Nov. 20, 2002
Manhattan, Kan. -
The 19th-ranked Kansas State women's volleyball team tied the 1977 squad for the longest winning streak with their 13th straight win on Wednesday evening, as the Wildcats posted their school-record tying 16th sweep of the season in a 30-20, 30-25, 30-23 win over Oklahoma before 673 fans at Ahearn Field House.
With the win, Kansas State improved to 19-6 on the season and 15-2 in Big 12 Conference play, while Oklahoma dropped to 5-21 overall and 3-15 in league action. The win not only gave the Wildcats' 19 wins for the eighth consecutive season, but it also tied the school record for conference wins (15) set just last season. The victory also assured K-State of at least a tie for second place in the Big 12 standings, which ties the 2000 squad for the highest conference finish in school history.
Kansas State dominated the statistics across the board, totaling 18 more kills (59-41) and 16 more digs (71-55), while outblocking its 14th opponent by a margin of 9-5. The Wildcats were impressive offensively, totaling 59 kills on a .341 hitting percentage with 38 assists and three service aces. The .341 hitting percentage was the second-highest of the season behind the .348 posted against Iowa State on November 2.
Kansas State held its fifth straight opponent to a hitting percentage below .200, as Oklahoma registered just 41 kills on 142 total attacks for a .155 percentage. The Wildcats have now held 17 of their 25 opponents under .200 hitting, including 12 of their 17 league foes. K-State has now won 16 of those 17 matches when holding an opponent under .200 hitting, including 16 in a row.
Junior outside hitter Cari Jensen registered double-digit kills for the 21st time in 25 matches, as she tallied 19 kills on .516 hitting with three digs and three blocks. The hitting percentage was a near-high for Jensen, who hit .520 against Rhode Island her freshman season in 2000. Junior middle blocker Lauren Goehring continued her hot hitting with 14 kills on .500 hitting with a team-best five blocks, which marks the 11th time this season that she has hit over .400 in a contest. Senior outside hitter Jennifer Pollard had eight kills, 13 digs and a team-best two service aces, while sophomore defensive specialist Jami Sleicher added 11 digs.
Sophomore setter Gabby Guerre turned in the first triple-double by a Wildcat in nearly four years, as she posted 11 kills on a zero hitting errors for a .524 hitting percentage with 44 assists and 11 digs. She is the first to accomplish it since Val Wieck did it against Colorado on November 27, 1998 and the first setter since Devon Ryning did it against Colorado on September 30, 1995.
Junior libero Laura Downey-Wallace registered 20 or more digs for the 11th time this season, as she posted a match-high 20 digs on the night. With her 10th dig in the second game, Downey-Wallace broke Kim Zschau's single-season mark for digs with the 456th of the season. She now has 466 on the season, which also ranks as the second-most in a single-season in Big 12 history.
Senior outside hitter Megan O'Connell paced the Oklahoma attack with 13 kills on .333 hitting, while redshirt freshman outside hitter Sheena Werling added nine kills. Sophomore middle blocker Candice Woods tallied eight kills and a team-high four blocks and freshman libero Tara Birkinbine totaled a team-best 11 digs. Senior setter Jessica Barney posted a double-double with 34 assists and 10 digs.
Kansas State returns to Big 12 Conference play on Saturday, November 23, as the Wildcats travel to Austin, Texas, to face Texas (20-7, 11-6 Big 12) beginning at 7 p.m. CST. The Longhorns were the last team to defeat the Wildcats since the start of the 13-match winning streak, as they posted a 30-27, 30-26, 30-16 win on Sept. 28 in Manhattan. In addition to the winning streak, K-State will look to extend its 12-match road conference winning streak, which with a 3-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 31, 2001.