Senior Night to Feature Cats, Buffs Match

MANHATTAN, Kan. - In its final home contest of the regular season, No. 12 Kansas State will honor its three seniors as the Wildcats play host to Colorado on Senior Night this Saturday from Ahearn Field House. Seniors Angie Lastra, Lauren Rosenthal and Stacey Spiegelberg will take to the court against the Buffaloes at 7:30 p.m., while a farewell to the trio will take place following the conclusion of the match. K-State, who is currently 21-5 overall and 13-5 in the Big 12, defeated the Buffs in Boulder, Colo., in the earlier meeting.

Colorado sits with a 6-19 record overall with a 1-16 Big 12 mark and will play after having an idle Wednesday. The last time out for the Buffaloes resulted in a 3-2 loss to Kansas after securing a 2-0 lead on the Jayhawks November 10th. Kansas was also K-State’s last opponent, as the Wildcats earned their 21st victory of the season in a 3-1 win in scores of 21-30, 30-26, 30-14, 30-26.

The 7:30 p.m. Senior Night contest will be broadcast live over the Internet on www.1350kman.com and will be joined in progress following the Kansas State men’s basketball game. For live stats and a complete recap following the contest, please visit www.kstatesports.com.

At Stake
Kansas State is ranked 12th, its highest rank of the season, for the third straight week... K-State is 8-2 in the last 10 contests with the losses being handed to the Cats from ranked squads and when K-State hit less than .200... K-State has a 10-3 home record while being 6-3 in Big 12 home matches... K-State’s nation-leading ace streak continues and sits at 283 straight matches of at least one service ace... K-State won the first match against Colorado to mark the first win in Boulder, Colo., since 2003... The last KSU home win over the Buffaloes was Nov. 16, 2005, in a 3-2 score... K-State lost the series for the first time since 1997 last year, falling at home in three and on the road 3-2... The Buffaloes lead the series 23-17, but K-State has the advantage  in the last 10 meetings being 6-4... The Cats are 8-12 when playing CU at home, while Suzie Fritz is 8-5 all-time against the Buffs... K-State is 20-1 against unranked teams in 2007... The Cats have held 18 of their last 21 opponents under .250 hitting.

Kansas State Pre-Match Report
The Wildcats continue to roll down the home stretch toward the end of their regular season schedule, picking up six wins in the last seven matches. Kansas State, ranked 12th in the country, seems destined for their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 12 years, but has one final home contest against Colorado and on the road  in Austin, Texas, against No. 3 Texas. K-State has gone 8-2 in its last 10 competitions after dropping its first back-to-back matches and only thus far in the 2007 season.
Going into Saturday’s match, the Cats hope to hand a struggling Colorado team its 17th conference loss of the season and pick up their 14th Big 12 win in the process. Overall, K-State will be searching for its 22nd win against Colorado, marking the most wins for a Wildcat squad since the 2003 Big 12 Championship team who went 30-5 on its way to the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals.

Kansas State, who started the conference season with a record for games of 25-12 in 10 matches, has found itself on the court for longer periods as of late. In the second half of conference play, the Cats have a record of 21-12 in games through eight matches. The Wildcats have not played a three-game match since defeating Texas Tech 3-0 on Oct. 31st. Since that time, K-State played three straight five-game matches and went to four with Kansas.

Despite the long events, a number of Wildcats have remained in control to put up big numbers, including senior libero Angie Lastra. The Carolina, Puerto Rico, native puts a larger gap between herself and the rest of the top 10 that occupy KSU’s all-time digs list. With 23 digs against the Jayhawks, Lastra has established herself as one of only two Wildcats to tally over 500 digs on a season. Laura Downey achieved the feat twice, in 2002 with 558 digs and 2003 with 534. Lastra now leads the career digs list by nearly 400 as she has 1,971 to top Kim Zschau’s mark of 1,578.

With 514 digs this season, Lastra averages 4.90 per game and has upped her average after each of the last eight matches. Through 20 matches this season, Lastra sat with 305 digs in 72 games to average 4.24. In the last eight matches alone, the senior has 209 digs in 33 games to average 6.33 dpg. With 514 digs she ranks first in the conference in number and second in average. For Big 12 matches only, Lastra ranks first with 367 digs and a 5.24 average.

Junior Nataly Korobkova has been keeping up with the pace of the longer matches as well, as she continues to lead the team in kills while also providing in aces, digs and blocks. The product of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, has converted for 447 kills while swinging at .240 percent. She averages 4.43 kills per game to rank fifth in the conference, while also sitting at sixth in service aces with 0.34 sapg after tallying 34 in 101 games. With a combination of points from kills, blocks and aces, Korobkova ranks third in the Big 12 in points with a 5.35 average per game.

Senior Stacey Spiegelberg paces the Wildcats in assists and aces, as the Overland Park, Kan., setter ranks in the top 10 in the conference in both. Spiegelberg has dished out 1401 assists this season to average 13.34 and rank third. She is fifth in aces per game with an average of 0.34 after notching a total of 36 this season. She has also notched triple-digits in kills with 106 and digs with 179, marking her second season to be placed among K-State’s Triple-Triple Club.

In blocks, Kelsey Chipman and Megan Farr sit at first and second for the Wildcats and second and third, respectively, in the Big 12. Overall, Chipman has 149 with 12 solo and 137 assisted to average 1.42 per game. With eight blocks versus Kansas, Farr has crept closer to Chipman as she has 142 with 14 solo and 128 assisted to average 1.35 per game.

Scouting Report: Colorado
After Colorado opened the season with two-straight losses, the Buffaloes picked up some wins prior to conference play as they opened Big 12 with a 5-3 record. Since that time, Colorado has struggled with a 1-16 record and sits in a tie for 10th with Texas Tech in league standings.

The Buffaloes sit in the bottom half of the conference in statistical comparison. They have their highest ranking of seventh in hitting percentage as CU hits at .220 this season, while allowing the ninth lowest opponent percentage of .236. While K-State leads the conference with 1.94 service aces per game, the Buffs are eighth with 1.25 sapg. Sitting at ninth in assists and kills, Colorado average 13.46 apg and 14.63 kpg. They average 2.21 blocks per game and 13.81 digs per game to rank 10th.

Callie Webster stands out for the Buffs on the defensive end as she had dished out 426 digs in 99 games. Webster averages 4.30 digs per game to rank fourth in the conference. Schylur Edelman leads the defense in blocks with 99, including 13 solo, to average 1.04 bpg.

Alex Buth and Mallori Gibson lead the squad in kills. Buth has tallied the most with 301 to average 3.04 kpg. Gibson has the highest average with 3.17 per game after converting for 298 in 94 games. Lauren Schaefer has put together 233 this season with an average of 3.11 while hitting at .360, sixth best percentage in the Big 12. Emilee Sisco also averages 3.04 per game.

Kaitlyn Burkett is the Buffs’ primary setter as she has 1,176 assists on the year with an average of 12.00 apg. She is ranked seventh in the Big 12, while K-State’s Stacey Spiegelberg has consistently ranked third this season.

Flashback: at Colorado
K-State Edges CU with 3-2 Victory
Sept. 22, 2007
BOULDER, Colo. Marking the first win in Boulder since 2003, the 16th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats rallied back from a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 over the Colorado Buffaloes. The Wildcats improve to 11-3, 3-1 Big 12 with the 30-24, 24-30, 27-30, 30-27, 15-12 win. Colorado falls to 5-6 on the season and remains winless in the conference.

Two Wildcats finished the night with double-doubles, marking the teams first since Aug. 25th. Sophomore Kelsey Chipman registered 11 blocks (one solo, 10 assisted) and 16 kills in her second career double-double, while Nataly Korobkova tallied her third double-double with 12 kills and 10 blocks and added a match-high four service aces.

Junior Rita Liliom led the Cats in kills for the fifth time in the 2007 season as she converted for 18; she also recorded two service aces. Megan Farr finished with a season-high 15 kills on .394 hitting and also put back eight blocks. Aiding in K-State’s 72 team kills was Stacey Spiegelberg who tallied a season-high 62 assists and continued a streak of 13 matches with at least one ace.

Senior Angie Lastra notched her 23rd match of 20 or more digs as she dished out 20 on the night. Lauren Rosenthal performed well for the back row as she finished with season-high 12 digs.

Losing Lastra
Kansas State will be losing one of the most valuable members of its squad when Angie Lastra finishes her eligibility with the Wildcats this season. The libero is K-State’s all-time digs leader with 1,971, leading the category by nearly 400 digs. As she nears K-State’s record for games played, needing six more to tie for first, the Carolina, Puerto Rico, native leads K-State all-time in 20- and 30-dig matches and is the only Wildcat to have over 400 digs in all four years.

Lastra continued her stellar pace to K-State’s dig records all while playing at outside hitter during 2006 and while earning two Academic All-District and three Academic All-Big 12 accolades. The 2007 team captain also ranks in NCAA history as she is in the top 20 for consecutive games played and is on pace to be one of 16 student-athletes to play in every career game.

Saving a Spot for Spiegelberg
In her four years as a setter for K-State, Stacey Spiegelberg has established herself as one of the Wildcats’ top setters. The Overland Park, Kan., native has reserved several spots in the school record books as she has passed her way to the fourth position in career assists with 4,351 in 363 games. She averages 11.99 assists per game, the third highest average in school history. She has recently placed her 2007 campaign into the top 10 for assists in a season as she has 1,401 in 105 games played in 2007.

The senior has also earned a spot on K-State’s elusive Quadruple-Triple Club with her 2006 year and has twice earned a spot on the Triple-Triple Club, including a recent addition of her 2007 year.

She also ranks in the service aces category, as Spiegelberg is seventh all-time in career aces with 125 in 363 games.

Rosenthal Coming up Rosy
Senior Lauren Rosenthal filled the shoes of Angie Lastra during the 2006 season rather nicely. After appearing in 92 games prior to 2006, the San Antonio, Texas, product played in a career-high 114 games in 2006. She came up big for the Cats as she tallied 364 digs on the season, missing the top-10 list for a year by only 19 digs. She finished with three matches of over 20 digs, including a career-high 24 against Texas on Nov. 15th.

Earning time in the back row this season, the two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection has put up solid numbers in the last two matches. She finished the Baylor match with a season-high 15 kills and followed that with a 14-dig effort against Kansas. She averages 3.22 digs in the last two matches.

Wildcats in Home Finales
Kansas State is 19-14 (.576) in home finales. Head coach Suzie Fritz is a perfect 6-0 in home finales in Ahearn Field House.