Headlines 2010


Dec. 8, 2010  Kelley Martin signs with Kansas State
According to a story in the Star Local News of McKinney, Texas, Kelley Martin, McKinney Boyd senior libero, signed with the Cats today. Edit: The Manhattan Mercury finally published the good news on Jan. 5.

"The moment I stepped on campus I fell in love with it," Martin said. "I knew that's where I wanted to play." Playing in the Big 12 Conference was a goal for Martin, who said the small-town atmosphere of Manhattan, Kansas was gorgeous and reminded her of downtown McKinney.

We welcome Kelley to the neighborhood!

Nov. 30, 2010  JuliAnne Chisholm: Academic All-American
It was announced today by ESPN and CoSIDA that JuliAnne was named Second Team Academic All-American. This probably has something to do with the fact that she has a 3.97 GPA in pre-medicine. This is an amazing accomplishment, even without the time challenges involved in being a Division I volleyball player. Congratulations to JuliAnne for her tremendous work!
Nov. 29, 2010  Kaitlynn Pelger named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team
The Big 12 Conference announced today that K-State's own Kaitlynn Pelger is one of six on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team. Here's Sports Information's release of the good news. Kaitlynn averaged 2.90 kills per set, and hit .307. She wrapped 2010 with 328 kills, 134 digs and 100 blocks. In Big 12 standings as of today, in all matches played Kaitlynn is 4th in service aces at .29/set, and is 10th in points at 3.69/set. There's no doubt that she will play a major role in our success over the next three seasons.
Nov. 29, 2010  Kaitlynn Pelger named Big 12 Rookie of the Week
Our pals at the Big 12 Conference announced today the selection of freshman middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger as Rookie of the Week! This was for putting the hammer down on the Squawks and the Buffaloes. Quoting the Big 12, "She averaged 4.65 points, 3.80 kills and 1.70 digs, along with a .387 hitting percentage on the week." Sports Information also posted a release on her selection.

Nov. 27, 2010  Senior Night / Farewell to JuliAnne, Lauren and Travis.
Tonight we honored two senior players, JuliAnne Chisholm and Lauren Mathewson, who have had a tremendous impact on our program through all four years. Sports Information reports that JuliAnne finished with 782 kills and 361 digs, and her 3.97 GPA qualified her as the team's third Academic All-American. Lauren, who played much of her career as our libero with chronic knee problems, recorded 1,755 career digs, second only to Angie Lastra, which places her fifth all-time in the Big 12 Conference. Senior Student Manager Travis Upah was also recognized. Travis has served the Cats for several years, and could be found seated beside Coach Fritz to provide real-time stats. The program has been extremely fortunate to have such a loyal and capable assistant.

Tonight's match was close, with scores of 25-22, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25 and 15-7. There were 28 tie scores and 11 lead changes enroute to the Wildcat victory. No doubt Colorado was playing with purpose, as this marked their final match in Big 12 competition. We hope they enjoy their late night commutes home from the West Coast in the future.

Caitlyn Donahue had 50 assists and 14 digs. The high school All-American, who moved to setter in the spring, keeps her teammates upbeat with subtle but really funny antics on the court. We shouldn't delay mentioning Kaitlynn Pelger, who delivered a bunch of offensive firepower tonight... namely 23 points, a couple of service aces, and 18 kills on .469 hitting. In her spare time, she logged 11 digs. JuliAnne Chisholm had 16 kills, hitting a very solid .300. We'll be happy to have her on the women's basketball team. Alex Muff was solid on offense, with 13.5 points and efficient .333 hitting. Lilla Porubek had eight points and five digs. Kathleen Ludwig added seven points and seven digs.

As a team, the Cats hit .199 to CU's .183, and led slightly in blocks, at 10 to eight.

It seems too soon to say goodbye to this season. As of this date, K-State is 14th in the nation in attendance. The students' support was very strong. The upgrades to our wonderful, historic Ahearn Field House were well received. We return a group of very fine athletes. It's awesome to be a fan of K-State Volleyball. The Cats end their 15th season of Big 12 competition in third place all-time in winning percentage. This is something we should be very proud of.

Thanks, Cats, for all your hard work. We'll be thinking of you through spring practice and off-season competition, and will be there with you in 2011!

Nov. 24, 2010  Tenacious Cats spoil KU's senior night.
The Shanty was sold out for Senior Night, and KU meant business tonight. But Associate Head Coach Jeff Grove had advised the Cats to go into the match with a swagger and attitude, and his advice proved to be sound. It's customary here to post photos of players who have standout matches. There isn't enough space.

Set one began with a strong start by the Cats, but KU hung in there, tying the score eight times before a JuliAnne Chisholm block ended the set at 25-23. Kathleen Ludwig and Alex Muff had major parts in setting the tone. The second set was more competitive, as demonstrated by six tie scores plus three lead changes. Kaitlynn Pelger's eight kills, combined with late points from Lilla Porubek, contributed to a 30-28 victory for the Cats.

The Hawks must have been steamed at this point. They had their best hitting percentage in set three (and so did the Cats), but several pesky service errors would prolong the festivities. (The Cats accumulated 12 service errors in the match.) Set three: KU 25, Cats 21. Unfortunately, hitting didn't go as well (.088) for the Cats in the fourth set, leaving KU more successful in sideouts, and a KU comeback, beginning from 15-8. Set four: KU 25, Cats 21.

Enough of this nonsense! K-State went nuts early in set five. Long story short, K-State hit .368 to KU's -.143, and our own senior, JuliAnne Chisholm, made the final point.

There were some tremendous individual performances: Caitlyn Donahue had 57 assists. Kathleen Ludwig hit .333, had a service ace, six digs and 18 points. Lilla Porubek had seven digs, three blocks and 19 points. Alex Muff had an outstanding night, with eight kills, 13 block assists, and a hitting percentage of .389, leading to 14.5 points. Lauren Mathewson had 26 digs. And how about Kaitlynn Pelger! She had 20 kills, hit .326, tossed in a couple of service aces, had six digs, three block assists and 23.5 points!

Thanks for sweeping the Squawks, Cats!

Nov. 20, 2010  Oklahoma slips by K-State
The Cats competed but didn't quite get it done, falling 18-25, 25-18, 16-25, 19-25 in Norman. Lilla Porubek had a big afternoon, contributing 13 kills, seven digs and 14.5 points as the Cats' high scorer. Kaitlynn Pelger hit .286 on the way to nine kills and 11.5 points. JuliAnne Chisholm had 10 points and eight digs, and Kathleen Ludwig had 9.5 points and five digs. Caitlyn Donahue had 39 assists, along with four points. She hit .500, by the way! It was awesome to see middle blocker Kacia Turner in for three sets. She had a career night, with seven points and six kills, hitting .308. As a team, K-State hit .141 to the Okies' .284.
Nov. 16, 2010  Five Cats Named Academic All-Big 12
JuliAnne Chisholm (4.0 GPA), Caitlyn Donahue, Alex Muff and Lauren Mathewson made First Team Academic All-Big 12, as announced by the conference on Nov. 16. Kathleen Ludwig was named to the Second Team. First Team qualifiers must have a 3.2 or better cumulative GPA, or must have attained that level for the past two semesters. Excellent work, as usual, ladies!
Nov. 10, 2010  Cats keep the #5 Huskers on their toes
Nebraska no doubt thought life would be easy after cruising by the Cats in set one, 25-9, outhitting by a whopping .625 to -.037. K-State had had enough of that nonsense, however, and turned it around. In set two, the Cats matched their hitting percentage with Nebraska's, at .217. The Huskers' slipped by the Cats, 27-25, on a slightly higher sideout percentage of 61% to 57%, but the Cats showed themselves that they can play with the best if they minimize mistakes. Set three was another close one in points, at 25-23, but Nebraska outhit by .189 to .071.

Kaitlynn Pelger led the team with 12 points, hitting .263. JuliAnne Chisholm was efficient, hitting .304 and adding 8.5 points. Lilla Porubek had a big night, with 9.5 points and nine kills. Caitlyn Donahue had 29 assists, almost exactly her season average.

The Cats have a favorable schedule for the remainder of the season, with Baylor and Texas A&M (both 6-9, Big 12) up next at home, and ending the Big 12 season with Colorado, 3-13, at home. A road trip to 10-5 OU will be the biggest test, with the last away match vs. KU in the Shanty. Let's get it done!

Nov. 9, 2010  Nebraska's Cook wary of the Wildcats
Chad Purcell quotes John Cook in the Omaha World-Herald, "We have a lot of respect for them. I think Suzie does a great job preparing and coaching that team. They always play really hard against us."

Purcell reports, "Cook doesn't expect Wednesday's meeting with the Wildcats to end the series. He said K-State is one of the Big 12 schools that the Huskers will regularly try to schedule for future nonconference matches."

Nov. 4, 2010  ESPN Academic All-Region Teams Announced
The Big 12 announced today that JuliAnne was named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-District team.

Lauren Mathewson was honored on the third team.

Nov. 3, 2010  Kaitlynn Pelger leads the Cats back to victory
Good things happened in Ahearn tonight, as the Cats hung in for a 3 -1 outcome over Texas Tech. Kaitlynn Pelger led with 18 points, four blocks, five digs and 16 kills, hitting .344. Dakota Kaufman came in second in points, with 13. Alex Muff hit an impressive .571, adding 11 points. Caitlyn Donahue's 45 assists and 10 digs made for a double-double, and even more exciting was that her knee trouble in the last match was nothing long-term. Kathleen Ludwig had nine points.

Amanda Dowdy carried Texas Tech, leading with 22 points and 21 kills. The Red Raiders came in with a new coach, after their coach of two seasons stepped aside with a 5-44 record.

The Cats have a week off before they cross the 40th parallel for the last time, to play that pesky outfit from Lincoln with the inflatable mascot.

Oct. 27, 2010  Cats fall to #12 Iowa State: 25-14, 30-28, 25-15
Iowa State is good. It seemed as if they were digging everything we sent their way. That impression was proven true when I saw the box score. The Cats hit .032, to the Cyclones' .270. Kathleen Ludwig had the best hitting night for K-State, at .158. Landwehr from ISU hit .778, with seven kills. Matlock hit .462, and Straube hit .444. Kathleen Ludwig and Kaitlynn Pelger both contributed 9.5 points for the Cats. Lilla Porubek added eight points.

Setter Caitlyn Donahue hurt a knee in the second set, and only played one or two more rallies. Her status is unknown, but we certainly wish her the very best.

Libero Lauren Mathewson had 18 digs, moving her into second place on the career list with 1,587 digs, passing Kim Zschau, who had 1,578. Angie "Ace" Lastra finished with 2,032 digs.

Oct. 25, 2010  Trish Knight resigns as Coach at Texas Tech
Gerald Myers has announced the resignation of Coach Knight, effective this week. Tech hasn't been able to get any traction over this past five years, going 4-16, 5-15, 1-19, 0-20 and 0-20 in Big 12 competition since 2005. They're currently 3-18 overall, and 1-11 in the Big 12.
Oct. 22, 2010  Cats hang with the #10 Longhorns
In a Friday night match in Austin, K-State competed well with Texas, but as in some recent matches, let the opponents put together too many points near the end of the sets. In set two, there were 15 tie scores and six lead changes, with a final score of 25-23. In the third set, there were five tie scores and four lead changes, with Texas pulling away at the end, 25-19.

JuliAnne Chisholm had a strong night, leading with 12 points on .385 hitting. Kaitlynn Pelger was also efficient, hitting .275, adding nine points. Caitlyn Donahue had 30 assists, right around her season average of 10.13 per set. Texas outhit K-State .330 to .223. Dakota Kaufman added 10 points.

In writing this from the box score, the stat that stands out the most is 1.0 blocks for the Cats, to 7.0 for Texas, who always come in with a height advantage.

#12 Iowa State is up next on Wednesday. Let's all get out and welcome the Cats home. We're #9 nationally in home match attendance, at 2,147, according to John Currie. Our Cats are playing strong opponents close. Let's have a great home crowd to annoy the Cyclones. (It's always great to see All-American Dawn Cady Sullivan back in Ahearn, although she looks better in purple than red.)

Oct. 20, 2010  Baylor: You just never know until you play the match.
K-State played #3 Nebraska (18-1) closer than Baylor (11-10, 4-6 Big 12). The Cats had an off night hitting, at .095. Baylor's sideout percentage was 62%. The Cats' was 47%. Kaitlynn Pelger led with seven kills and 9.5 points.
Oct. 16, 2010  Cats keep Nebraska on their toes
K-State started strong, prompting Nebraska coach John Cook to slam his folder down on the scorer's bench and call time out when the Cats led 6-2. Maybe it was too much to ask for a young Cat team to defeat #3 Nebraska, who would record their 16th straight win, but the Cats weren't intimidated, and made the Huskers work for everything they got. Ultimately NU prevailed, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18.

Alex Muff led the way with the first kill, ending with impressive numbers. She had nine kills and 12 points, hitting .412. Dakota Kaufman had eight points, Kaitlynn Pelger had seven, and Kathleen Ludwig had six points, along with 11 digs. Lauren Mathewson, with 19 digs, moves steadily closer to becoming K-State's all-time digs leader.

Attendance was great again, at 2,547, with not nearly the red we've seen in some years. As Suzie Fritz greeted John Cook during the warm-ups, I noticed Coach Cook pointing over to the student section, apparently congratulating Suzie on the new seating, and the gigantic Powercat banner.

Oct. 2, 2010  Cats 178, Texas A&M 177
What on earth am I talkin' about? Going into this season, K-State led Texas A&M 175-174 in all-time wins in the Big 12 era, keeping us in third place behind NU and UT. This road win is another important step toward keeping those bragging rights. Tonight the Cats swept a fine A&M team that had swept Texas a couple of weeks ago.

Kathleen Ludwig led in hitting percentage at .421, with 15 points, and Kaitlynn Pelger also had 15 points on impressive .370 hitting. Alex Muff had a fine night of hitting, at .417. Dakota Kaufman was efficient, too, adding 9.5 points on .300 hitting. It was Kathleen's first double-double of the season, as she recorded 10 digs, and she also had three of the Cats' seven service aces.

K-State had decisive wins, 25-19, in sets one and two, but A&M wanted no more of that. They were really scrappy in set three, improving their hitting percentage of -0.31 in set two to .209 in set three. The third set had 19 tie scores and seven lead changes, with a final score of 29-27.

Let's not forget our quarterback. Caitlyn Donahue is #3 in the Big 12 in assists at 10.56 per set, and tonight she totaled 36, or 12 per set. Coach Hulsmeyer gave her a shout out after the match for setting up the Cats for success.

Meanwhile tonight, Texas Tech beat KU in Lubbock, marking their first win in a home match in three years! To put this in perspective, here's Tech's record in the Big 12 of late: 2007: 1-19, 2008: 0-20, 2009: 0-20, and 2010: 1-5. KU lost to Texas Tech tonight in five sets. Congratulations to the poultry for helping out our friends to the south!

Sep. 29, 2010  Nice work, fans!

In John Currie's latest letter to fans, he reports that attendance at volleyball home matches is averaging 2,263, good for #9 in the nation. Let's keep it up.

Sep. 28, 2010  Kaitlynn Pelger has a big night vs. UMKC
A couple of hours later, I'm still not sure what took place in tonight's match vs. UMKC. (That stands for University of Missouri's Kangaroo College, by the way.) The Cats squeaked out a set one win, 25-23, then let the next two get away from them, 20-25 and 22-25. This may have had something to do with team hitting of .048, -.071 and .067. In set four the Cats caught fire, improving to .364 hitting, while the sideout percentage improved to 72%, resulting in a 25-11 win. Finally in set five, the Cats turned in .500 hitting, and came from behind late in the set to finish the evening. Through the first three games, it seemed that the Kangaroos were hopping all over the court, digging pretty much everything we threw at them. Ultimately they outdug the Cats, 73-67.

Kaitlynn Pelger saved the day. She had a team and career high 17 kills, hit .519 and recorded 22.5 points. Caitlyn Donahue hurt an ankle in the second set, but came back in good shape in set four, and it appears that she'll be fine for the next match on Saturday. Lauren Mathewson collected 17 digs, moving past the legendary Laura Downey into third place all-time.

The Cats need to go down to College Station and do some damage. Over the years, I've taken pride in the fact that we've held third place in all-time wins in the Big 12 era (1996 though 2010). Today... K-State leads 177-107 to A&M's 176-107. We need to win the head-to-head competition this season, for sure. The Aggies stunned a bunch of people by sweeping Texas on Sept. 16. Go Cats!

Sep. 20, 2010  Big 12 Players of the Week: JuliAnne and Alex
Yesterday I was speculating on which Cat players would be All-Big 12 at the end of the season. JuliAnne and Alex were both on my list.

The Big 12 Conference announced today that JuliAnne is the Offensive Player of the Week, and Alex is Defensive Player of the Week! JuliAnne is currently 1st in kills in Big 12 matches, at 4.86/set. Alex is currently 1st in hitting percentage, at a whopping .567. She's also 1st in blocks, at 2.29/set. Leading the conference in two statistical categories seems pretty amazing to me! Here's the link to my stats page.

Here's the good news from K-State Sports Information.

Sep. 18, 2010  Five #1 standings in the latest Big 12 stats!
Look here!
Sep. 18, 2010  K-State wins in three in Lubbock
The Cats did the expected against Texas Tech, winless in the Big 12 the past two years, but there were some interesting twists to report from this match.

JuliAnne Chisholm contributed a whopping 21 points, with 19 kills. She had a number of clutch plays that kept the Cats in games. Next on the points list was Alex Muff at 11.5. She was extremely efficient, hitting .667! Dakota Kauffman had a fine day, adding eight points on .421 hitting. Lauren Mathewson had 15 digs, with Caitlyn Donahue and Kathleen Ludwig each adding eight.

The third set was bizarre. The Cats had a one-point lead early on, then scored the next 10 of 11 points. Then, on the verge of tying the ribbons on the afternoon, the Cats gave up 10 match points.

Team hitting percentages were all solid: .273, .333 and .289, with the Cats outhitting Tech .296 to .145.

You can understand Suzie Fritz's happiness with the way Cat fans have embraced our team, with 3,160 at the last home match, compared to the 362 Tech drew on a Saturday.

Sep. 15, 2010  Cats pluck the poultry
It was an exciting evening in a toasty Ahearn Field House as our Cats beat KU 3-1, before a rowdy and partisan crowd of 3,160. K-State could do no wrong in the first set. A domination like that in set one is usually a trap, or at least a big-time wake-up call for the opponent. The Cats actually hit better in set two, but a telling statistic is 11 tied scores enroute to a 25-20 win. The poultry kept their composure, and sneaked in a set three win, 25-23.

The fourth set was a real barnburner, with six tied scores and three lead changes, ending in a 31-29 Cat victory. That doesn't tell the entire story. KU led 18-8 when the Cats decided they'd had enough. From that point on, K-State outscored the birds 23-11 to win the set, at one point scoring six straight points. It was an awesome comeback.

I don't think anyone in the crowd had ever seen so many net violations called, as seen in this match. They don't show in the box score, but Dr. Mike Hamilton, second referee, was going nuts with that call, with both teams on the receiving end.

What a night for Alex Muff! She had 12 kills, hit .500 and had nine block assists, contributing 16.5 points. JuliAnne Chisholm had 15 kills, and also added 16.5 points. Kathleen Ludwig was very efficient, hitting .438. Caitlyn Donahue was busy, with 45 assists! Kaitlynn Pelger had 14 points, nine digs and two service aces.

Congratulations to the fans on a fine performance. The players were out and about on campus earlier in the day to promote the match. Students were lined up when the doors opened an hour before the match, and they came to win. I'm sure that those who had their first Ahearn Field House experience got a sense of why it's my favorite place in the entire world. They'll be back. Watch out, Missouri!

Sep. 12, 2010  Cats competing with ranked teams
Suzie Fritz doesn't shy away from strong competition in the non-conference schedule. Here's a look at the scores (with the Cats' game scores listed first.)
  1. #16 UCLA: 24-26, 18-25, 19-25
  2. #5 Hawaii: 16-25, 23-25, 20-25
  3. #22 San Diego: 25-22, 16-25, 22-25, 15-25
  4. #17 Florida State: 25-19, 19-25, 15-25, 11-15
  5. #16 Kentucky: 25-19, 23-25, 16-25, 25-20, 8-15
These are some very respectable game scores for a young team competing with nationally-ranked teams. None of the teams have run away with the match, and yesterday's five games vs. Kentucky on their court, shows that good things are in store for this season. Lauren Mathewson was named to the all-tournament team in Kentucky, with 22 digs!
Aug. 27, 2010  YouTube promo for South Dakota match
JuliAnne Chisholm, Lauren Mathewson, Caitlyn Donahue and Kathleen Ludwig appear in a 23-second YouTube video to promote attendance at the first home match. It's the Cats vs. South Dakota at 7 P.M.
Aug. 16, 2010  Media Day and Purple-White Scrimmage moved
Sports Information announced today that the Volleyball events will be held on Saturday, along with Football Fan Appreciation Day. The media event will be at 5:15, and the scrimmage will begin at 7:00 p.m.
May 2010  The Cats tour Europe
Our team had a memorable trip to Hungary, Slovenia and Italy in early summer. You'll enjoy personal reports from Caitlyn Donahue, Kathleen Ludwig and Alex Muff, including several photo galleries. The Cats got to play vs. the Hungarian Hammer, Rita Liliom.