Aug. 27, 2014
Green Bay Notes
Matches #1-3 K-State at the Green Bay Country Inn & Suites Tournament
Friday, August 29 - Saturday, August 30
Location: Green Bay, Wisc.
Arena: Kress Events Center Green Bay (Road Match #1)
Friday, August 29 - 7 pm
Series: First Meeting
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP - Rob Voelker)
Online Audio: www.k-statesports.com, www.1350kman.com South Dakota (Neutral Match #1)
Saturday, August 30 - 10 am
Series: K-State leads, 3-0
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP - Rob Voelker)
Online Audio: www.k-statesports.com, www.1350kman.com Arizona (Neutral Match #2
Saturday, August 30 - 4:30 pm
Series: Arizona leads, 2-0
Online Audio: www.k-statesports.com, www.1350kman.com QUICKS
Redshirt sophomore Katie Brand
was named to the Big 12 Preseason Team as one of two setters
K-State was picked fifth in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll
The Wildcats feature nine newcomers, 14 underclassmen and five seniors
K-State has 11 players with Division I experience, including seven returners and four transfers
The Wildcats are 25-1 (.962) in non-conference regular season matches over the last two years AT A GLANCE
K-State opens its 2014 season with the Green Bay Country Inn & Suites Tournament hosted by Green Bay from Aug. 29-30.
The Wildcats, which return seven letterwinners and feature nine newcomers, are coming off an 18-11 season, including a fifth-place finish in the Big 12 Conference with a 6-10 mark.
Key returnees for the Wildcats include redshirt sophomore setter Katie Brand
, seniors Chelsea Keating (outside hitter) and Taylor Johnson
(middle blocker), and sophomore DS/libero Kersten Kober
. PRESEASON HONORS
Redshirt sophomore Katie Brand
earned preseason honors from the Big 12 Conference coaches for the second year in a row as she was named to the 2014 Big 12 Preseason Team in August.
The setter, who earned Big 12 Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year honors in 2013, was the lone Wildcat recognized on this year's preseason team.
She was one of two setters selected, joined by Oklahoma's Julia Doyle, as well as one of three sophomores honored.
Brand averaged 10.24 assists as a freshman, making her the first Big 12 freshman to average more than 10 assists since 2010, and she was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
She also led all Big 12 setters in kills, blocks and points.
Brand is the first K-State sophomore to be voted to the conference's preseason team since 2011 when Kaitlynn Pelger was tabbed to the team. PRESEASON POLL
K-State was voted to finish fifth in the Big 12 this upcoming season in the Big 12 Preseason Poll.
The Wildcats, who have been picked to finish fifth or higher in each of the last three seasons, finished the 2013 season fifth in the conference with a 6-10 record after being picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll.
The last time K-State was picked to finish lower than fourth was 2011 when the Wildcats were voted to finish eighth. That season, K-State finished fourth in the Big 12 with a 9-7 conference record and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals. WELCOME BACK
K-State's 2014 squad will welcome back seven letterwinners from last year's 18-11 team, including four seniors, one junior and two sophomores.
The seven returners are the Wildcats' fewest since 2010 when K-State returned six letterwinners. The Wildcats went 12-19 (6-14 Big 12) in 2010, a year after going 12-18 (6-14 Big 12).
In 2008, K-State had eight returners, reaching the NCAA Tournament First Round, and in 2007, K-State went 23-9 (14-6 Big 12) after returning seven letterwinners.
From 2011-13, K-State had 10 or more returning letterwinners each season. RETURNING SETTERS
Considered the "quarterback" position on the volleyball court, K-State has fared well when its starting setter from the previous season returns the following year. Katie Brand
, who played in every set last season as a redshirt freshman, returns to K-State at the setter position in 2014.
Under head coach Suzie Fritz
, K-State has had its previous season's starting setter return the following season eight times. In those eight seasons, the Wildcats average 20.1 wins while reaching the NCAA Tournament six times. FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
On the flip side of returning seven letterwinners, K-State has 14 combined freshmen and sophomores on its roster.
The 14 underclassmen, which includes nine freshmen and five sophomores, are the Wildcats' most since 2010.
Since head coach Suzie Fritz
took over the K-State program in 2001, K-State has featured four teams with a double-digit number of freshmen and sophomores: 2004 (11; 20-11 record), 2005 (11; 21-11), 2010 (15; 12-19), and 2011 (10; 22-11). BLOCK IT UP
Taylor Johnson, who opened her 2013 season being selected to the UNLV Invitational All-Tournament Team, led K-State with 116 blocks last season and averaged 1.23 blocks per set in overall matches, the fourth-best mark in the Big 12.
Entering last season, Johnson had 52 career blocks and a career average of 0.88 blocks pet. BLOCK PARTY
Led by Johnson, K-State was one of the Big 12's top blocking teams in 2013.
The Wildcats averaged 2.76 blocks per set in overall matches, which was the second-highest average among Big 12 teams, trailing Texas' 3.05 blocks per set.
K-State's 2.76 blocks were also its highest in a season since 2009 when it averaged 3.0 blocks.
The Wildcats have been among the Big 12 leaders in team blocks per set several times under head coach Suzie Fritz
and associate head coach/defensive coach Jeff Grove, including in the conference's top three in three of the last four seasons. 200 DIG CLUB
Kersten Kober finished the 2013 season with 213 digs, a mark few K-State freshman defensive specialists/liberos have crossed before.
The Southlake, Texas native became the third freshman DS/libero in program history to have 200 or more digs in a season and first since 2004 (Angie Lastra, 493).
Last season, Kober and Katie Brand were the first freshman Wildcats to have 200 digs in a season since Kathleen Ludwig and Caitlyn Donahue crossed the mark in 2009.
Kober's 213 digs last season are also the second-most among returners in 2014, trailing Brand and her 250 digs. NONCON + REGULAR SEASON = SUCCESS
K-State has enjoyed great success in non-conference matches during the regular season over the last two years, going 25-1 (.962) since 2012.
The Wildcats were 13-0 against non-conference opponents during the 2012 regular season (they did lose their NCAA Tournament match against Northern Iowa) while last year, they were 12-1 with the help of a 7-0 start.
Over the last three regular seasons, K-State still holds an impressive non-conference record, going 36-4 (.900).
Of the 36 wins, 21 have been sweeps. Since 2001, under head coach Suzie Fritz, K-State is 107-30 (.781) against non-conference opponents in the regular season. SEASON OPENERS
K-State is 26-14 all-time in season openers.
The Wildcats have won their last two season openers but lost three of their last five.
Under Fritz, K-State is 7-6 in season openers.
Also under Fritz, the Wildcats are 20-14 in season-opening tournaments. FIGHTING FOR FIVE
K-State did not drop a single five-set match in 2013, going 5-0 in such contests.
The Wildcats have won 11 straight five-set matches, dating back to when the streak started on November 5, 2011 vs. Texas A&M.
Since the start of the 2011 season, K-State has won 16 of its last 17 five-set matches, with the only loss occurring on Oct. 29, 2011 at Baylor.
The Wildcats have also not dropped a five-set match at home since September 12, 2009 vs. Purdue, winning 11 straight five-set matches at home. GREEN BAY SERIES
K-State has never faced Green Bay.
The Wildcats are 5-2 all-time against Horizon League opponents.
K-State's last meeting against a Horizon League opponent was in 2012 when it beat Oakland in Manhattan, 3-0. SOUTH DAKOTA SERIES
K-State has never lost to South Dakota, holding a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series.
All three previous meetings have taken place in Manhattan.
The last two wins have been in four sets, with the last being on Sept. 1, 2010 (22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19). ARIZONA SERIES
K-State has lost both of its previous meetings against Arizona, trailing in the series 2-0.
The two programs, however, have not met in 27 years.
Arizona won the last meeting 3-0 (15-3, 15-2, 15-11) on Sept. 11, 1987 in Fort Collins, Colo.
The Wildcats have beaten two of the last three Pac-12 opponents it has faced, including wins at #23 Cal in 2013 and versus Oregon State in Manhattan in 2012.