IRVING, Texas – With the release of the Big 12 Conference Preseason Poll and Awards on Tuesday, Kansas State junior Nataly Korobkova was the top vote getter for the Newcomer of the Year award. The Wildcat squad is picked to finish seventh in the conference by a vote of the league’s head coaches.
Russian native Korobkova (kor-OH-kova), a 6-3 outside hitter, joined the Purple and White during spring 2007 from the State Siberian Technological University. During the spring tournament slate, Korobkova closed out the Great Lakes Spring Invitational with a 39-kill match on .300 hitting.
The Wildcats, who finished the 2006 season 10th in the Big 12 (12-18 overall; 4-16 Big 12), received 54 points in the poll. K-State will return nine letterwinners for the 2007 squad, including six key starters. Co-captaining the team are seniors Angie Lastra, Lauren Rosenthal and Stacey Spiegelberg.
Lastra, the libero out of Carolina, Puerto Rico, led the team in 2006 with 474 digs with a 4.16 average. Rosenthal, a product of San Antonio, Texas, was second behind Lastra in digs after tallying 364 last season to average 3.19. Spiegelberg, an Overland Park, Kan., native, finished her junior campaign with 1415 assists and 45 service aces.
Defending national champion Nebraska received 10 of 11 first-place votes and is picked for the 11th-straight year to win the conference title. The Huskers earned 100 points in the poll, while Texas finished with 91 points and one first-place pick. Missouri (68), Texas A&M (66), Colorado (62) and Iowa State (57) finished ranked ahead of the Wildcats, respectively.
The 2007 Wildcat volleyball season is set to begin with a first serve against Cal Poly at the Best Western Shocker Volleyball Classic hosted by Wichita State in Wichita, Kan., on Fri., Aug. 24th at 5 p.m. The following Tuesday, Kansas State will host their first match of the season as Houston enters the Ahearn Field House to take on the Cats at 6 p.m.
PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Rank Team (First-place Votes) Points
1. Nebraska (10) 100
2. Texas (1) 91
3. Missouri 68
4. Texas A&M 66
5. Colorado 62
6. Iowa State 57
7. Kansas State 54
8. Baylor 42
9. Oklahoma 31
10. Kansas 23
11. Texas Tech 11
– k-statesports.com –