Wildcats and Bears Face Off on Wednesday
Wildcats and Bears Face Off on Wednesday
Nov. 19, 2013
It is the penultimate week of the regular season for K-State volleyball, and the time to push for a bid in the NCAA Tournament is becoming crunched.
The Wildcats are ranked No. 60 in the latest RPI rankings, with two of their remaining opponents ranked No. 21 or higher (No. 1 Texas and No. 21 Iowa State; last Saturday's opponent, KU, is ranked No. 11). The final push, though, begins Wednesday, Nov. 20 against Baylor.
K-State (16-9, 4-8 Big 12) is led offensively by a pair of senior attackers: outside hitter Courtney Traxson and middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger. The two native Kansans have combined for 107 of K-State's 189 kills over the last four matches. Traxson had a career-high 19 against KU while Pelger added 16. For conference-only matches, Pelger and Traxson are averaging 3.51 and 3.09 kills per set, respectively.
In addition to Traxson, setter Katie Brand had a noteworthy performance on Saturday in Lawrence. The redshirt freshman registered 51 assists, a career-high for a four-set match. It was the fourth time this season she had 50 or more assists in a single match. She is also third in the Big 12 with 10.65 assists per set in conference-only matches.
The Wildcats have posted sweeps in each of their last two home matches, helping them improve to 8-2 in Manhattan this season. Home has not been the sticking point, though, for K-State this season. The Wildcats lost to Oklahoma, Texas Tech and West Virginia on the road, but swept all three of the conference foes in the friendly confines of Ahearn Field House.
Enter the Baylor Bears, who beat K-State in four sets in the season's first meeting between the two programs in Waco on Oct. 23. The Wildcats captured the first set, 25-18, by turning in a .333 hitting percentage while holding the Bears to a .000 hitting percentage and forcing them to nine attack errors. Baylor outlasted K-State in the second set, 29-27, to build momentum and beat the Wildcats 25-20 in each of the final two sets.
Baylor is 12-17 this season, including a 4-9 mark in the Big 12. The Bears have lost four of their last five matches and three straight on the road.
Wednesday's match, the second-to-last home match of the Wildcats' season, is set for a 7 pm first serve. Fans can purchase a Wildcat 4 Pack, which includes four general admission tickets and four vouchers for a hot dog, chips and a drink, for $34. The match can be watched on Fox College Sports, broadcasted by K-StateHD.TV. Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Liz Wegner-Busch (analyst) will call the action for television. Also, the match audio will be streamed on k-statesports.com, with Rob Voelker calling the match. Live stats are available at k-statesports.com and Twitter updates will be provided by @kstate_gameday.
Notes: Seniors Tristan McCarty and Kaitlynn Pelger each played in their 426th career set on Saturday, moving them into a tie for 10th place on K-State's all-time career sets played list. The pair of seniors, who have missed a combined 18 sets since the start of their freshman season in 2010, tied Liz Wegner on the list and could move to at least eighth (429 career sets) after Wednesday's match ... Pelger needs four more blocks to tally 100 this season and become the first player in program history to record three Triple-Triple seasons in a career. Pelger recorded 100 or more kills, blocks and digs in 2010 and 2011 ... K-State remains atop the Big 12 leaderboard with 2.78 blocks per set this season. The Wildcats had 14 blocks against Baylor earlier this year ... K-State tied a school-record with nine student-athletes selected to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 team. The Wildcats had the most selections in the conference, a list of K-State student-athletes that included seven First Team selections and five first-time honorees.
More notes here.
Baylor (12-17, 4-9) vs. K-State (16-9, 4-8)
7 pm in Ahearn Field House
All-time series: K-State leads 24-12
Last meeting: Baylor won 3-1 (18-25, 29-27, 25-20, 25-20)
Series notes: K-State has won three of the last five matches in the series ... The Wildcats have also beaten the Bears in two straight matches at home ... K-State is 14-4 against Baylor all-time in Ahearn Field House.