MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State, ranked 12th in the nation, will face the Kansas Jayhawks in the first of two home matches this week as the Wildcats look to sweep the series on Wednesday. The second edition of the Sunflower Showdown is set to begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday from Ahearn Field House. K-State handed the Jayhawks a 3-0 loss in the first match between the in-state rivals on Sept. 12th in each teams Big 12 opener.
Both programs survived a five-game road match on Saturday, as the Wildcats defeated Baylor and the Jayhawks found a win against Colorado. K-State was down 2-1 against the Bears but battled to game four and five wins to take the match 3-2 in sets of 28-30, 30-19, 28-30, 31-29, 15-11. Kansas, also down 2-1 after three games, had a similar awakening in the final two games as it won 3-2 in scores of 16-30, 24-30, 30-24, 33-31, 15-11.
Kansas State’s final home match of the season will be on Saturday as the Wildcats face Colorado at 7:30 p.m. on Senior Night. Both matches will be broadcast on 1350 KMAN. Tyler Haines will be calling the play-by-play action for the Kansas State vs. Kansas match that can also be found online at http://www.1350kman.com/ and http://www.kstatesports.com/. Live stats will be posted on Kansas State’s official athletic website, http://www.kstatesports.com/, where a recap can also be found following action.
Kansas State is ranked 12th, its highest rank of the season, for the third straight week... K-State is 7-3 in the last 10 contests with the losses being handed to the Cats from ranked squads and when K-State hit less than .200... K-State has a 9-3 home record while being 5-3 in Big 12 home matches... K-State’s nation-leading ace streak continues and sits at 282 straight matches of at least one service ace... K-State won the first match against Kansas to mark the second-straight victory over the Jayhawks, and 23 in last 25 meetings... The last KSU home win over Kansas was Nov. 25, 2006, in a 3-0 score... K-State’s last loss to rival Kansas was Oct. 11, 2006, in four games... The Wildcats lead the series 57-37-1 and are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings... The Cats are 24-12 when playing KU at home, while Suzie Fritz is 11-2 all-time against the Jayhawks... K-State is 19-1 against unranked teams in 2007... The Cats have held 17 of their last 20 opponents under .250 hitting.
Kansas State Pre-Match Report
The 12th-ranked Wildcats will be playing their final two regular season home matches against the Kansas Jayhawks and Colorado Buffaloes looking to capture the home-and-home series against both of the Big 12 foes. Entering into Wednesday’s match, the Wildcats have won two straight and five of their last six. Kansas and Colorado will mark the final unranked opponents of the regular season and the Wildcats will be looking to continue a win streak against opponents not in the Top 25, as K-State has won 10-straight and is 19-1 on the season versus unranked squads.
The Wildcats have won the last two matches in five, including a come-from-behind win at Baylor when the Bears took a 2-1 lead going into game four. K-State topped host Baylor in scores of 28-30, 30-19, 28-30, 31-29, 15-11.
K-State was led to the victory on the heels of a second 30-dig performance by senior libero Angie Lastra. The product of Carolina, Puerto Rico, matched her career high of 36 digs against the Bears, marking her second 30-dig match in three contests. In addition to her 29 digs from the Wednesday Texas A&M match, Lastra finished with 65 digs on the week and earned the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Week honor.
The Wildcats had four attackers notch double-digit kills and found Rita Liliom convert for the most on the night with 19. She had a hitting percentage of .278 on 54 attempts. One kill behind was junior Jenny Jantsch with a season-high 18 kills. Nataly Korobkova added 16 while Megan Farr had 10. Setting up the attack was Stacey Spiegelberg with 65 assists, her second most of the year.
As Lastra had 36 of K-State’s 92 team digs, two other members had over 10 digs. Lauren Mathewson was second on the team with a career high 16 digs, and Lauren Rosenthal dished out a season-high 15. In blocks, Kelsey Chipman led the way with eight, while Korobkova put back six.
Junior opposite Korobkova leads the Cats through the season in kills, as she has tallied 433 and average 4.46 per game. The native of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, ranks fifth in the Big 12 Conference in kill average and needs 15 kills to enter the top 10 for single-season kills in school history. She also ranks sixth in the conference with an average of 0.35 aces per game, as the Wildcats continue to pace the league as a squad (1.90 sapg).
Liliom is second on the team with 3.54 kills per game after converting for 358 with action in all 101 games. She is ninth in the conference, while also appearing 10th for points per game at 4.03.
Chipman and Farr are third and fourth, respectively, in kills and sit at first and second in blocks for the team. Chipman has 255 kills (2.52 kpg) while pacing K-State in blocks with 148 (1.47 bpg). With 11 solo and 137 assisted, Chipman is second in the conference behind Anna Breyfogle of Baylor (1.56 bpg). Farr ranks fourth in kills for the Cats with 243 and an average of 2.41 per game. She is second with 134 blocks and ranks immediately behind Chipman at third with an average of 1.33 per game.
As K-State leads the conference in service aces, six Wildcats have tallied 25 or more on the year while Spiegelberg, Korobkova and Jantsch are also in the Big 12 top 10. Spiegelberg has 36 to rank fifth, Korobkova is sixth with 34 and Jantsch rounds out the top 10 with 29.
Along with service aces, Spiegelberg leads the K-State squad in assists with 1347 on the year to average 13.34 per game. She ranks third in the conference behind Michelle Moriarty (Texas) and Rachel Holloway (Nebraska). Her number on the year already places Spiegelberg at 10th on the KSU list for assists in a season.
Lastra is near 500 digs on the year as she currently has 491 this season and averages 4.86 per game. She ranks fourth for most digs in a season and looks to pass Laura Downey who is ranked first and second with 558 and 534 digs in a season. Korobkova and Rosenthal each have 176 digs in 2007 to tie for second most on the team.
Scouting Report: Kansas
Kansas at 12-15 on the season is 5-12 in conference play to rank ninth in the conference. The Jayhawks opened the conference slate with a loss at home to Kansas State and won their first Big 12 match two contests later against Missouri 3-2. Following the win over the Tigers, Kansas defeated Texas Tech in a sweep to mark the only consecutive wins the Jayhawks have strung together in Big 12 play. They have gone 3-7 in their last 10 and had a string of six losses through the month of October.
In their last outing, the Jayhawks captured a 3-2 win at Colorado to notch Kansas’ second road conference win. KU finished with four Jayhawks having over 10 kills on the night, including a team-high 17 from Jenna Kaiser. Emily Brown added 15 while Karina Garlington put down 14 and Natalie Uhart had 13. Setting duties were split by Brown and Martincich, as Brown completed a double-double with 41 assists and Martincich dished out 22.
Melissa Manda finished as the only Jayhawk with double figures in digs as she put together 27. Uhart led the team in blocks with five, while Savannah Noyes added four.
Kaiser and Brown are the only members of the team to have over 200 kills on the year. Kaiser leads with a 2.80 average having notched 280 in 100 games for the Jayhawks. Brown has 245 to average 2.43 per game. Both are hitting less that .200 percent, as Kaiser is at .142 and Brown hits .193.
Brown also ranks among the leaders for the Jayhawks in assists, service aces, digs and blocks. She leads the team in assists with 666 and averages 6.59 and is tied for the lead in service aces with 22. She is third in digs with 233 (2.31 dpg) and blocks with 65 (four solo, 61 assisted; 0.64 sapg).
Melissa Manda paces Kansas in digs with 397 to average 3.93 per game. Manda ranks ninth in the conference for digs on a Jayhawk team that is also ninth with an average of 14.57 per game. Natalie Uhart brings in 0.31 service aces per game to sit at eighth in the Big 12 top 10 as KU average 1.40 sapg to rank seventh.