Wildcats Host 'Huskers in Final Home Match
Wildcats Host 'Huskers in Final Home Match
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State volleyball closes its home schedule on Wednesday night as the Wildcats take on rival Nebraska at 7 p.m. at Ahearn Field House. The Cornhuskers enter the contest on a five-match winning streak - all of them sweeps - and ranked No. 8 in the nation. K-State will be sending off two seniors in their final home matches at Ahearn in Kelsey Chipman and Soriana Pacheco. In the Wildcats' first meeting with the Cornhuskers this season, Nebraska got the best of K-State in Lincoln winning in three sets 25-13, 25-19, 25-18.
Wednesday will be Keep the Red Out Night as fans are encouraged to pack Ahearn Field House with purple for the match. The first 100 fans who are not season ticket holders will receive a free "Keep the Red Out" T-shirt. Season ticket holders will be guaranteed a shirt with a separate line for them to claim theirs. This season fans have helped make Ahearn one of the most exciting venues in college volleyball averaging nearly 1,800 fans a match and ranking 22nd in the nation in attendance.
On The Airwaves
K-State's match against Colorado can be heard on KMAN1350 with Brian Smoller calling the action and Rob Voelker assisting with color commentary. It can also be heard on the station's Web site www.kman1350.com.
Live audio and stats will be available through k-statesports.com for fans wanting to track the action live on the web. An audio only feed is through the Wildcat Audio Package.
The Wildcats have defeated the Cornhuskers just three times with their last win over their conference rival coming in 2003 when K-State won both matchups. Nebraska won the first 58 meetings in the series before K-State got its first win in 1999.
Nebraska has been a dominant team at home throughout its history, and K-State is the only team to beat the Cornhuskers on their home floor twice since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1996.
Kansas State: Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic '94) is in her ninth year as head coach of the Wildcats she is the winningest coach in the program's history in terms of wins (182) and winning percentage (.655).
Nebraska: John Cook (San Diego '79) has helped Nebraska maintain its position as one of the elite programs in the nation in his nine years with the program. Cook has taken Nebraska to five NCAA Semifinal appearances and won two national titles.
Scouting the Cornhuskers
The Cornhuskers are ranked among the elite teams in the nation again this year currently standing at No. 8 in the AVCA Top 25 Poll. Nebraska is led by freshman Hannah Werth with 3.17 kills per set as she is also hitting at a .242 clip. Werth contributes big on the defensive end with 2.88 digs a set. She comes from a family with a strong background in athletics. Her brother Jayson plays for the Philadelphia Phillies. Her sister Hillary participates in track and field at UCLA and her mother was a track star at Florida. Her father played for the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals, and her grandfather and an uncle also played baseball in the Major Leagues.
Werth is joined by four teammates in averaging more than 2.25 kills a set with outside hitter Tara Mueller pounding out 2.98 kills a set. Lindsey Licht (2.75), Kori Cooper (2.44) and Brooke Delano (2.32) follow. Delano has thrived in her new role in the starting lineup this season as she is second on the team in hitting percentage at .358 and leads in blocks averaging 1.17 a set. Delano ranks third in Big 12 in conference matches only in blocks.
Sydney Anderson makes the Nebraska offense go averaging 11.38 assists a set to rank second in the Big 12. Libero Kayla Banwarth is averaging 4.86 digs a set to rank second in the league ahead of K-State's Lauren Mathewson. Banwarth has earned two Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week awards this season.
Catching up with the 'Cats
K-State got its fifth Big 12 win of the season on Saturday defeating Colorado in three sets. The Wildcats offense got clicking to hit .280 in the match. Kelsey Chipman led with 12 kills and no errors to hit .444 on Senior Day. Setter Soriana Pacheco also had a strong showing on Senior Day with 36 assists and seven digs.
The Wildcats also had a strong day at the service line with six aces - the most in a three-set match this season. K-State has climbed to fourth in the conference in aces as a team after being near the bottom of the league midway through the season.
Three Wildcats continue to move up the record books at K-State as libero Lauren Mathewson needs one dig to move into fifth in career digs, and setter Soriana Pacheco has moved closer to eighth in career assists. Middle blocker Kelsey Chipman is putting a larger gap on the career block assists list between herself and third place with 451. Pacheco's 2,038 assists are 69 behind Kristin Martin for eighth.
Chisholm Makes the Grade
Junior outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm became the school's fourth Academic All-American this week being selected to ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Volleyball Team. She was chosen on the third team and currently holds a perfect 4.0 GPA in athletic training/pre-medicine.
Chisholm was eligible for the Academic All-America Team after her selection to the first team of the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Team where she was joined by teammate Kelsey Chipman. The pair also made Academic All-Big 12 First Team along with Abby Fay and Lauren Mathewson.- k-statesports.com -