Wildcats Close Season at Texas Tech

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State volleyball closes its season on Saturday as the Wildcats take on Texas Tech on the road at 11:45 a.m. The Red Raiders are seeking their first Big 12 Conference win in 58 matches, and the Wildcats look to send a pair of seniors off with a win in their final match.

Kelsey Chipman and Soriana Pacheco will be playing in their last match as Wildcats and each has left their mark on the program. Pacheco is ninth in career assists, and Chipman is second in career blocks assists and among the top five in career hitting percentage. She also is among the career leaders in block assists in Big 12 history.

In their previous meeting with Texas Tech this season, the Wildcats defeating the Red Raiders 3-1. The win was the ninth straight for the Wildcats over Tech - the longest winning streak in the series.

On The Airwaves
K-State's match against Texas Tech can be heard on KMAN1350 with Rob Voelker calling the action. 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. Live stats will also be available at www.texastech.com.

The Series
This is the 30th meeting between the Wildcats and Red Raiders with K-State holding a 21-8 advantage. The two teams had met four times before the creation of the Big 12 Conference splitting those matches.

In Big 12 action, K-State is 19-6 against Tech and has won nine straight after last falling at home to the Raiders in 2004. That loss snapped a six-match winning streak against Tech after previously losing in 2001 on the road. The win by Tech at Ahearn in 2004 is the only time the Raiders have defeated the Wildcats on their home floor as K-State is 12-1 against Tech at home.

The shorter the match against Tech the better it is for K-State as the Wildcats have never been swept by the Red Raiders. K-State is 10-0 against Tech in three-set matches while holding a 7-3 record in four sets and 4-4 in five.

The Coaches
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).

Texas Tech: Trish Kissiar-Knight (Southwest Missouri State '80) takes over the Texas Tech program this year after a successful career at the juco level. Knight had a 676-170-3 record at Missouri State West Plains.

Scouting the RedRaiders
Texas Tech has lost 58 consecutive Big 12 Conference matches with the last win in conference play for the Red Raiders coming in their conference opener in 2007. Tech has won just three sets in conference play this season. The Red Raiders are 2-26 on the season and lost 21 matches in a row.

The Red Raiders are led by outside hitter Amanda Dowdy with 3.28 kills per set. Dowdy also is digging 1.81 balls a set to assist on the defensive front. Dowdy also competes on the track and field team for Tech in the high jump. Middle blocker Barbara Conceicao is the team's most efficient hitter with a .196 percentage. She is a force at the net blocking 1.23 attacks a set to rank second in the Big 12 in the category. As a team, Tech is hitting .126 while opponents are hitting at a .290 clip.

Catching up with the 'Cats
The Wildcats fell 0-3 to No. 8 Nebraska in their last match, but kept each set close forcing extra points in the first two sets and having opportunities to win those sets only to see the Cornhuskers fight back and get the win. K-State and Nebraska battled back and forth throughout much of the match before Nebraska got the win 32-30, 26-24, 25-22.

In the loss to Nebraska, K-State's defense performed strongly with 17 blocks. The 17 blocks tied for third in school history for most blocks in a three-set match and were the most blocks Nebraska has allowed since Kansas had 17 against the Cornhuskers in 1998. Senior middle blocker Kelsey Chipman played a big part in those blocks with four solo stops and six block assists for the fifth 10-block match of her career.

Three Wildcats continue to move up the record books at K-State as libero Lauren Mathewson cracked the career Top 10 in digs this season and has climbed all the way to fifth with 1,186. Setter Soriana Pacheco has moved closer to eighth in career assists, and Chipman is putting a larger gap on the career block assists list between herself and third place with 457. Pacheco's 2,065 assists are 42 behind Kristin Martin for eighth.

- k-statesports.com -