K-State takes on Cal-State in Los Angeles

Records: K-State enters the match with a 19-10 overall record, while Cal-State Northridge is 17-10. USC is 19-5 and College of Charleston is 26-5.

Thursday, December 2
Lyon Center Los Angeles, Calif.

Radio: Thursday's match will broadcast live on Sports Radio 1350 KMAN in Manhattan and online at k-statesports.com at 7 p.m. CT. Brian Smoller will handle the play-by-play.

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

Rankings: Kansas State is ranked 23rd in this week's USA Today/CSTV Top 25 poll. Southern California is ranked eighth, while Cal-State Northridge and College of Charleston are

K-State Coach Suzie Fritz: Fritz (Florida Atlantic ‘94) is in her fourth year at Kansas State and owns a record of 90-32. 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 Wildcats are 1-0 against Cal-State Northridge, 0-1 against Southern Cal and have never faced the College of Charleston.

quick sets

The Wildcats, ranked 23rd in this week's USA TODAY/CSTV Poll, head to Los Angeles, Calif., and the campus of Southern California to face Cal-State Northridge in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats and Matadors will meet Thursday at 5 p.m. PT (7 p.m. CT).The winner of Thursday's match will face the winner of No. 8 Southern California/College of Charleston on Friday at 7 p.m. PT (9 p.m. CT) for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Kansas State in the Postseason - 12-14 overall, 9-8 in NCAA Tournament

Year Tournament Record
1977 AIAW National Tournament 1-4 (Assoc. of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women)

@Provo, Utah
L, Illinois State (6-15, 2-15)
L, Arizona (11-15, 7-15)
L, Houston (12-15, 8-15)
W, Mississippi (15-13, 15-4)
L, Southern California (15-1, 15-1)

1995 NIVC 2-2

(National Invitational Volleyball Championships)

@Kansas City, Mo.
L, Pepperdine (7-15, 6-15, 15-7, 11-15)

W, Drake (15-9, 9-15, 15-12, 15-8)

W, Rice (7-15, 15-8, 15-11, 15-11)
L, Rhode Island (15-10, 6-15, 9-15, 15-2, 13-15)

1996 NCAA Tournament 1-1

@Manhattan, Kan.
W, Cal State Northridge
(15-12, 14-16, 15-11, 15-13)
@Pullman, Wash.
L, Washington State (6-15, 14-16, 12-15)

1997 NCAA Tournament 0-1

@Los Angeles, Calif.
L, #22 San Diego (15-11, 10-15, 7-15, 6-15)

1998 NCAA Tournament 1-1

@Provo, Utah
W, Georgetown (15-9, 15-6, 15-7)
L, #7 Brigham Young (15-6, 15-10, 17-15)

1999 NCAA Tournament 1-1

@Fort Collins, Colo.
W, Louisville (15-1, 15-6, 15-10)
L, #11 Colorado State
(12-15, 15-8, 13-15, 10-15)

2000 NCAA Tournament 2-1

@Malibu, Calif.
W, Loyola-Chicago (15-7, 15-4, 6-15, 15-9)
W, #15 Pepperdine
(19-17, 15-13, 10-15, 15-3)
@Madison, Wis.
L, #4 Wisconsin (3-15, 16-14, 15-10, 15-6)

2001 NCAA Tournament 1-1

@Manhattan, Kan.
W, Arkansas
(30-15, 18-30, 27-30, 30-18, 15-8)
L, #2 Nebraska (25-30, 30-28, 26-30, 30-19)

2002 NCAA Tournament 1-1

@Manhattan, Kan.
W, Michigan (30-26, 30-25, 35-33)
L, #11 Washington State
(30-32, 30-21, 22-30, 29-31)

2003 NCAA Tournament 2-1

@Manhattan, Kan.
W, Ohio (30-17, 30-18, 31-29)
W, Arkansas (30-26, 30-27, 30-21)
@Gainesville, Fla.
L, #11 Penn State (30-12, 27-30, 21-30, 29-31)

quick look at the wildcats

The Wildcats are ranked 23rd nationally this week and are making their ninth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament... K-State has produced at least 19 wins for 10 straight seasons, including 20 wins in five of the last six... Senior Lisa Martin is fourth in the Big 12 in hitting percentage at .362... Senior Vali Hejjas is hitting .283 with 409 kills through 29 matches... Freshman Angie Lastra has collected 10 or more digs in 26 of 29 matches this season, is averaging 4.31 digs per game and leads the Big 12 and is 13th in the nation in service aces with 63 (.59 sapg)... Kansas State is 15th in the nation in blocks, averaging 3.05 per game, led by Lisa Martin's 1.42 bpg average... K-State's .435 hitting percentage against Oklahoma on 11/17 was a season-high and the highest since hitting .545 last season vs. LSU.

quick look at the matadors

Cal-State Northridge, who is riding a three-match win streak, finished 17-10 and in fourth place in the Big West standings heading into the tournament. The Matadors are led by outside hitter Jen Ryan, who leads the team with 570 kills. As a team, the Matadors are hitting .223, are holding opponents to a .215 clip and average 2.01 blocks per game.

four wildcats highlight 2004 all-big 12 awards

Four Kansas State volleyball players highlighted the 2004 All-Big 12 volleyball teams as seniors Gabby Guerre and Vali Hejjas were each named to the first team, while freshman Angie Lastra was named the Big 12 Libero of the Year. Also, senior middle blocker Lisa Martin was named to the league's honorable mention squad. Guerre was named to the first team for the third straight season, Hejjas for the second straight year and Martin earned honorable mention honors for the second straight year as well. Kansas State also brought home the Libero of the Year award for the third straight season as Lastra picked up where Laura Downey-Wallace left off the last two seasons. The category was added to the Big 12 all-conference awards in 2002

hejjas joins 30-kill club

Vali Hejjas became just the sixth player in K-State history to record 30 kills in a match after she collected a career-high 30 in a 3-2 win at Baylor on November 13. The last time a Wildcat had eclipsed 30 kills was Lig Wegner back in 2000.

lastra serving it up

Freshman libero Angie Lastra is currently leading the Big 12 and is 16th in the nation in service aces with 63 (.58 sapg). In the first season of NCAA play in which the libero is allowed to serve, Lastra has moved into the K-State single season record books as her 63 aces are the second-most in school history.

k-state among nation's leaders in attendance After 29 matches, Kansas State is ranked 19th nationally in attendance, averaging 1,453 fans so far at Ahearn Field House. Through 13 home matches, 18,892 fans have come to Ahearn with a season-high 2,647 for the October 30 win over Kansas.

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 .283 with 409 kills, has 34 service aces, 260 digs and 48 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 4.31 digs a game and has collected 10 or more digs in 26 of 29 matches this season. She also leads the team and Big 12 in service aces with 63 (.60 sapg) and is on track to move into the single season school records for aces and digs.

ace in the hole

The Wildcats have been aggressive from behind the service line in 2004 as K-State has collected 208 service aces, tops in the Big 12 Conference, to just 121 for its opponents through 28 matches. Freshman libero Angie Lastra has led the way with 63 of those 208 aces, also tops in the Big 12 Conference.

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 4,876 career assists, including 1,198 so far in 2004. She needs 22 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.

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 113-25 at home and are 63-8 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 fourth in the K-State record books in block assists with 388. She headed into the season with 245 career block assists and has a school-record 143 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 fourth-most efficient hitter this season at .362 and is among the career leaders in hitting percentage as her .325 percentage currently ranks her fifth all-time.

‘cats go on offensive in sweep of sooners

Three Wildcats collected 10 or more kills, led by Vali Hejjas' 13, while Kansas State hit a season-best .435 for the night as the No. 20 ‘Cats cruised to a 30-17, 30-16, 30-22, sweep of Oklahoma on 11/17. Hejjas' 13 kills came on .407 hitting, while sophomore Sandy Werner had 11 kills on .364 hitting and senior Gabby Guerre collected 10 kills on .769 hitting from her setter position. Hejjas has heated up of late as the senior has totaled 60 kills (5.00 kpg) on .390 hitting over the past three matches. Guerre had a big night, narrowly missing both triple and quadruple doubles after collecting 31 assists, seven blocks and six digs. Fellow senior Lisa Martin made her presence known in the middle, finishing with eight kills on .571 hitting with seven blocks.

‘cats fire on all cylinders against buffs

Kansas State hit .326 for the match, led by seniors Vali Hejjas and Lisa Martin, collected 16 total blocks and served up 10 aces as the Wildcats defeated Colorado, 30-21, 30-11, 27-30, 30-19, before 1,007 fans on 11/10 at Ahearn Field House. Hejjas paced the Wildcats with 17 kills on .412 hitting and also collected 10 digs for her sixth double-double of the season, while Martin added 12 kills on .440 hitting with a team-high nine blocks. Four more Wildcats, Agata Rezende, Sandy Werner, Gabby Guerre and Rita Liliom, added six kills on the night. Guerre finished the night with 45 assists, eight digs, two service aces and three blocks to go along with her six kills. Rita Liliom, a freshman middle blocker making just her second start, hit .545 on the night and added seven blocks and three aces.

guerre, wildcats storm past iowa state SSenior Gabby Guerre recorded her first triple-double of the season and fifth of her career and senior Vali Hejjas added 21 kills on .315 hitting as No. 18 Kansas State defeated Iowa State, 30-26, 25-30, 30-20, 30-25, on 11/3 at Hilton Coliseum.

Guerre, who recorded her 10th kill on the night on the final point of the match, finished the night with 10 kills, 11 digs and 48 assists, giving her the fifth triple-double of her career, tying her with Kristin Martin for the school record in career triple feats. Hejjas turned in another solid night, finishing with 21 kills on 54 swings, both season highs. Freshman libero Angie Lastra collected 31 digs, the most in a four-game match this season in the Big 12, as she went over the 30-dig mark for the second time this season.

k-state continues dominance of jayhawks Senior Vali Hejjas had 18 kills, including 12 in the first two games, and Agata Rezende pitched in 10 kills as No. 18 Kansas State swept in-state rival Kansas, 30-20, 30-19, 30-28, before a season-high 2,647 fans on 10/30 at Ahearn Field House. The win for Kansas State was the 20th straight over Kansas in the series as the Wildcats have not lost to the Jayhawks since the 1994 season. Hejjas paced K-State offensively Saturday as she tallied 18 kills on .286 hitting and added six digs. Rezende turned in her 10 kills on .208 hitting but also was a force at the net, finishing with six blocks. Joy Hamlin collected eight blocks and Lisa Martin six as K-State out-blocked Kansas, 15-9. Martin also pitched in seven kills on .333 hitting, while Gabby Guerre had another solid match, finishing with four kills, nine digs, three blocks and 35 assists.

guerre ties career triple-double mark After collecting her first triple-double of the season on 11/3 against Iowa State, Gabby Guerre tied a school record with her fifth career triple-doubles. She tied Kristin Martin, who had five triple-doubles from 1986-1989.

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.

‘cats tame bears in 3-0 sweep

Kansas State collected 11 service aces, led by freshman Angie Lastra's six, and 12.5 total blocks, as the No. 18 Wildcats swept Baylor, 30-22, 30-21, 30-26, on 10/20 at Ahearn Field House for their second straight win. K-State again went on the defensive as, after holding Texas Tech to -.017 hitting on Saturday, the Wildcats forced Baylor into 29 attack errors, including 12.5 K-State blocks, as the Bears were held to .019 hitting on Wednesday. Joy Hamlin led the charge with six blocks, while Lisa Martin had five and Agata Rezende and Sandy Werner each had four.

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, 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.

wildcat block party

So far in 2004, the Wildcats have collected 326 team blocks (3.05 bpg) as a team, compared to just 260 for their opponents. Kansas State has collected 10 or more team blocks in 20 of 29 matches, including a team-high 20 against No. 5 Minnesota. Individually, Lisa Martin (1.42 bpg) and Joy Hamlin (1.38) are both among the Big 12 Conference leaders in blocks.

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.

‘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 a 90-32 overall record and a 62-18 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 three more players from other countries, giving the Wildcats four for 2004. Joining Hejjas this season is RS Agata Rezende, a native of Franca, Brazil, MB Rita Liliom of Budapest, Hungary and DS/OH Angie Lastra from Puerto Rico.

Purple Pride Top Stories