex Muff and JuliAnne Chisholm

Oct. 26, 2010

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State returns home after an extended road trip last week to take on the No. 12 Iowa State Cyclones at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Ahearn Field House. The Wildcats fell to the Cyclones earlier this season on the road when K-State could not get into an offensive rhythm.

This time the Wildcats are looking to avenge a sweep at the hands of Iowa State two weeks ago and to snap a five-match losing streak to the Cyclones. After dominating the series in the Big 12 era, K-State has dropped seven of the last nine to Iowa State. A win on Wednesday would get the Wildcats back on the winning track and give them their first victory over a ranked opponent this season. The Cyclones enter Wednesday’s match on a four-match winning streak after ousting Kansas in three sets Saturday.

Fans can see two of the top liberos in the Big 12 in action during the contest. Senior Lauren Mathewson stands just 10 digs shy of moving past Kim Zschau for second all-time in career digs at K-State 1,579. Two-time Big 12 Libero of the Year Angie Lastra stands in first with more than 2,000 career digs, and she was past by Iowa State’s Ashley Mass last week for most digs in Big 12 history.

Wednesday’s contest will be Caitlyn Donahue Community Night. Fans from Overland Park can get into the match for just $3 when purchasing their tickets in advance online. For more information contact the K-State Ticket Office at 800-221-CATS (2287). Wednesday also will be Candy for Your Costume with fans receiving candy for wearing their Halloween costumes to the match. It also is the last day for students to join Purple Pit.

On The Airwaves
Wednesday’s match can be heard on KMAN 1350 with Brian Smoller calling the action and Rob Voelker assisting the broadcast with color commentary.

Live stats will be available through kstatesports.com for fans wanting to track the action live on the web. Live audio of KMAN’s broadcast will also be provided through kstatesports.com. Free live video streaming also is available.

The Series
Iowa State holds the edge in the all-time series with K-State 41-36 as the Cyclones dominated the series during the 80’s and early-90’s. K-State has won 22 of the 29 meetings in the Big 12 era to cut into Iowa State’s lead. The Cyclones have turned the series around of late winning seven of the last nine against the Wildcats.

The Coaches
Kansas State: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic ’94) is in her 10th year as head coach of the Wildcats she is the winningest coach in the program’s history in terms of wins (192) and is not far off of the best winning percentage in school history as well at .635.

Iowa State: Christy Johnson-Lynch (Nebraska ‘96) is in her sixth year leading the Cyclones and has turned Iowa State into a national powerhouse in short time. She has taken Iowa State to the NCAA Tournament four straight years advancing each year.

Scouting the Cyclones
Despite losing one of their top players to injury in the opening set of the season, the Cyclones are still among the elite teams in the nation currently ranked No. 12 in the latest AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. Outside hitter Victoria Henson has responded to lead Iowa State with 4.35 kills per set ranking first in the Big 12 Conference and 19th in the nation. Henson also is hitting .302 on the year to rank among the top percentages in the league this year. She also averages 2.68 digs a set to make a significant contribution defensively for the Cyclones. Henson is even more impressive in conference play where she is pounding out 4.46 kills a set and digs 2.73 balls a set.

Henson is not alone as one of the top players in the conference on the Cyclones’ squad. Carly Jenson has responded this season with 3.12 kills a set for Iowa State and adds an impressive 2.97 digs along with being the team’s top server.

Jamie Straube is Iowa State’s main force at the net blocking posting 1.03 a set. The middle blocker also is averaging 2.44 kills a set to go with her team-leading .322 hitting percentage. Straube had six kills without an error against K-State in their previous meeting and stuffed four blocks.

The Cyclones have one of the top liberos in the league as well with senior Ashley Mass recently surpassing former Wildcat Angie Lastra for most career digs in Big 12 history. Mass currently averages 4.59 digs a set this season overall and 5.05 in league play.

In their last contest, the Cyclones swept Kansas with three players tallying double digits in kills. Henson led the way with 16 in the sweep and came just one dig shy of a double-double. Straube had 11 kills and five blocks while Jenson posted 10 kills and seven digs. Mass was solid on the back row as well digging 14 balls in the short match. The Cyclones hit .290 as a team for the match compared to KU’s .171. Iowa State is hitting .277 overall this season as a team so far to rank 17th in the nation. The Cyclones also lead the Bi 12 in aces during conference matches averaging 1.27 per set.