Headlines 2013

Feb. 6, 2014  Kylee Zumach is in the house!
Did you know we signed a 6' 4" outside hitter? I didn't, but she graduated high school early, and she's now a Cat!

"I always loved Suzie and the Jeffs," said Kylee. "I came down for one visit with my dad and didn't look anywhere else. I loved it the first time I was here."

Suzie Fritz says, "...at weights the other day, I bet I had three of them [other players] come into my office and tell me about her. She kicked everybody's tail pulling sleds, which is not easy to do. Her work ethic is off the charts. She learns fast and is very eager to learn. We are pretty optimistic about what she is capable of doing moving forward." (official release)

Feb. 6, 2014  Brooke Sassin joins the Cats
I can't find a press release yet, but it seems that Brooke Sassin, a 6' 0" outside hitter, has transferred from Mississippi State. (roster)
Jan. 28, 2014  NCAA Rules Committee recommends modifying net-contact rule
If it happens, this is a long-overdue rules change: The NCAA Women's Volleyball Rules Committee recommended a proposal where players will not be called for a violation if they touch the net, ropes or post outside of the antennae as long as it doesn't interfere with play or is used as a means of support while playing the ball, beginning with the 2014-15 academic year. (link)
Jan. 22, 2014  Sami Flattum doesn't like to lose
Kansas State Volleyball welcomes Sami, a 6' 2" OH from Minnesota, to the program. Here's the release from Sports Information.
Jan. 22, 2014  Smart Cats!
These Volleycats made a 4.000 in fall semester: Courtney Cook, Taylor Johnson, Kersten Kober and Lilla Porubek. (link)
Dec. 14, 2013  Congratulations, graduates.
Sometime today, Tristan McCarty (marketing), Kaitlynn Pelger (family studies) and Courtney Traxson (psychology) will receive their bachelor's degrees, right on time. Best wishes and thanks to all three!
Dec. 8, 2013  Kali Eaken signs as a setter
Kali will be joining the Cats in summer. She has received all kinds of honors this year, including Kansas Volleyball Association (KVA) Class 4A Player of the Year, and AVCA/Under Armour Girls High School All-America First Team. In addition, she led Bishop Miege to the Kansas state championship this year. Here's more from K-State Sports Information.
Dec. 4, 2013  Mike Ahearn Field House: no place like home
I track home match attendance on the main page, based on numbers reported to the NCAA. The Cats drew 26,573 fans in 2013, for #21 in Division I. The Cats were #18 in Division I in average attendance, with 2,214 fans per match. My attendance page shows that 2013 average attendance (2,214) was the highest since at least 1999!

I swiped this paragraph from Sports Information:

"Ahearn Field House has historically proven it is one of the toughest places to play, and the 2013 season was no different. The Wildcats went 10-2 at home, their third straight season with at least 10 home wins, and the 11th time in the last 14 seasons they have posted double-digit victories at home. K-State is 300-156-5 (.651) all-time in Ahearn Field House since playing its first season in the structure back in 1974. In 40 seasons of playing Ahearn Field House, the Wildcats have finished with a winning home record 29 times, including 18 times in the last 20 seasons."

Dec. 4, 2013  Final wrap-up from Sports Information
Our outstanding Sports Information people have released a season recap story, and complete final stats. Be sure to have a look.

Dec. 2, 2013  Kaitlynn Pelger: First Team All-Big 12
Anyone who has been paying attention knew that Kaitlynn Pelger would be named First Team All-Big 12 for the third consecutive year, as announced today by the Big 12 Conference and K-State Sports Information. An AVCA Honorable Mention All-American two times, and Big 12 Player of the Week eight times, Kaitlynn completed her tour of duty for Kansas State at second in Career Points and fourth in Kills. Kaitlynn is one of the most versatile players ever to play for Kansas State, as evidenced by having been selected both Big 12 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week. In her final match, she led in both points and blocks, and in most matches was high on the list on total digs. All this comes a few days after she was named to the Big 12's All-Academic Team. What a tremendous career!

Dec. 2, 2013  Katie Brand: Big 12 All-Freshman Team
Preseason Freshman of the Year Katie Brand was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team today. Katie and Kaitlynn shared the same press releases from the Big 12 Conference and K-State Sports Information. Here are some of her accomplishments, as compiled by Kansas State:

"Brand led all Big 12 freshmen with 10.06 assists per set in conference-only matches, becoming the first Big 12 freshman to average 10 or more assists per set since 2010. The setter also finished ninth among all Big 12 players with 0.26 aces per set in overall matches. She finished the 2013 season with 1,056 assists, 250 digs, 95 kills, 87 blocks, 27 aces and 169 points after playing in all 105 of K-State's sets this season. The blocks, kills and points totals for the native of Grand Island, Nebraska are the most by a K-State setter since 2007. Brand is only the third K-State freshman to have 1,000 assists in a season, and the first since 1998."

Katie will be an outstanding contributor for the Cats over the next three seasons.

Nov. 30, 2013  Kansas State sweeps #25 Iowa State on Senior Night
The Cats have been very good in Ahearn Field House this fall (10-2), with one of the two losses coming to the nation's #1 team. Why not wrap the season with a glorious victory over a solid Iowa State team? 25-21, 25-16, 25-23 sounds good.

The Cats were obviously on a mission tonight, and were playing with excellent focus. From early on in set one, it was clear that the Cats were playing with confidence. There were four lead changes and six tied scores, but it always felt as if the Cats were in control, and even more so in set two.

As you'd expect, K-State's #2 career scorer, Kaitlynn Pelger, led all players with 14 points from 10 kills, an ace and three blocks. She hit .231. Courtney Traxson added 11 points from 11 kills. Chelsea Keating had 7.5 points. Taylor Johnson had seven points from five kills, hitting an awesome .556! In her final match, Dakota Kaufman had six points from six kills. Katie Brand had 26 assists. Kansas State outhit Iowa State .190 to .163. It should be noted that the Cats held the Cyclones to a modest .000 hitting in set two, which sort of accounts for their 37% on sideouts in set two.

On defense, Katie Brand led the Cats with 12 digs! Tristan McCarty, in her final match, had eight digs. Kaitlynn and Kersten Kober had six digs. Kaitlynn led with three blocks. Kansas State outblocked Iowa State, eight to six.

Coach Fritz said, "I thought we played extremely well. We put a lot of pressure on them from the service line. We were very much on task at the net. I thought we got our hands on lots of balls and played tenacious defense, killed it when we needed to. I thought we played well in all phases."

I'll end this write-up with a shout out to Lilla Porubek, who because of a serious injury was only able to play in 13 matches. She came so far to play for the Cats, and contributed tremendously to our success over her four years. I have the greatest respect for her contributions. We'll be seeing her at matches next season, as she plans to stay to pursue a master's degree. Thanks so much, Lilla.

Nov. 29, 2013  Kaitlynn Pelger / The Ultimate Student-Athlete Career
Although I can imagine Kansas State Volleyball without the exceptional Kaitlynn Pelger, I definitely don't want to. She has established herself as one of the program's all-time greats, and she may be Kansas State's most versatile player ever, as she routinely plays every position with ease. Here's the Sports Extra, by Kelly McHugh.
Nov. 27, 2013  TCU sweeps the Cats
Kansas State Volleyball, who sailed through the non-conference season 12-1, journeyed to Fort Worth to play Texas Christian, who were 3-11 in Big 12 play. If the Cats were to win vs. TCU and ISU, and improve to 19-11, the NCAA tournament was a possibility. They made the NCAA field in 2012 with a 21-8 record, and in 2011 with a 20-10 record. One difference is that the RPI on Nov. 25, 2012 was 23, and it currently is 58.

The outcome was 23-25, 21-25, 22-25, a sweep by TCU, leaving the Cats 0-8 on the road in Big 12 play.

Congratulations to Kaitlynn Pelger, who surpassed Kim Zschau tonight for second place on the K-State career Points chart. Kim went on to play on a USA team, and as a professional in sand volleyball for several years. She's now a head volleyball coach in Florida. Kaitlynn will end her career at 4th place in Kills, behind K-State legends Liz Wegner, Kim Zschau and AVCA All-American Dawn Cady (who will coach Iowa State on Saturday).

On offense, Kaitlynn led with 13 points and nine kills. She had two aces. Chelsea Keating was next in points, with nine. Taylor Johnson and Dakota Kaufman had seven points. TCU dominated in offense, hitting .245 to the Cats' .062.

On defense, Kersten Kober led with nine digs, Katie Brand had eight and Kaitlynn had six, along with four block assists. TCU led in digs: 45 to 36. TCU led in blocks: 13 to six.

Nov. 23, 2013  #1 Texas sweeps K-State
The Cats were competitive with Texas in the first two sets, ending with scores of 20-25, 19-25 and 15-25.

Kaitlynn Pelger, now two points from being Kansas State's career points leader, led the team with eight kills and 8.5 points. Chelsea Keating and Taylor Johnson each added eight points, from eight and seven kills. Courtney Traxson had 7.5 points. Katie Brand hit .400, and had 28 assists.

Kaitlynn led the team with eight digs. Tristan McCarty and Katie Brand had five, and Kersten Kober had four. Texas outblocked K-State, 8.5 to four.

Texas was playing in front of a partisan crowd of 4,284. They're currently 4th in Division I in attendance. Khat Bell led with 14.5 points, 13 kills and .667 hitting. Chiaka Ogbogu hit .600. The Horns went nuts in set three, hitting .441 to the Cats' .125, and dominated sideouts at 87% to 54%. For the match, Texas won hitting, .379 to .180.

Nov. 20, 2013  Kansas State sweeps Baylor
K-State was dominant in every aspect of the match tonight, and consistent as well, winning 25-17, 25-17, 25-17. A good crowd of 1,823 witnessed the sweep, considering that women's BB was playing simultaneously.

Beginning with offense, Kaitlynn Pelger led the way, with 13 points, from seven kills, three aces and three blocks. Kaitlynn is now 10½ points away from overtaking Kim Zschau for second place in career points. Oops. I failed to mention that Kaitlynn hit .429! Taylor Johnson had 10.5 points, from eight kills. Courtney Traxson had 9.5 points, also with eight kills. Dakota Kaufman had 8.5 points and seven kills, with .417 hitting. Katie Brand had 7.5 points, had an ace, hit .333 and recorded 25 assists. Chelsea Keating added six points.

As a team, K-State hit a good .242, to Baylor's .074.

In the defense department, Kaitlynn Pelger had six block assists and eight digs. Tristan McCarty led in digs, with 10. Kersten Kober had eight digs. K-State outdug Baylor, 13-6. The Cats also led in blocks, 13 to six. Sideouts were in the Cats' favor, too: 73% to 50%.

Remember to listen to the Cats at 4 p.m. on Saturday, after Football.

Nov. 20, 2013  Cats corner the market on Big 12 academic honors
K-State reported today that Courtney Cook, Kaitlynn Pelger, Lilla Porubek, Courtney Traxson, Gina Madonia, Taylor Johnson and Katie Brand made the All-Big 12 Academic First Team. Dakota Kaufman and Chelsea Keating were selected to the Second Team. Here's a list from the Big 12, who also report: "Kansas State led all teams with nine total honorees, including seven first team selections."
Nov. 16, 2013  Cats lose to the Squawks in four sets
Honestly, I don't know what to make of this, other than 1) the Cats' hitting percentage varied drastically from one set to another, 2) scoring wasn't especially balanced, with Pelger and Traxson doubling all teammates on kills, leaving us pretty predictable, and 3) KU outblocked K-State 13 to 6.5. Set scores were 25-19, 24-26, 14-25 and 18-25.

The Cats started strong, with a nice 25-19 set one victory, which included .333 hitting to the Squawks' .111. In set two, K-State hit an awesome .412 as a team, with a 75% sideout percentage, but KU somehow squeaked out a 26-24 win, hitting .381, with sideouts at 80%. The box score shows 22 tie scores in set two.

Somehow the Cats lost steam over the break. They hit .118 in set three, and allowed KU to hit a ridiculous .533, with an equally ridiculous 85% on sideouts. The set three score was 14-25. In set four, K-State managed only .081 hitting.

Courtney Traxson led on offense with an awesome 20 points, 19 kills and .325 hitting. Kaitlynn Pelger also did great, recording 17.5 points and 16 kills, hitting .281. Dakota Kaufman was very efficient. She added 9.5 points from nine kills, and hit an excellent .350. Katie Brand had a very impressive 51 assists, or 12.75 assists per set. The Big 12 leader in assists, who shall not be named, is averaging 12.24 assists per set.

As shown on my career statistics page, Kaitlynn Pelger now has 1,830.5 career points, and will bypass the legendary Kim Zschau for 2nd place in career points next week.

On defense, Tristan McCarty led with 14 digs, followed by Kersten Kober and Kaitlynn Pelger, each with nine. Blocking was not a strength this evening, and blocks were distributed among several players.

Nov. 11, 2013  Taylor Johnson: Big 12 Player of the Week

Notice that just below, yesterday, I was bragging up Taylor Johnson for leading the Big 12 in blocks. Today the Big 12 Conference announced today that Taylor is Defensive Player of the Week. The Big 12 said,

"Johnson led the Big 12 last week with 2.57 blocks per set, totaling 18 over two matches, including a career-high 10 on Wednesday at Texas Tech. The 10 blocks against the Red Raiders were one shy of tying the Big 12 season-high for blocks in a four-set match. Taylor became the first Wildcat to have double-digit blocks in a match this season. The junior followed up Wednesday's performance with eight blocks against West Virginia on Saturday, which was one shy of tying the Big 12 season-high for blocks in a three-set match. She also helped K-State limit WVU to a -.059 hitting percentage."
Here's the announcement from K-State Sports Information.
Nov. 10, 2013  Taylor Johnson leads the Big 12 in Blocks

Player                    Team     Cl    S  Solo  Asst Total  Avg/S
1.  Johnson, Taylor.....  KSU      JR   39     4    49  53.0   1.36
2.  Bell, Khat..........  UT       JR   30     1    39  40.0   1.33
3.  McCoy, Evyn.........  WVU      JR   32     5    37  42.0   1.31
4.  McLaurin, Sallie....  OU       SR   40     6    46  52.0   1.30
5.  McCage, Molly.......  UT       SO   39     2    46  48.0   1.23
Nov. 10, 2013  Kaitlynn Pelger is 2nd in Big 12 Points

Player                    Team     Cl    S    K  SA  BS  BA Points Avg/S
1.  Eckerman, Haley.....  UT       JR   37  154  15   5  13  180.5  4.88
2.  Pelger, Kaitlynn....  KSU      SR   39  135  12   5  36  170.0  4.36
3.  McLaurin, Sallie....  OU       SR   40  142   2   6  46  173.0  4.32
4.  Anderson, Jordan....  WVU      FR   34  136   3   1   9  144.5  4.25
5.  Webster, Bailey.....  UT       SR   39  145   0   2  19  156.5  4.01
Nov. 9, 2013  Cats strong in all aspects in a sweep of West Virginia
This was one of those nights when everything came together, with set scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-14. It was a good sign in set one when K-State jumped to a 13-2 lead, beginning with seven straight points.

Kaitlynn Pelger, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, had a spectacular night on offense. She led all players with 19.5 points, over 10 points more than any other player. She led with 16 kills, and .619 hitting!! By the way, Pelger moved in 3rd place on the career points chart tonight.

There were other impressive numbers. Chelsea Keating was next, with 8.5 points and excellent .364 hitting. Courtney Traxson got her eight points on extremely efficient .467 hitting. Taylor Johnson and Dakota Kaufman each had seven points. As a team, K-State hit .317, to -.059 for West Virginia. Finally, Katie Brand had a solid 34 assists.

Hitting percentages really tell the story of K-State's domination of this match. Set one: .348 to -.086. Set two: .346 to -.031. Set three: .273 to -.059.

Freshman Kersten Kober had a big night on defense, leading with 12 digs, and Gina Madonia had eight. Tristan McCarty and Katie Brand each had six digs. Taylor Johnson led with eight block assists. Rarely do you see the domination in blocks the Cats had tonight: 13.5 to West Virginia's four.

West Virginia coach Jill Kramer said, "I've always been impressed with the crowd that they draw here and tonight was no different - what a great volleyball environment to play in. We are looking forward to coming back next year."

This match is a good example of why you should never give up, and why fans should always show up. Next up for the Cats is a trip to The Shanty on Nov. 16, to play the Squawks. There is a score to settle with the birds. No mercy!

Nov. 4, 2013  Kaitlynn Pelger Threepeat: Big 12 Player of the Week

The Big 12 Conference announced again today that Kaitlynn Pelger is Offensive Player of the Week. Our pals at the Big 12 said,

"Pelger led the Big 12 in kills and points on the week, recording 5.67 and 7.00, respectively, as the Wildcats defeated Oklahoma for the first time since Nov. 9, 2011, on Sunday evening in Manhattan. Pelger totaled 17 kills on 27 attempts with just four errors for a .481 hitting percentage. The senior also recorded two service aces, five digs and four blocks in K-State's sweep of No. 25 OU."
Here's the announcement from K-State Sports Information.

It occurred to me last night that I was watching a Player-of-the-Week performance, but since we'd only played once in a week, and won't play on Wednesday, I didn't know how that would work. Kaitlynn's performance took care of that. By the way, Pelger (1,784 pts.) will soon bypass Dawn Cady Sullivan (1804 pts.) as #3 in Career Points, and she's at #4 in Career Kills.

Nov. 3, 2013  Cats play the #25 Sooners later than planned (and get a sweep)
The Cats seem to like playing on Sunday. They took K-State to a perfect 4 of 4 victories for the weekend: two basketball, a football and their own win. Starting with offense, Kaitlynn Pelger blew the roof off the old barn tonight, leading all players with 21 points, from 17 kills, a couple of aces and .481 hitting. Courtney Traxson had a very fine outing, with 13.5 points from 13 kills and tremendous .391 hitting. Chelsea Keating contributed 8.5 points, and Dakota Kaufman added seven. As a team, K-State hit a spectacular .441 in the first set, defeating OU, who hit an even better .452. For the match, hitting was Cats .266 and Okies .241. Katie Brand had an impressive 38 assists. Set scores were 25-22, 29-27 and 25-22. See 03:56 of video highlights on .

On defense, K-State outblocked OU 11 to 9. Chelsea Keating led the Cats with 3.5 blocks. I noticed that OU was digging very well. They had 41, to K-State's 39. Katie Brand led our favorite team, with eight digs. Tristan McCarty and Kersten Kober each had seven.

Set three was unexpectly a nailbiter. The Cats had a big lead, to the point that winning the match seemed inevitable, then they proceeded to give up six straights points to the Okies. Fans were delighted to end up at 25-22 for the set, and go home victorious.

Something that stood out to me was the Cats' extra effort to extend rallies. There were all kinds of heroics and death-defying acts in terms of keeping the ball in play. Nice work, Cats!

Oct. 31, 2013  Vali Hejjas reflects on her K-State years.
Here's a nice video on . The Hungarian Hammer was one of the best.
Oct. 26, 2013  Big 12 championship team of 2003 returns!
The 2003 Big 12 champions were invited back for the Oct. 26 match with Texas. I'll never forget being there on Nov. 26, 2003, as the Cats swept Texas A&M to capture sole possession of the Big 12 championship. Yes, that was the year we beat Nebraska twice, including an almost unheard-of defeat on their own court. My 2003 Season Page is archived here, if you'd like a look back. I got a couple of pretty good pictures of our championship team during their recognition. Look in the Photo Gallery.
Oct. 21, 2013  Kaitlynn does it again: Big 12 Player of the Week

The Big 12 Conference announced today that Kaitlynn Pelger is Offensive Player of the Week. She's the only player this season (who knows... maybe ever) to be named both Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week. (See Sept. 23.) I've been writing all season... and Suzie Fritz has been speaking all season... about how versatile Kaitlynn is, as she routinely and effectively plays every position on the court. Well, here you go. Our pals at the Big 12 said,

"Last week, Pelger led the Big 12 in kills per set (5.00) and ranked second in points per set (5.33), while hitting .406 in K-State's one match on the week. She tallied 15 kills on 32 attempts with just two errors, including a .455 third set hitting percentage."
Here's the announcement from K-State Sports Information.
Oct. 19, 2013  Kansas State sweeps Texas Tech
I walked into Ahearn Field House this evening expecting nothing less than a sweep. Mission accomplished... 25-19, 25-19, 25-22.

The Cats have been playing many games close, but needed more offensive output to offset the loss of Lilla Porubek. Tonight they outhit TTU .266 to .175. Kaitlynn Pelger led with 16 points and 15 kills, hitting .406. Dakota Kaufman and Courtney Traxson were second-high in points, with 11 each. Courtney had nine kills. Dakota, who was moved to the right side, had 10 kills. She hit an awesome .450! Chelsea Keating and Taylor Johnson added 7.5 and 7.0 points. The Cats were most effective in set one, hitting .333. Katie Brand was kept very busy. She had 40 assists, averaging 13.3 per set.

Gina Madonia led in digs with 11, followed by Tristan McCarty with 10. As usual, Kaitlynn Pelger was active in the back row. She had eight digs. Blocking was fairly evenly distributed. The Cats outblocked TTU 8.0 to 5.5.

K-State improved to 14-5, leaving Texas Tech at 8-14. K-State is currently #19 in Division I in attendance, at 2,174 per match. This figure was updated two days ago, and doesn't include tonight's season high of 3,113. Baylor (9-13, 1-5) is up next.

Oct. 12, 2013  Hall-of-Famer Lauren Goehring
It was great to have the chance this morning to congratulate First-Team All-American Lauren Goehring on her addition to the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame. On November 22, 2003 at 3:27 p.m., K-State Volleyball won a piece of the Big 12 championship, and on the evening of November 26, while K-State Football was winning their first Big 12 champsionhip, K-State Volleyball defeated Texas A&M to go 14-0 at home, and take sole possession of the conference championship. The Cats would make the Sweet Sixteen, and finish 2003 with a record of 30-5. Lauren was named Big 12 Player of the Year for her accomplishments as our middle blocker, including hitting .409 for the season!
Oct. 4, 2013  Cats defeat TCU in five sets
"Breathe, believe and battle" is the team's focus this season. Believing and battling came into play for sure in this match against the determined Frogs.

K-State had a pretty solid first set, hitting .242 to TCU's .030, and 64% sideouts to 51%, with a final score of 25-20. The tables were turned in set two, as the amphibians' hitting shot up to .333, to the Cats' .073, with a set two score of 21-25. The Cats struggled in set three as well, hitting slightly better at .173, compared to TCU's .310, but duplicating the score of 21-25.

The Cats had had enough. Set four was still a battle, but hitting improved to .250 to .096, resulting in a 25-21 win. Finding success again seemed to provide some needed confidence going into set five. The Cats hit .444 to TCU's .000, and sealed the deal with a 15-7 win, improving the season record to 13-3 (1-2 Big 12).

There was pretty good balance in scoring. Kaitlynn Pelger led the match with 27.5 points and 23 kills. Taylor Johnson had a great night, with 20 points on .441 hitting. She had 18 kills. Courtney Traxson had 16 points and 15 kills, and Dakota Kaufman had 11.5 points. Katie Brand had an impressive 59 assists.

On defense, Katie Brand and Gina Madonia each had 15 digs, followed closely by Tristan McCarty, who had 14. Kaitlynn Pelger had 11 digs, and Kersten Kober had 10. Taylor Johnson led in blocks, with four, and Kaitlynn Pelger had 3.5. TCU surpassed the Cats on blocks, 15.5 to 11.

The timing of this win was awesome, as football had a heartbreaker four-point loss to Okie State a few hours earlier, and a third straight Big 12 loss would have to be demoralizing for the team. Thanks for the win, Cats!

Sep. 23, 2013  Kaitlynn Pelger: Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
The Big 12 has announced Kaitlynn's selection as Player of the Week, recognizing her second-place ranking in blocks and 10th-place ranking in digs last week. As reported below, in the sweep of Arkansas she had 10 digs and nine block assists. No matter where she is on the floor, she contributes! Here's K-State's report.
Sep. 23, 2013  Kansas State: one notch from being ranked
Today's AVCA poll moved Kansas State to the top RV position, meaning we're ranked #26 nationally. This has become annoying. The Cats' 12-1 record is exceeded by only one ranked team: #13 Ohio State, and is equaled by only one team: #9 Minnesota. Meanwhile, Illinois hangs in there at 4-6, Iowa State's in at 6-4, and five schools with seven wins are ranked. We probably don't have the highest strength of schedule, because we haven't tangled with Penn State, but we've defeated some very good teams.
Sep. 22, 2013  Cats drop by Springfield to secure Suzie's 250th victory
It was the fifth sweep of the young season, as our Cats defeated Missouri State 25-17, 25-21, 25-17 enroute home from Fayetteville.

Kaitlynn Pelger and Taylor Johnson had 14.5 points each. Kaitlynn had 10 kills, hitting .435. Taylor had nine kills, and hit .438. Lilla Porubek was productive, as usual, with seven kills and 11 points. Katie Brand was next with six points, but tonight her points came primarily from blocks. Suzie's emphasis on effective serving continues. The team had six aces, with two each from Tristan McCarty and Lilla.

K-State outblocked Missouri State an impressive 15.5 to 6.0, and was led by Katie Brand's eight block assists. Well, actually, Taylor Johson led with seven block assists + one single block, so it was 4.5 to 4.0. In other defensive news... yes, you guessed it: Kaitlynn led with 10 digs, and Katie had eight. Tristan and Lilla each had five.

The Cats return to MHK with a very impressive 12-1 record. They're overdue for an AVCA ranking tomorrow. I think one of the reasons they have only been RV is that their scoring, blocking and various stats have been distributed among the team, and individuals are not showing up in the Big 12 and NCAA records.

We're all invited to Ahearn Tuesday evening to see how Italians play volleyball. Thanks for an excellent start to the season, Cats, and congratulations, Suzie, for the milestone win and a tremendous career.

Sep. 21, 2013  Lilla Porubek takes MVP honors as the Cats defeat St. Louis
Another Cat's coming home with an MVP trophy, as Lilla Porubek's 17.5 points gave K-State the edge over a determined St. Louis team in the abbreviated Arkansas invitational.

Lilla led with 15 kills in the four-set match, hitting an impressive .394. Courtney Traxson was awesome, too, with 16.5 points from 14 kills and .448 hitting! She made the all-invitational team along with Kaitlynn Pelger, who had 10 kills for 12 points. Kaitlynn also led the team with 15 digs! She continues to be an extremely versatile player.

Katie Brand, as usual, was a major contributor. When not busy collecting 43 assists, she added five digs, 2.5 blocks and a record-tying six aces. She finished with 11.5 points.

Along with Kaitlynn's 15 digs, there were several major players on defense. Kersten Kober had nine digs, and Tristan McCarty and Lilla each had eight. Blocking was shared by several players. It should be noted that Tristan added three aces to the team's total of 12.

This match will serve as a learning experience. Game scores were 25-19, 25-11, 20-25 and 29-27. As often happens when one team demolishes another in a set, there was a slip in set three, following the 25-11 win. St. Louis, plagued by mistakes in set two, improved their sideouts from 28% to 65%. While K-State's sideouts remained steady from set two to three, their hitting percentage dropped from .478 to .250. It was a combination of St. Louis reducing errors, and the Cats maybe letting up on the gas in set three.

It's a slight detour on the way home, as K-State meets Missouri State (or whatever they're calling their school this week) on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Sep. 20, 2013  Kansas State sweeps Arkansas in Fayetteville
I was surprised to see that we had not met Arkansas since 2007. I think what misled me was that we often play Arkansas during spring practice. K-State now leads the series, 6-1 after tonight's 25-23, 25-18, 25-17 sweep, which began with a slow start in set one.

Kaitlynn Pelger led the team with 13.5 points. Her seven kills, two aces and .294 hitting were solid, but it should be noted that 4.5 of her points came from an awesome nine block assists. Dakota was next in points, with 11.5. She led in kills, with nine, hitting at a sound .263. Third in scoring was Courtney Traxson, with eight points. She hit .308. Lilla Porubek had five points. Katie Brand had 4.5 points, from .444 hitting. Natali Jones played in one set, and made herself known once again, with 3.5 points and .600 hitting!

Kaitlynn Pelger, who can do it all, led in defense with 10 digs. Again, she had nine block assists. Tristan McCarty, Katie Brand and Lilla Porubek each contributed eight digs.

K-State dominated in the stats. The Cats hit .247, to .060 by Arkansas. The Cats outblocked Arkansas 11.5 to 5.0. Sideout percentages were 69% for K-State to 54% for Arkansas. I expect that St. Louis, our opponent for tomorrow, are a bit nervous this evening. K-State is now 10-1, and Arkansas is 6-4.

First serve for Saturday has been moved up to noon.

Sep. 16, 2013  Katie Brand: Big 12 Rookie 'o the Week
The head office noticed the excellent week our preseason Freshman of the Year had. Here's their announcement of this well-deserved recognition.

In the Cal Berkeley match, Katie hit .222, had 50 assists, one ace, 13 digs and eight points. In the Cal Poly match, she hit .417, had 49 assists, two aces, 14 digs and 8.5 points.

Our fans are very happy that Suzie lured Katie out of Nebraska to be a Cat.

Sep. 16, 2013  Come on, AVCA...
The Cats (9-1) are still just receiving votes (40) in today's AVCA poll. Meanwhile, Iowa State (5-4) is #25, Texas (5-2) is #6 and Illinois, at a mediocre 4-4, is ranked #16.
Sep. 14, 2013  K-State defeats #23 Cal Berkeley, 3 - 2
I was smiling big-time tonight, walking into Bill Snyder Family Stadium minutes after the Cats beat Cal Berkeley on their court. Brian Smoller announced the win about five times during his football updates. I listened to the match on , while KMAN was occupied with the Football pregame.

Volleyball is a big deal in California, and Cal Berkeley just got ranked. Furthermore, through their first six matches, they had not lost a set.

Set one was not our best. The Cats hit a modest .143, with sideouts at 47%. Meanwhile, Cal hit .367, with sideouts at 75%. The set ended at 16-25. Coach Fritz reported having a little talk with the team afterward, and obviously they responded, following with two scores of 25-22.

On offense, Kaitlynn Pelger hit .308 for 19 points. Taylor Johnson had another fine match, leading in hitting at .333 and adding 14.5 points. Dakota Kaufman also had another strong outing, with 12 kills and 13.5 points. The Cats recorded five service aces, and have at least one in each match this season. Tonight, Tristan McCarty contributed four aces. Katie Brand had 50 assists, and Kaitlynn had six.

Tristan McCarty led on defense with 19 digs, assisted by Kaitlynn with 15, and Katie Brand with 13. Courtney Traxson had 4.5 blocks, Taylor had 3.5 and Kaitlynn had three. The Cats combined for 16 blocks, to only 11 for Cal.

Kaitlynn is a multifaceted player, often leading the team in some combination of kills, points, digs and aces. If the team puts together a strong season, she will be an All-American. She was named MVP of Cal's invitational, and Tristan made the all-tournament team.

The Cats will be in Fayetteville to play Arkansas on Friday.

Sep. 13, 2013  K-State defeats Cal Poly with double-doubles
We've been playing well, as shown by our 8 - 1 record, but I felt that we should try to be more terminal. Before the match, Lilla Porubek told Katie Brand that she wanted to do just that, and guess what... she led the team with 16 kills and 17 points! Kaitlynn Pelger was right there with her, adding 14 kills, hitting .325 and delivering 16.5 points. It was a team effort. Courtney Traxson was next with 12 kills and 13 points. Dakota Kaufman had 10 kills and 11 points. Katie Brand led in hitting percentage, at .417, adding 8.5 points, and Taylor Johnson had eight points. Katie had 49 digs, for an excellent 12.25 per set.

K-State was even with Cal Poly on digs, 86 to 87. Lilla Porubek and Kaitlynn Pelger were excellent on defense, too, enroute to their double-doubles. Lilla led with 18 digs, Kaitlynn and Tristan McCarty had 17, and Katie Brand had 14. It's great to have Kersten Kober back in the line-up after an injury. She had eight digs. Katie and Kaitlynn each had three blocks.

The Cats didn't have their most efficient hitting, but outhit Cal Poly .188 to .124. They had the edge on sideouts, 60% to 56%, and were even on blocks, with each team at 9.0. It was a close contest, but the Cats prevailed, 25-21, 25-21, 25-27, 29-27.

K-State faces their hosts, Cal Berkeley, on Saturday afternoon. This will be a good test, as Cal hasn't lost a set this season, and entered the latest AVCA poll at #23.

Sep. 10, 2013  K-State handles Tulsa after a slow start
The Cats showed steady improvement in this match. There was room for it after set one, with a 14-25 score, .125 hitting and 43% on sideouts. For example, hitting improved to .316 in set three. Sideout percentages were 43%, 56%, 65% and 87%. Set scores in the 3-1 match were 14-25, 25-23, 25-22 and 25-16. Tulsa is a sound team. Most noticeable to me was their defense. At times it seemed we couldn't send them anything they couldn't dig. Ultimately they outdug the Cats 75-64. The Cats had eight blocks.

On offense, Kaitlynn Pelger led with 11.5 points and 11 kills. Natali Jones had another fine match, with 11 points from nine kills and .500 hitting. Dakota Kaufman added 10.5 points, also from nine kills. Courtney Traxson was very efficient. She hit .353, contributing seven kills. Katie Brand had another efficient evening, hitting .600. While tonight wasn't the best for serving, K-State has recorded at least one ace per match, with a high of seven vs. SIU, and a season total of 34.

Tristan McCarty, Katie Brand and Lilla Porubek led in defense, each with 13 digs. Natali Jones had four block assists, and Lilla had three.

Attendance has been good, with 2,523 tonight. The Cats will play in California in two days, including a newly-ranked host team in #23 California-Berkeley.

Sep. 7, 2013  Cats sweep Siena to win their invitational
The Cats felt right at home in a toasty Ahearn Field House (99° F) this afternoon. They started very strong in set one, as shown by 75% on sideouts, hitting a good .250 and a final score of 25-11.

Players' points totals weren't very high, since the Cats efficiently handled Siena. Kaitlynn Pelger led with 10 points and eight kills. Courtney Traxson was next with 8.5 points from eight kills. Lilla Porubek had 7 points, and Katie Brand had 6.5. Dakota Kaufman also scored 6.5 points, and was very efficient, at .417.

On defense, Gina Madonia had an excellent 16 digs! Dakota kept busy on the back row, adding nine digs. Kaitlynn and Chelsea had six digs. Blocks were fairly evenly distributed, and totaled eight for the team, compared to four for Siena.

Congratulations to K-State's own Katie Brand, MVP of the invitational. Her recognition probably has something to do with hitting .500 today, and .900 vs. Southern Illinois, recording 40 assists and 10 digs vs. SE Mo., and providing perfect sets.

Dakota Kaufman and Kaitlynn Pelger also made the tournament team. Dakota's performance vs. SIU was excellent. She led the team in points and kills, and hit .529. Her .417 hitting and nine digs vs. Siena helped seal the deal. Kaitlynn led in points vs. Siena and SE Mo. (15.5), and was second-high vs. SIU. Add 10 digs and five aces vs. SE Mo. to her numbers.

Kansas State will host Tulsa on Tuesday, Sep. 10, with a 6:00 first serve.

Sep. 6, 2013  Southern Illinois = Sweep #2 for the Cats today
It was awesome to have Justin Ingram, the Cats' assistant coach and offensive coordinator for eight seasons, back as head coach of Southern Illinois, who went 21-9 last year.

How about those Cats?! They hit .500, and there was balanced scoring. Dakota Kaufman led with 12 points and 11 kills. She hit .529. Kaitlynn Pelger had 11.5 points. She hit .375, and had five aces, bringing her Friday aces to 10. Lilla Porubek tied Pelger's 11.5 points, which came from 11 kills. Lilla hit an impressive .500. Then there was Katie Brand with 11 points and nine kills, and an exceptional .900 hitting.

On defense, Katie led in digs with five, Lilla had four and Tristan had three. Total team blocks came in at just four.

The Cats logged set scores of 25-13, 25-18 and 25-17. What probably best describes this match are the team hitting numbers of .654, .423 and .417, and the set one sideouts at 92%.

We'll close with a shout out to the Cat fans, with an attendance of 2,278.

Sep. 6, 2013  K-State sweeps SE Missouri State
After a bit of a slow start in set one, the Cats gained momentum and cruised to victory, 25-23, 25-17, 25-15 on a 96° afternoon in Ahearn Field House.

We saw solid performances. Kaitlynn Pelger led with 15.5 points, 10 kills, 10 digs and five aces! Dakota Kaufman did great. She led in kills, with 11, hit .214 and added 11 points. Courtney Traxson hit an excellent .294 on eight kills, ending with nine points. Chelsea Keating hit an awesome .417, totaling five kills and six points. Taylor Johnson also added six points. And how about Natali Jones! She played primarily in the third set, getting five kills and 5.5 points, hitting a completely awesome .667!! Let's not forget Courtney Cook, who hit .600.

OK... Let's have a paragraph about Preseason Freshman of the Year, Katie Brand. With 40 assists, she averaged 13.3 per set, which is awesome. She shared a team-high 10 digs with Preseason All-Big 12 Kaitllynn Pelger. I know it's going to serve us well to have a 6' 1" setter, who's also excellent playing the back row.

On defense, Katie and Kaitlynn led with 10 digs, with Tristan McCarty at nine, and Kersten Kober with seven. Sadly, Kersten was injured in set two, but was back on the sidelines, all iced-up, in set three. Hopefully she'll be healed up soon.

Sep. 1, 2013  Kansas State wins the UNLV invitational, Pelger named MVP
The Cats showed determination in Las Vegas to begin 2013 play, as they faced Portland, Cal State Fullerton and host team UNLV. The three matches all went to five sets, but K-State left Nevada with a 3 - 0 start to the season.

Kaitlynn Pelger, the MVP, started solid vs. Portland. She hit .214, had eight digs and three aces, for 10 points. Against Cal State Fullerton, she had 11 kills and five block assists, for 13.5 points. Then, vs. UNLV, she blew the roof off the dump. She had 19 kills, hitting .239, added four service aces and 13 digs, and multiple blocks, all for 27.5 points! Kaitlynn credited Katie Brand, who had 49 assists, for her perfect sets.

Newcomer Kersten Kober and junior Taylor Johnson also made the All-Tournament team. Taylor had 11 kills and eight blocks vs. UNLV, and Kersten had 11 digs. Dakota Kaufman, Lilla Porubek and Courtney Traxson definitely made their presence known, as well.

The Cats received votes in the first AVCA poll of the season.

Aug. 27, 2013  Free admission for faculty, staff to K-State's volleyball match against Southeast Missouri State
The match begins at noon on Friday, September 6. Fans can get a hot dog lunch for $5.50. Here are details.
Aug. 6, 2013  Kaitlynn Pelger, Katie Brand: Preseason All-Big 12
As reported by Kansas State Athletics, Kaitlynn Pelger is a unanimous choice for preseason All-Big 12, and Katie Brand was named preseason Freshman of the Year. Both of them will do great things in 2013! Also see the Big 12's release.
July 29, 2013  Lauren Goehring to the Kansas State Athletics Hall of Fame
Lauren Goehring, a First-Team All-American and 2003 Big 12 Player of the Year, is one of 10 K-State greats who will be added to the hall of fame on Oct. 11. Here's the announcement from Sports Information.

During her senior season, Kansas State won the Big 12 title, with a record of 18 - 2, and 30 - 5 overall. Lauren set a new single-season and career record with a hitting percentage of .409 that season, ending her K-State years with a .354 career percentage. The .409 mark was 1st in the Big 12. She finished her career as the all-time leader in kills by a middle blocker, and seventh overall, with 1,212 kills. She was also fourth all-time in block assists with 377. She had 36 matches with at least five blocks, 64 with 10 or more kills and 77 with a .300 or higher hitting percentage.

June 11, 2013  
Wildcat Volleyball prepares for the World University Games in Russia. Here's the latest from Sports Information.
May 9, 2013  Caitlyn Donahue: Team USA
Caitlyn has been playing on a professional team in Puerto Rico, and now has been invited to train with Team USA in California, as reported by Sports Information. She'll be one of 22 in the group trying out for the team. This is a well-deserved opportunity.