Notes: K-State Makes 15th Trip to NCAA Tournament

First and Second Round Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Quotes


NCAA Tournament - First/Second Round (Seattle Regional)
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Bob Devaney Sports Center

First Round
No. 20 Utah (19-12, 9-11 Pac-12)
Friday, Dec. 5 - 4:30 p.m.
Series: First Meeting
Online Streaming: www.Huskers.com
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP - Rob Voelker)
Online Audio: www.1350kman.com
Live Stats: Here


Hofstra (28-5, 13-3 CAA) vs. No. 11 Nebraska (20-9, 14-6 Big Ten)
Friday, Dec. 5 - 7 p.m.


Second Round
Winner of Match #1 vs. Winner of Match #2
Saturday, Dec. 6 - 7 p.m.

Complete Bracket can be found here.


AT A GLANCE
For the 15th time in program history, K-State will play in the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championships as the Wildcats face No. 20 Utah of the Pac-12 in the First Round in Lincoln, Neb. on Friday, Dec. 5 at 4:30 p.m.
The winner of the K-State vs. Utah match will face the advancing team between host No. 11 (No. 14 seed) Nebraska and Hofstra on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats and Utes have never faced each other while K-State is 1-0 all-time against Hofstra (2011) and 4-80 against the Cornhuskers.
K-State and Utah have two common opponents from this season, Missouri St. and Arizona, with both teams beating Missouri St. in five sets and losing to Arizona (Utah was swept twice).
The Wildcats lost their last two matches of the regular season to finish 9-7 in the Big 12 (fifth) while Utah won seven of its last eight matches (6-0 at home) to end the season tied for seventh in the Pac-12.
Hofstra received the CAA's automatic bid to qualify for the tournament while Nebraska, with a 14-6 conference record, finished fourth in the Big Ten.

TOURNAMENT BOUND
K-State, which returns to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year hiatus, is 14-14 all-time in the NCAA's postseason, including 9-9 under head coach Suzie Fritz.
The Wildcats are 11-3 all-time in the first round of the tournament, with their last win in the opening round occurring on Dec. 1, 2011 vs. Wichita St. (3-0) in Lincoln.
K-State was eliminated from the tournament in its first match the last time it advanced to the postseason as it was swept by Northern Iowa on Nov. 28, 2012.
The Wildcats have advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times in the last four years, with all three trips going to Lincoln.
K-State is 2-1 all-time in Lincoln during the postseason.
The Wildcats are 3-8 all-time in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament (Last: W, 3-2, at No. 2 Nebraska on Dec. 2, 2011).
K-State is 0-3 all-time against Pac-12 teams in the postseason (Last: vs. USC in 2004) and 2-3 against Big Ten teams (never faced CAA team).

NET NEUTRALITY
K-State has gone a combined 13-4 (.765) in road/neutral matches this season, which currently ranks as its best ever record in such matches in program history.
The last time the Wildcats, who are 8-3 in true road matches and 5-1 in neutral contests this year, won 13 road/neutral matches in a single season was in 2008 (13-5, .722).
The 13-5 road/neutral record in 2008 was the previous best in school history.
K-State's most wins in "away" contests for a single season since 1980 is 14, set in 2003 (10-3 road, 4-2 neutral).
The Wildcats' 8-3 (.727) true road record is their best since that 10-3 mark in 2003 and fourth-best in school history.

FOR THE WIN
K-State's 22 wins this season are its most in a regular season since 2008 when the Wildcats were 24-7 (24-8 overall).
The 22 wins are the most overall since 2011 when K-State went 22-11 (20-10 in the regular season).
The Wildcats have posted 10 20-win seasons in 14 years under head coach Suzie Fritz and 20 in school history (15 since 1995).
This year's 22 wins are currently tied for the fourth-most under Fritz (Most: 30, 2003).

FILLING IN THE RANKS
With both Utah and Nebraska ranked in this week's AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, K-State could face up to two nationally ranked opponents after only playing two matches this entire season against top-25 teams.
The Wildcats, who were ranked for five straight weeks earlier this season, are 0-2 against top-25 opponents, with both defeats coming at the hands of now-No. 6 Texas.
K-State, which is receiving votes this week, is 8-16 against top-25 teams since 2011 (7-8 against teams ranked 11-25).
The last time K-State beat a top-25 team was on Nov. 30, 2013 vs. No. 25 Iowa State (3-0).
The Wildcats have not beaten a top-25 team on the road since Sept. 24, 2013 at No. 23 Cal.
This season marks just the third time in K-State's 15 trips to the NCAA Tournament that it is not ranked in the top-25 at the start of the postseason (2011, 1997).

BLOCK IT UP
K-State has been powered by its block for most of the season, helping it hold opponents to a .191 hitting percentage for overall matches (3rd in the Big 12).
The Wildcats' 328.0 blocks this season are their most since 2007 when they had a program-record 357.5 (119 sets).
K-State is 17th in the country in blocks/set (2.90; 2nd in Big 12) and 14th in total blocks.
The Wildcats' current blocks/set average is also their highest since 2007 (3.0).
K-State has double-digit blocks in 17 matches this season, including in its last two matches to end the regular season (18.5 at Oklahoma on Nov. 26 and 14.0 vs. West Virginia on Nov. 29).

BLOCK PARTY
K-State's pair of middle blockers fuel the Wildcat block as All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Natali Jones is 18th in the country in blocks/set (1.41; 2nd in Big 12) while Katie Reininger is 77th (6th in the Big 12).
Jones, who entered this year with 34 career blocks, has 144 blocks this season, which are the most by a Wildcat since 2011 (Alex Muff, 145 in 111 sets).
Reininger's 129 blocks are the fourth-most by a Wildcat in a season over the last five years.
Jones and Reininger are the first K-State teammates to each have 125 blocks in a campaign since Kelsey Chipman (134) and Megan Farr (151) in 2008.
Jones needs two more blocks to enter K-State's all-time top-10 for most blocks in a season (10. Val Wieck, 146 in 1997).
Jones also has two 10+ block matches this season, which makes her just the eighth Wildcat in school history to accomplish that feat and first since Chipman (3) in 2007.

IMPACT FRESHMAN
Big 12 Freshman of the Year Kylee Zumach is leading K-State in kills this season with 406, which are the most ever by a Wildcat freshman and most by any K-State player since 2011.
Zumach had 226 kills in conference-only matches, which are the most by a Big 12 freshman since 2009 (Hannah Werth, Nebraska, 230).
The outside hitter is also hitting .262 so far this year, which is the third-highest hitting percentage ever by a K-State freshman (min. 500 attacks).

QUADRUPLE-TRIPLE CLUB
Redshirt sophomore Katie Brand is the fourth Wildcat ever - and first since 2006 - to join the Quadruple-Triple Club as she has more than 100 in each kills, assists, digs and blocks this season.
Brand is the first sophomore to join the Quadruple-Triple Club in K-State history.
Before Brand, the last Wildcat to post 100+ kills, assists, digs and blocks was Stacey Spiegelberg in 2006.
The other members of the club include Gabby Guerre (2003) and Renee Whitney (1985).
Brand has 1,249 assists, 308 digs, 109 kills and 101 blocks in 113 sets played.

DOUBLE DOUBLE
Katie Brand has registered the most double-doubles this season among Big 12 players, turning in 20 - including one in each of the last four matches.
Brand's 20 double-doubles are tied with Kim Zschau (1997) for the third-most ever in a season in K-State history.
The 20 double-doubles are the most by a K-State sophomore.
Brand has 31 career double-doubles.

NICE DIGS
Sophomore Kersten Kober leads the Wildcats with 405 digs this season.
Kober is the first Wildcat with 400+ digs in a campaign since 2011 (Kuulei Kabalis, 478).
The libero is averaging 3.83 digs/set over her last three matches (46d/12s).
Kober has 17 or more digs in five of her last seven matches while she has double-digit digs in 21 contests this season (6 in 2013).

CARDIAC CATS
K-State has registered eight comeback wins this season (Last: Nov. 15 at Baylor, 3-2).
The eight come-from-behind wins are tied for the most in a single season in program history, a mark that now has been set three times (2008, 2011, 2014).
K-State is 7-5 this season when it drops the first set and 19-0 when it wins the second.
The Wildcats have forced a fifth set when trailing 2-0 three times this year, going 2-1.

ALL-BIG 12 AWARDS
Earlier this week, three Wildcats were recognized for postseason Big 12 awards, including Kylee Zumach, who became the first Wildcat ever to win Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Zumach and Katie Brand were named to the All-Big 12 First Team while Natali Jones was selected as an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
Zumach was a unanimous choice for the conference's freshman of the year (first unanimous since 2011) as well as the All-Big 12 First Team and All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
Brand earned her first career All-Big 12 First Team nod after being named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team last season.
For Jones, who became the fourth K-State player to ever be named national player of the week earlier this season, it was her first career Big 12 postseason accolade. 

POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE
Only three Wildcats on the current roster - Taylor Johnson, Chelsea Keating and Gina Madonia - have postseason experience, combining for 12 NCAA Tournament sets played.
Madonia has played in all four of the Wildcats' postseason matches since 2011, including five of the eight sets in Lincoln in 2011.
Madonia has 2 digs and 1 ace in postseason play.
Keating has 2 career postseason sets played, notching 2 kills, 1 block and 1 dig.
Johnson appeared in one set during K-State's 3-2 win at Nebraska on Dec. 2, 2011. 
The K-State roster features 14 underclassmen and a total of 15 players who have played at least one set this season.

IN THE RPI
K-State finished the regular season as No. 23 in the NCAA's RPI rankings (No. 18 last week).
The Wildcats were one of five Big 12 teams in the RPI's top-25, joined by fellow tournament participants Texas (No. 2), Kansas (No. 11), Iowa St. (No. 15) and Oklahoma (No. 20).
K-State is 12-8 against the RPI's top-100.

UTAH SERIES
This will be the first meeting.