Lady Volleyball--Cats Take on #4 Huskers at Ahearn

Television: Wednesday's match will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest on a tape-delay basis with Ben Boyle and Patti Phillips calling the action. The match will air on Sunday, October 17 at 3 p.m. CT


#16 Kansas State (11-5, 5-2) vs. #4 Nebraska (13-1, 7-0)

Wednesday, October 13
Ahearn Field House
Manhattan, Kan.

First Serve: First serve is set for 7 p.m. inside Ahearn Field House

Television: Wednesday's match will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest on a tape-delay basis with Ben Boyle and Patti Phillips calling the action. The match will air on Sunday, October 17 at 3 p.m. CT.

Radio: Wednesday's match will broadcast live on Sports Radio 1350 KMAN in Manhattan and online at k-statesports.com. Brian Smoller will handle the play-by-play.

Internet: Live Stats will be available at k-statesports.com.

Rankings: Kansas State is ranked 16th in this week's USA Today/CSTV Top 25 poll. Nebraska is ranked fourth.

Records: K-State enters the match with an 11-5 overall record, 5-2 in the Big 12, while Nebraska is 13-1 and 7-0.

K-State Coach Suzie Fritz: Fritz (Florida Atlantic ‘94) is in her fourth year at Kansas State and owns a record of 82-27. The 2002 and 2003 Big 12 Coach of the Year is in her eighth season at K-State after spending her first four years as the program's top assistant.

Series: The Huskers lead the all-time series with the Wildcats, 66-3, but Kansas State is riding a two-match winning streak in the series after sweeping both matches last season.

quick sets

The Wildcats, ranked 16th in this week's USA TODAY/CSTV Poll, will look to get back on the winning track on Wednesday as the No. 4 Huskers of Nebraska visit Ahearn Field House for a 7 p.m. match that will be televised on tape-delay by Fox Sports Midwest.

quick look at the wildcats

The Wildcats are ranked 16th nationally this week... K-State's 21-match home winning streak was snapped on 10/9 after a 3-0 loss to No. 11 Texas... K-State has produced at least 19 wins for nine straight seasons, including 20 wins in each of the last five... Senior Lisa Martin is first in the Big 12 and 10th in the country in hitting percentage at .406... Senior Vali Hejjas is hitting .276 with 207 kills through 16 matches... Freshman Angie Lastra has collected 10 or more digs in 15 of 16 matches this season, is averaging 4.00 digs per game and leads the Big 12 and is 12th in the nation in service aces with 40... Kansas State is 10th in the nation in blocks, averaging 3.10 per game and Joy Hamlin is 30th in the country with her 1.41 bpg average.Kansas State has collected 10 or more service aces in four of its past six matches, all Big 12 contests... K-State has collected 10 or more blocks in 12 of 16 matches this season.

quick look at the huskers

Nebraska heads into Wednesday's match with a 13-1 overall record and tied for first with Texas with a 7-0 mark in Big 12 play. The Huskers are led by freshman Sarah Pavan, who is averaging 4.71 kpg and 1.22 bpg to go along with a .328 hitting percentage. Melissa Elmer leads the team in blocks with a 1.80 bpg average as the Huskers have out-blocked their opponents, 177-88.5 this season.

no. 11 texas snaps 21-match home winning streak Kansas State had no answer for Texas' Mira Topic as the senior outside hitter tallied 25 kills last Saturday night to lead the No. 11 Longhorns to a 30-24, 32-30, 30-23, win over the No. 16 Wildcats before 1,682 fans at Ahearn Field House, snapping Kansas State's 21-match home winning streak. Ironically, K-State's last home loss was a 3-0 setback to the Longhorns back in 2002.

k-state among nation's leaders in attendance After 16 matches, Kansas State is ranked 17th nationally in attendance, averaging 1,371 fans so far at Ahearn Field House. Through five home matches, 8,224 fans have come to Ahearn with a season-high 2,012 against Texas A&M on 9/22.

the hungarian hammer: year two

A year after being named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Vali Hejjas again has established herself as one of the most complete outside hitters in the Big 12 Conference. So far in 2004, Hejjas is hitting .276 with 207 kills, has 22 service aces, 135 digs and 27 total blocks.

lastra making an immediate impact

Freshman libero Angie Lastra has quickly established herself as one of the league's top liberos in just her first season of competition. Lastra is averaging 4.00 digs a game and has collected 10 or more digs in 15 of 16 matches this season. She also leads the team and Big 12 in service aces with 40 (.65 sapg) and is on track to move into the single season school records for service aces and digs.

lastra comes up big in minnesota; named big 12 pow

Lastra became the first-ever libero to be named the Big 12 Player of the Week after a strong showing in four matches at the Diet Coke Classic. Lastra, a freshman from Carolina, Puerto Rico, recorded 84 digs on the week and averaged a whopping 5.69 digs per game against three of the nation's top teams at the Diet Coke Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. Against then-No. 5 Minnesota, who is ranked No. 1 this week, Lastra set a new Wildcat five-game match record with 36 digs and also collected seven service aces on the weekend. She posted 10 or more digs in all four matches for the week and also had two 25-plus dig matches and one 35-plus dig performance.

deja vu, all over again

K-State battled No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Minnesota to the final points at the Diet Coke Classic on 9/9 and 9/10, dropping two close five gamers by the score of 15-13. The Wildcats took 2-1 leads in both matches before falling 13-15 in both fifth games. After the weekend, Minnesota, who knocked off K-State and Florida, moved up to the No. 1 spot in the national rankings.

hejjas hammers competition in houston, named big 12 player of the week

Senior outside hitter Vali Hejjas totalled 58 kills on .358 hitting in four matches last week, leading the Wildcats to a 3-1 start. Hejjas opened up the Houston Tournament with 21 kills, her third career 20-kill match, on a sizzling .529 hitting percentage in a 3-0 win over Maryland. For her efforts, Hejjas was named the Big 12's Player of the Week for the second time in her career.

‘cats strong at the net

So far in 2004, the Wildcats have collected 185.5 team blocks (3.10 bpg) as a team, compared to just 131 for their opponents. Kansas State has collected 10 or more team blocks in 12 of 16 matches, including a team-high 20 against No. 5 Minnesota. Individually, Lisa Martin (1.42 bpg) and Joy Hamlin (1.41) are both among the Big 12 Conference leaders in blocks.

ace in the hole

The Wildcats have been aggressive from behind the service line in 2004 as K-State has collected 112 service aces, tops in the Big 12 Conference, to 64 for its opponents through 16 matches. Freshman libero Angie Lastra has led the way with 40 of those 112 aces.

guerre chasing assist records

Entering her senior season, Gabby Guerre is on pace to become one of the top setters statistically in school history. The Houston, Texas, native currently has 4,326 career assists, including 648 so far in 2004. She needs 572 more to pass Disney Bronnenberg for second place all-time. The all-time career leader is Devon Ryning, who accumulated 5,132 from 1994-1997.

wildcats gunning for record ninth straight postseason berth

Entering the 2004 season, Kansas State has advanced to the NCAA tournament a school-record eight straight seasons. Also, the Wildcats have won at least 19 matches for the past nine seasons, including eight 20-win seasons and last year's 30-win season.

home sweet home

Kansas State finished the 2003 season with a perfect 16-0 record at home for the first time in school history and ran the streak to 21 straight after a win over Iowa State on 10/2. But, No. 11 Texas then snapped the streak on 10/9 with a 3-0 win over the Wildcats at Ahearn Field House. For the past nine seasons, the Wildcats are 108-23 (.801) and are 58-6 since the 2000 season.

martin manning the middle

Senior Lisa Martin, a 2003 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection, will move into a leadership role in 2004 as she will be the main force in the middle after All-American Lauren Goehring's departure. Martin amassed 136 block assists in 2003 and is currently fifth in the K-State record books in block assists with 323. She headed into the season with 245 career block assists and has 78 so far in 2004. Martin has led Kansas State the past two seasons in block assists with 100 back in 2002 and 136 last season. Lisa is also the Big 12's most efficient hitter this season at .406 and is among the career leaders in hitting percentage as her .318 percentage currently ranks her fifth all-time.

k-state opens with 3-0 win over oral roberts 14th-ranked Kansas State opened up the 2004 season with a 3-0 sweep of Oral Roberts, 30-28, 30-23, 30-21, Wednesday night before 1,282 fans at Ahearn Field House and upped its current home winning streak to a record 17 matches. The Wildcats were led Wednesday by senior Michaela Franklin and sophomore Sandy Werner. Franklin, a right-side attacker, came in and propelled Kansas State early with some key kills. The senior finished the night with eight kills on .500 hitting, while Werner, an outside hitter, was the lone Wildcat to tally 10 kills. Werner finished the night with two digs, three blocks and hit .241.

‘cats receive highest preseason ranking

The No. 14 preseason ranking in the 2004 USA Today/CSTV poll is the highest in the history of Kansas State volleyball and marks the sixth straight season that the Wildcats have been present in the poll. Kansas State opened the 1999 season ranked 23rd and was ranked 17th in 2000, 19th in 2001, 22nd in 2002 and 15th last season. Other Big 12 teams making the top 25 were Nebraska (2nd) and Texas A&M (15th). Four other Big 12 teams, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Colorado, received votes in the poll, while four non-conference opponents for the Wildcats checked in the poll as well as Florida was ranked fourth, Minnesota fifth, California 10th and Northern Iowa 21st.
w
ildcats face tough slate in big 12 defense

The defense of the 2003 Big 12 title will not be easy as Kansas State plays one its toughest non-conference and conference schedules in recent years, which includes 13 home matches and 15 matches against 2003 NCAA tournament teams. The Wildcats will open the season September 1 at home when Oral Roberts visits Ahearn Field House for a 7 p.m. match. After facing NCAA tournament teams Maryland and California, along with Houston at the Houston Tournament on September 3-4, the Wildcats will host Wichita State at Ahearn Field House on September 7. The Wildcats finished the 2003 season undefeated at home (16-0) for the first time in school history. On September 9-11, K-State heads to Minnesota for the Diet Coke Invitational where it will square off against two 2003 Final Four teams, Minnesota and Florida, as well as 2003 NCAA tournament qualifier Northern Iowa. The Wildcats open up conference play September 15 at Colorado before hosting North Dakota State in the final non-conference home match on September 16. The ‘Cats will welcome Texas A&M to Manhattan on September 22 in the first conference home match before heading to Missouri on September 25. The month of October will have five home conference matches with Iowa State, Texas, Nebraska, Baylor and Kansas making trips to Ahearn.

k-state returns eight from 2003, welcomes eight newcomers

Though the loss of four key seniors from last season's Big 12 Championship team certainly will be noticeable, the cupboard certainly is not bare for head coach Suzie Fritz and company as eight letterwinners return from a year ago. Among the eight are 2003 Honorable Mention AVCA All-American setter Gabby Guerre, 2003 Big 12 Newcomer of the year Vali Hejjas, an outside hitter and Honorable Mention All-Big 12 middle blocker Lisa Martin. Other players returning that saw playing time a year ago include outside hitters Michaela Franklin, Katie Stanzel and Sandy Werner, middle blocker Joy Hamlin and outside hitter/defensive specialist Jamie Perkins. Also, Fritz and company signed perhaps the largest recruiting class in school history as eight newcomers will join the program in 2004. Among the highlighted newcomers are right side hitter Agata Rezende, a junior college transfer from Western Nebraska, freshman setter Stacey Spiegelberg, who participated in spring practice after graduating high school early and defensive specialists Angie Lastra and Lauren Rosenthal. Also joining the Wildcats are middle blockers Megan Farr and Megan Kroeker, outside hitter Jenny Jantsch and defensive specialist Leslie Townsend.

‘cats successful on the court and in the classroom

For the past three seasons, Kansas State has established itself as not only one of the top volleyball programs in the nation, but in the classroom as well. For the third straight season, Kansas State has finished the regular season ranked in the AVCA Top 25 poll and has received the AVCA/Molten Team Academic Award. The award is given to programs who have at least a 3.3 team grade-point average for the entire school year.

fritz leaving her mark on k-state program

One of the nation's youngest head coaches, Suzie Fritz became the fastest coach in Kansas State school history to reach both 50 and 70 wins and also guided the Wildcats to their first-ever conference title in 2003. Fritz also became the first coach in school history to be named the league's coach of the year for two straight seasons (2002 and 2003). In 2003, Fritz also became the first KSU coach to earn Region Coach of the Year honors. In three-plus seasons, Fritz has compiled an 82-27 overall record and a 54-13 mark in Big 12 play.

internationally speaking

Senior Vali Hejjas was the lone Wildcat last season to hail from another country, but recruiting coordinator Justin Ingram added two more players from other countries, giving the Wildcats four for 2004. Joining Hejjas this season is RS Agata Rezende, a native of Franca, Brazil and DS/OH Angie Lastra from Puerto Rico.

wildcats on the air

Sports Radio 1350 KMAN will once again carry Kansas State volleyball on the radio as Brian Smoller enters his sixth season as the "Voice of the Wildcats." All Big 12 matches and 12 of the 13 home matches in 2004 will be broadcast live on the radio and on the internet at k-statesports.com.

the suzie fritz show

Smoller will once again host the bi-weekly radio show, "Wildcat Volleyball Weekly," on KMAN with head coach Suzie Fritz and selected players. The show will air every other Thursday evening, beginning September 2, from 6:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Sports Radio 1350 KMAN.

new weekly volleyball feature on k-statesports.com

"Killin' Time" is a new addition to k-statesports.com as, each week, a different member of the 2004 volleyball team will take time and share to fans what is happening in the life of Wildcat Volleyball. Senior Lisa Martin, from Hutchinson, Kan., is first to share her thoughts this week.

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