Wildcats Face Buffaloes on FSN

The Wildcats remain on the road Wednesday night as they take on Colorado at 7:30 p.m. CST with a milestone victory in mind for head coach Suzie Fritz on television. A win by Kansas State would give Fritz more wins than any coach in school history as she is currently tied with Scott Nelson at 168 wins. The match will be broadcast on FSN Rocky Mountain for fans in the region.

Colorado stands in a tie for sixth place in the Big 12 Conference standings and will be looking to add another win over a Top 25 team to its accomplishments this season. The Buffaloes upset Nebraska for the second time in three years in Boulder on October 29. Colorado has not been able to maintain the momentum from that win dropping its last two matches.

The last time these two teams met, the Wildcats got the sweep in Manhattan 25-15, 25-16, 25-19. Megan Farr led the Wildcats in kills in that match with 11. It was one of her more efficient nights of the season as she had just one attack error on 17 attempt for a .588 hitting percentage. K-State hit .387 as a team in the match while the Buffaloes combined to hit .200 in the losing effort. K-State hit over .300 in every set of the match with a high of .500 in the first. The Wildcats followed that with a .310 hitting percentage and closed the door on the Buffaloes hitting .361.

The Series
Colorado holds the edge in the all-time series at 25-19, but K-State has won 15 of the 25 matches since the inception of the Big 12 Conference and eight of the last 12. The Wildcats won both meetings last year and the first in Manhattan this season after dropping both to Colorado in 2006. The longest winning streak for the Wildcats in the series is five matches from 2001-2003. Colorado dominated the series early with winning 14 consecutive matches from 1988-94.

The Coaches
Kansas State: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic 94) is in her eighth season leading the Wildcats. She is attempting to become the winningest coach in school history with her next victory.

Colorado: Pi’i Aiu (Colorado 89) has led the Buffaloes for 11 years and is the program’s winningest coach. He has led Colorado to the NCAA Tournament every year but two in his tenure.

On the Tube
Saturday’s match will be broadcast on FSN Rocky Mountain with Drew Goodman calling the action and Amy Gant contributing on color commentary. Alanna Rizzo will work the broadcast as the sideline reporter.

On the Airwaves
Saturday’s match will be broadcast on 1350 KMAN with Rob Voelker calling the action. Fans can also hear the match on the station’s Web site www.1350kman.com.

On the Web
Live stats for Saturday’s match will be available through www.cubuffs.com.

Scouting the Buffaloes
Colorado has been swept in two straight matches following an upset win over then-No. 2 ranked Nebraska. The Buffaloes handed the Cornhuskers their first Big 12 Conference loss of the season in Boulder on October 29. The Buffaloes have struggled on the road against Kansas and home against Baylor since.

In Saturday’s match against Baylor, the Buffaloes fell 21-25, 19-25, 23-25 as they hit .088 as a team for the match while the Bears combined to hit .262. No Colorado players reached double digits in kills and Baylor was led by Briana Tolbert with 11 kills. The Buffaloes had a total of 25 attack errors in the loss.

Immediately following their win over Nebraska,the Buffaloes traveled to Kansas and fell to the Jayhawks in straight sets. Colorado struggled to put together any offense throughout the match falling 13-25 in the first set and 17-25 in the third. Colorado and KU battled in the second before the Jayhawks got the edge 30-28.

On the year, Colorado has struggled to put together strings of wins. After opening the season 6-0, the Buffaloes have won back-to-back matches just once. That stretch was against Texas Tech and Nebraska. The Buffaloes have hovered around .500 in conference play and are currently tied for sixth with Missouri.

The Buffaloes are led by Alex Buth with 2.87 kills per set. The senior right side hitter has played a big role on the young team this year and tallied five matches with 15 or more kills. She has struggled of late, however, after marking 16 kills against Texas Tech. Buth had just four in the win over Nebraska and tallied six against Kansas and seven against Baylor.

Libero Callie Webster has been strong since missing two matches with an injury. In the five matches since her return, Webster is averaging 4.65 digs per set. She is averaging 3.80 dps for the season and 3.96 in conference matches. She has had five 20-dig matches on the year.

Emilee Sisco and Amber Sutherland have also been major contributors to Colorado’s attack. Sisco is averaging 2.70 kps overall and 2.76 in conference play. Sutherland is pounding out 2.28 kps in her senior year but has struggled lately with lower hitting percentages.

The Buffaloes as a team are hitting .191 and have been held below .100 for a match four times. Two of those matches were against Baylor as the Bears held Colorado to a negative hitting percentage in the match in Waco, Texas.

Catching Up with the Cats
The Wildcats had their four-match winning streak snapped by No. 3 Nebraska on Saturday. Kansas State had won all three matches of its homestand following a come-from-behind win on the road against Baylor before dropping the match to the Cornhuskers.

Against Nebraska, K-State battled closely in the first two sets with opportunities to tie or take the lead late before the Huskers closed the door 25-23, 25-22, 25-17. Rita Liliom again led the Wildcats with 13 kills and Nataly Korobkova was close behind with 12.

The Wildcats opened the contest with Nebraska stronger than any opponent the Cornhuskers have faced all season. K-State hit .548 as a team in the first set with 17 kills on 31 attacks and no errors. It was the highest team hitting percentage an opponent has tallied against Nebraska this season.

But the high hitting percentage was not enough as K-State lost the set and could not overcome the Cornhuskers. Nebraska’s Tara Mueller had a career-high 20 kills in the match and hit .613 with just one attack error on the night.

The loss did not jeopardize the Wildcats’ standing within the conference retaining their three-game lead over Iowa State for third. It did widen the gap between K-State and Texas as the Longhorns defeated the Cyclones on Saturday. K-State is now 2.5 games behind Texas and three back of Nebraska.

The Wildcats went 1-1 last week with a 3-1 win over Oklahoma at home. K-State bested the Sooners with strong showings from Liliom and sophomore libero Lauren Mathewson. Liliom had her ninth double-double of the season with 22 kills and 11 digs. Mathewson tallied her seventh 20-dig match of the season with 27.

K-State remains one of the top teams in the conference statistically ranking in the Top Four in team hitting percentage and kills per set. The Wildcats also have more service aces and blocks than any team in the Big 12.

With their 21-5 record the Wildcats have posted their 17th 20-win season in school history and seventh in Suzie Fritz’s eight seasons at the helm.

Fritz Chasing 169
Kansas State volleyball coach Suzie Fritz is going for the school record in career wins in Saturday’s match. In her eighth season she has tied Scott Nelson with 168 win and is poised to add most career wins to her wrap sheet along with the school’s highest winning percentage. Nelson posted a 168-176-1 record from 1980-90.

This season Fritz notched her 150th career win against UC Irvine at the Nike Portland Invitational. She tied the mark in K-State’s last match against Oklahoma.

During her time as head coach, Fritz has taken the Wildcats to their first conference championship claiming the Big 12 title in 2003. She also has twice been named Big 12 Coach of the Year and was the 2003 Central Region Coach of the Year.