Headlines 2016
December 14, 2016  Katie Brand: AVCA Third Team All-American
The question wasn't whether Katie Brand would be an All-American this season... it was what date it would be announced. This is her third time to receive AVCA All-American recognition! The other question - and I've been asking this all fall - is what are we going to do without her? Here's the announcement from K-State, and the full release from the AVCA. The Kansas State community is so fortunate to have had such a consistent, hard-working and versatile player. Katie Brand did everything the right way. She will begin a physician assistant program in January.
December 14, 2016   Katie Brand: Senior CLASS® Award Second Team
CLASS stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, and Katie has been named to the second team. She's been an excellent student, has participated in various service and leadership activities, and has earned a place in career stats for assists and double-doubles. (With 68 double-doubles, she ended one short of first place, long held by Kim Zschau.) Here's the announcement from K-State, and the full release from seniorclassaward.com.
December 13, 2016  2016 Season Highlights Video
Here we go: It's 14 minutes of awesomeness, the 2016 Season Highlights Video.
December 11, 2016  Volleyball Banquet: Katie Reininger
Rhino is interviewed after the Volleyball banquet. As anyone would expect, she did a fine job of expressing the meaning of the event, as well as her experience at K-State. (video)
December 9, 2016  Volleyball signs Megan Vernon for 2017
All the way from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, 6' 2" middle blocker Megan Vernon will join the Cats next season. She's both a volleyball player and a champion high jumper. (release)
December 6, 2016  AVCA All-Midwest Region for Katie Brand and Brooke Sassin
The AVCA has announced regional teams. Katie, for the third straight year, is First Team, and Brooke Sassin received Honorable Mention. What the AVCA failed to mention is what we're supposed to do without them in 2017!
December 5, 2016  Thank you letter from Suzie Fritz
K-State Volleyball tweeted a wonderful thank you letter from Coach Fritz to the K-State community, responding to the enthusiastic support of the Cats in the NCAA tournament matches in Bramlage Coliseum, as well as her gratitude for the various university departments that made our hosting of the tournament smooth, and quite an impressive success. Attendance for Lipscomb was 2,447, and the second round match vs. Ohio State drew 2,645.
December 4, 2016  Volleyball Season Ends with Hard Fought Loss
Corbin McGuire reports on the emotions of an extremely close loss and parting ways with a team that enjoyed and cared for each other in his latest Sports Extra.
December 4, 2016  We're Going to Miss These Volleycats
I'm not familiar with bringonthecats.com, but they have a nice commentary that makes the case for the excitement of Division I volleyball.
December 3, 2016  Ohio State / NCAA Press Conference
This is a very emotional reflection on the NCAA match vs. Ohio State, as well as the season, with Suzie Fritz, Katie Reininger, Kersten Kober and Elle Sandbothe. (video) If you weren't already aware of how highly our players regard Suzie and each other, here's where to look.
December 2, 2016  K-State to NCAA 2nd Round with a Sweep of Lipscomb
Efficient hitting (.374) and domination in blocking (11 to 4) tell the story of tonight's sweep of a very good Lipscomb team, before a crowd of 2,447 in Bramlage Coliseum.

Points production was fairly balanced. Along with that are some blockbuster hitting percentages. Brooke Sassin led with 14.5 points/11 kills, and she hit .435! Kylee Zumach had 10.5 points/9 kills, and hit .333! Katie Reininger had 10.5 points/7 kills, and she hit .538!! Elle Sandbothe had 9.5 points/7 kills, and hit an awesome .636!! Bryna Vogel had 9 points/7 kills. Katie Brand had 7 points/6 kills, with near-perfect .857 hitting!

Other notes on offense are Katie Brand's 34 assists, two aces for Brooke Sassin, and one ace each from Mattie Batchelder and Bryna Vogel. The Cats got progressively more efficient in hitting as the match went on, although this wasn't totally reflected in the set scores. 1: 28-26 (.324), 2: 25-15 (.345), 3: 26-24 (.439).

K-State had a big edge in team blocks, led by Katie Reininger, with 5.5. Right there with her was Elle Sandbothe, who had 5.

Kersten Kober led the Cats in digs, with 14, Katie Brand had 6 and Brooke Sassin had 5.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .374 48 63 11 39
Lipscomb .223 49 54 4 45

The Cats continue on Dec. 3, meeting Ohio State (21-12) at 7:00 P. Let's get a good crowd to the Octagon for this match. Attendance for the meeting with Lipscomb was 400 above the Cats' season average, but there are still seats to be had. A victory over Ohio State would bring a rematch with #3 Wisconsin!

Here's a fun fact: Ohio State, with its humongous enrollment of 58,322, averages 1,714 fans per Volleyball match, which is a few notches below K-State's 2,065, and way below our attendance vs. Lipscomb of 2,447.

Oh! I almost forgot this tidbit: Downriver in Lawrence, it was bluebirds vs. bluebirds tonight, and the Creighton Bluejays defeated #4 KU in five sets in The Shanty... a story which will warm the hearts of every Cat fan.

December 2, 2016  Sandbothe's Standout Freshman Season Brings Reunion with Sister
Corbin McGuire's Sports Extra reviews the impressive freshman season for middle blocker Elle Sandbothe (and playing her sister, Taylor, who arrived with the Ohio State Buckeyes on Wednesday for the NCAA tournament).

Elle talks at length about her older sister's critiques and suggestions after watching her matches on K-STATEHD.TV this season. While Elle sometimes wanted to talk about life instead, she knew to listen, as Taylor is a 2015 AVCA First-Team All-American.

Elle is on her way to greatness at K-State, and has just been named to the 2016 Big 12 Conference All-Freshman Team.

Edit: The Elle vs. Taylor story was covered by ESPN on Dec. 2.

December 1, 2016  NCAA Tournament Matches in Bramlage to be on ESPN3
K-STATEHD.TV comes to the rescue again, this time by producing our matches in MHK for ESPN3. This (Sports Extra) also includes ticket information, and the schedule of matches.
November 30, 2016  Powercat Preview: NCAA Tournament
Avery Osen hosts a video preview of the Cats' big weekend.
November 29, 2016  NCAA Tournament press conference
Suzie Fritz and Katie Brand answer questions from local media. (video, 09:21)
November 28, 2016  Four Wildcats receive All-Big 12 recognition
You'll certainly recognize the names Katie Brand, Katie Reininger, Bryna Vogel and Elle Sandbothe.

Katie Brand, who will no doubt repeat as an All-American next month, is First Team All-Big 12. She leads the Big 12 with 11.39 assists per set... 13th in Division I. She's 2nd in career assists in K-State's rally scoring records. With 67 double-doubles, Katie still may end her career #1 in double-doubles. This is the third All-Big 12 for our outstanding setter, who's also First Team Academic All-Big 12.

Katie "Rhino" Reininger is Second Team All-Big 12 because of her stats, but K-State fans will remember her also for her non-stop positive energy and leadership. I'm not a sports psychologist, but I loved watching Rhino supporting other players on the sideline, and I think that teams that have fun and care about each other have better results. Now, to the stats! Katie currently leads the team in overall hitting at .304. A major player in both offense and defense, she is a close 2nd in blocks per set, in addition to being the most efficient hitter on the team. She's also First Team Academic All-Big 12.

Bryna Vogel has had a fine season at OH, and is Second Team All-Big 12. She averaged a solid .287 hitting in all matches. Vogel leads the team in service aces, with 27. On defense, she was #2 in digs/set... only behind Kober! Bryna was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 19, and is First Team Academic All-Big 12. My Headlines entry on Sept. 17 says,

"My key to victory over Creighton four days ago was to leave Bryna Vogel in the entire match. This afternoon she was named invitational MVP, thanks to her 25 points, 21 kills, .704 hitting and 11 digs today!"

Elle Sandbothe made the All-Big 12 Freshman Team. She caught my attention when she was recruited, based on positive comments from her former coach, "Elle is super-athletic with a lighting-fast arm swing. She is competitive, highly energetic and brings out the best in her teammates." She has been all of those, and Elle's had an excellent month of November, leading the team in blocks in several matches. To be exact, Sandbothe and Macy Flowers lead the Cats this season in blocks per set, at 1.04 per set. I've been saying this month that her next three years here are going to be awesome. I don't know if she ever dreamed this, but Elle will very likely compete against her All-American big sister when Ohio State plays here this weekend.

Here are the releases from K-State and the Big 12 Conference.

November 27, 2016  K-State Cats watch the NCAA tournament selection show
Hear comments from our players. (video)
November 28, 2016  Sports Extra: K-State VB to Host First Two Rounds of NCAA Tournament for First Time Since 2007
Corbin McGuire has comments from players and Coach Fritz on being seeded in the NCAA tournament, and hosting in the Octagon o' Doom. (link)
November 27, 2016  The Kansas State Wildcats will travel to Bramlage Coliseum, in northern Manhattan, Kansas, for the NCAA tournament
Sure, you've no doubt seen the good news on Twitter, but it's fun to post it here. (K-State Sports)

K-State (20-9, 9-7 Big 12) got a #14 seed. Apparently the #9 toughest schedule in Division I that we've held the past week, along with 20 wins, along with an NCAA RPI of 19, did the trick! Here's my NCAA bracket. We'll play Lipscomb of the Atlantic Sun in the first round on Friday, Dec. 2, with first serve scheduled for 7:30 P CST, or at least a half hour after the end of the Ohio State / Missouri State match that starts at 5:00 P.

This is the Cats' 5th NCAA appearance in the tournament in the last 6 seasons.

What is Lipscomb, you ask? It's a private school with 4,632 students, in Nashville. (Wikipedia)

This just in... video comments from Kersten Kober and Suzie Fritz on getting to host the first and second matches. Here's a shout out to Kylee Zumach, who photobombed the video for six whole seconds! She seemed excited about the trip north to the Octagon, as well. She left a tweet for us.

November 26, 2016  A successful senior night, a sweep and sad goodbyes
Our seniors had a major role in tonight's 25-16, 25-21, 25-17 sweep of Texas Tech (10-21, 0-16), with NCAA-bound K-State improving to 20-9, 9-7 before a nice crowd of 2,555! This is Suzie Fritz's 11th 20-win season. The Cats ended the regular season in 4th place in the Big 12, with the top two finishes in our conference occupied by top five teams in the latest AVCA poll.

Brooke Sassin led with 12.5 points/12 kills. Katie Reininger had 10.5 points/8 kills, and hit an amazing .667!! Bryna Vogel had 10.5 points/9 kills. Elle Sandbothe had another fine night, with 9.5 points/7 kills, with excellent .308 hitting. Kylee Zumach had 9.0 points/8 kills, and it's great to see her playing again. Katie Brand had 39 assists... excellent, as always.

The match felt felt close throughout, but the box score gives a different picture.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .286 46 59 11 49
TTU .084 30 38 6 39

As shown above, K-State did well on defense, leading in blocks 11 to 6, and in digs 49 to 39. Katie Brand led in blocks, with 4, Elle Sandbothe added 2.5, and Katie Reininger had 2.5. Kersten Kober had 12 digs, and Katie Brand and Bryna Vogel each had 9, followed by Brooke Sassin's 8. Texas Tech left Ahearn with a .084 hitting percentage.

K-State, as of tonight with the #9 toughest schedule in Division I, and an RPI of #19, should be a lock for the tournament. We can watch the NCAA Selection show on ESPNU at 8:00 CST tomorrow, Nov. 27.

After the match, president Richard Myers, AD John Currie and Suzie Fritz honored our six departing seniors: Katie Reininger, Katie Brand, Brooke Sassin, Kersten Kober, Mattie Batchelder and Kylie Penning, an amazing group, who can be extremely proud of their accomplishments.

November 23, 2016  But first... Mannequin Challenge
I missed Volleyball's Mannequin Challenge earlier this month. Here it is.
November 23, 2016  Katie Brand Finds Greatness in Time at K-State
Corbin McGuire's Sports Extra looks at our All-American setter's outstanding tour of duty at K-State.

Reflecting on her final matches at K-State, I've been saying that Katie is so good at setter, she makes what she does look effortless. As Corbin emphasizes, her versatility (evidenced by being in reach of K-State's career double-double record) has been recognized for years. As of today, Brand is #3 in digs for this season (both total digs and digs/set), and 1 dig away from being #2 in total digs. Katie's also been Academic All-Big 12 in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Katie has been a model student athlete. Let's fill Ahearn Field House at 6 p.m. on Nov. 26 to show our appreciation for her, and all our awesome seniors.

November 17, 2016  Cats defeat OU in four for a season sweep
K-State handled OU in Norman in four sets a month ago. I expected a victory tonight, but felt that OU would give us a game. The Okies took set one, 25-23. The Cats would have no more of that, and concluded the festivities with scores of 25-18, 25-15 and 25-21. The Cats had the edge in most of the stats categories.

How about Brooke D. Assassin, a.k.a. Brooke Danielle Sassin?! She put kill #1,000 in the books tonight, a feat accomplished in three seasons after escaping from Mississippi State. Only six Cats have reached 1,000 during the 15 years of rally scoring. Did you know that in scientific terms, 1,000 kills = 1 kilokill?

After a bit of a slow start, several Cats turned in some awesome offensive stats. Kylee Zumach is back in business. She led with 18.5 points/17 kills, with excellent .342 hitting! Katie A. "Rhino" Reininger had 14 points/11 kills, and hit .588!!! I'm so happy for her that after missing some matches, she's able to play out her senior season. Bryna Vogel had 11.5 points/10 kills. Brooke D. Assassin had 11 points/10 kills. Elle Sandbothe had 11 points/9 kills, and she hit .400! Katie Brand had 8 points/5 kills, and was extremely efficient, hitting .444. She had 51 assists, and missed her usual double-double by one kill. The Cats had eight service aces, to OU's two. Team hitting was an impressive .336, to .264 for OU. Sets three (.462) and four (.400) were awesome by the Cats offense.

Blocking was even, with nine for KSU and eight for OU. Blocking was distributed among Rhino, Brand, Sandbothe and Zumach. Kersten Kober had 15 digs, followed by Brooke's 11. Devan Fairfield and Bryna Vogel added 9 each. The second set was the best for defense, holding OU to .103 hitting... quite an improvement from the Sooners' .419 in set one. OU came to MHK leading the Big 12 in kills, at 14.09/set.

I believe K-State, now with 18 wins, is in good shape for the NCAA tournament. Our NCAA Division I RPI is 19, and our Toughest Schedule ranking is 11. It'll be interesting to see how the away match with #7 Texas on Nov. 19 goes, as the Cats gave them a good scare in MHK.

November 16, 2016  Intangible Traits Set Kober on Path to Success
Corbin McGuire latest Sports Extra focuses on Kersten Kober, as she looks back on her four years as a Cat. Suzie made a point to mention Kersten's hard work on her Suzie Fritz Show this week, and yesterday we reported just below her latest honor as All-Big 12 Conference Academic Team.
November 15, 2016  Need help with your homework? Call a Cat!
A K-State record 11 Volleyball Cats made Academic All-Big 12, with 4.000s by Kersten Kober and Katie Brand. See the releases from K-State and our pals at the Big 12 Conference. K-State, as well as Oklahoma, had nine on the First Team, and two on the Second Team.
November 14, 2016  Suzie Fritz Show #4
In this episode, we'll catch up with recent competition. Suzie comments on Elle Sandbothe's fine performance (such as leading the team in blocks the last three matches) while Rhino was recovering. There's a segment on senior libero Kersten Kober, who needs no introduction. See the left-hand navigation column for links to all of Suzie's shows, hosted, of course, by the great Brian Smoller.
November 11, 2016  Brynn Carlson and Alex Haffner signed for 2017
Here's the full announcement, tweeted yesterday, the good news of signing two players.

Brynn Carlson is a 6' 4" OH from Woodbury, Minnesota. She was named all-state two times. Her club team won two national championships! It's clear from Suzie Fritz's comments that Brynn is the total package as a student athlete. Brynn tweeted her verbal commitment to K-State on April 16, 2015... 1½ years ago!

Alex Haffner is a 5' 10" setter from Lee's Summit, Missouri. (Yes, that's where we found our outstanding freshman, Elle Sandbothe, but they attended different high schools.) Suzie mentioned her speed, power and athleticism. Those sound like good qualities to me!

Both players will begin at K-State in January 2017.

November 10, 2016  K-State Volleyball announces new players for 2017
Tweets from KStateVB today officially announced the signing of:
November 9, 2016  Cats handle WVU in five
It was a similar outcome as 17 days ago... another close win in five sets vs. the Mountaineers in Morgantown. Set scores were 26-24, 25-19, 22-25, 22-25 and 15-10.

Brooke the Assassin led with 16 points/14 kills. Bryna Vogel had 15 points/9 kills, Elle Sandbothe had 13 points/8 kills, Rhino had 12.5 points/9 kills and Kylee Zumach had 10 points/7 kills. The Cats were a bit more efficient on hitting, .208 to WVU's .145, although WVU led in kills, 70 to 55. Katie Brand had 40 assists.

Defensive achievements were shared, as K-State had 18 blocks to WVU's 12, but WVU had the edge in digs, 76 to 72. Kersten Kober had a big night, with 25 digs! Brooke Sassin and Katie Brand, as usual, were right in there with 11 and 10 digs, respectively.

For the third consecutive match, Elle Sandbothe led in blocks, with 8 assists + 1 single. Rhino had 7 block assists, and Katie Brand had 5.

Katie Brand recorded her 67th double-double, and will soon be #1 on the career double-doubles list.

Brooke Sassin now has 998 career kills! What a difference she has made as a Cat!

Three regular-season matches remain, with two winnable home matches, namely OU and TTU. Take care of those, and the Cats (18-8, 7-6), who got in the NCAA tournament with 17 wins last season, will obviously go into selection day with 20 wins. There remains a visit to Texas, who the Cats scared to death at home. Through Nov. 7, K-State is #11 on the NCAA Division I Toughest Schedule list, which will factor into tournament selection, as well.

November 5, 2016  Kansas State swept by TCU
TCU was 10-11, 3-8 upon the Cats' arrival in Fort Worth. They were on a seven-match losing streak. Meanwhile, Kansas State was just off playing #4 KU to within four points of victory. It's not clear what led to the 20-25, 12-25, 22-25 outcome.

Brooke Sassin led with 14 points/13 kills, Bryna Vogel had 9.5 points/7 kills, Elle Sandbothe had 5.5 points/5 kills, and Alyssa Schultejans and Katie Reininger each had 5 points. Welcome back, Katie! I'm so happy she could play again. Elle Sandbothe was most efficient, hitting .444, and Brooke Sassin's .333 hitting made her the points leader tonight.

On defense, Kersten Kober led with 13 digs, and Brooke Sassin had nine. The Cats had a slight edge in digs, with 48 to the Froggies' 45, but TCU led in blocks, 10 to 6.5.

A big difference seems to be TCU's considerably better hitting in sets one and two... to be exact: .312 to .125 in set one, and .480 to –030 in set two. Kansas State hit a few notches better in set three, .273 to .217, but TCU's somewhat better sideouts gave them the edge in the final set.

Up next is a journey east to WVU (12-13, 3-8). The Cats need to come home with a win to maintain their NCAA hopes.

November 5, 2016  Good luck, Cats!
November 3, 2016  Brand, Kober: Academic All-District Honors
Here's K-State's proud release of the news from the sports information directors' organization, CoSIDA, that Katie Brand and Kersten Kober have passed this step toward being Academic All-Americans. Kersten, majoring in accounting, still has her 4.000, and Katie has been accepted to UMKC's physician assistant program. Add this collection of honors to both players' top five career stats.
November 2, 2016  Good things happened in a four-point loss to #4 KU
I didn't walk into Ahearn guaranteeing a win for either team, but thought that with good play, K-State had a chance. The Cats' winning two of five sets, and ultimately losing set five 11-15, supports that. Set scores were 18-25, 28-26, 22-25, 25-21, 11-15. KU improved to 21-2, 10-1, and K-State is now at 17-7, 6-5.

#5 Texas and #4 KU lead the Big 12 as of this evening. K-State has now taken both teams to five sets, with a 12-15 set five loss to Texas, and tonight's 11-15 set five loss to KU. This should provide some confidence in our second pass through the Big 12.

Brooke Sassin led tonight with 19 points/18 kills, with excellent .333 hitting. It was awesome to see Kylee Zumach in four of five sets tonight. Kylee and Bryna Vogel tied, with 16 points/14 kills.

Something very exciting was the great night for freshman middle blocker Elle Sandbothe, with 13 points/10 kills, and spectacular .467 hitting. Remember four days ago, when Elle led the team in blocks? She did it again, with four block assists and a single! Elle is going to be a big-time key to our success next season! Katie Brand talked up Elle in the video preview for tonight's match.

Hitting efficiency was all over the place for both teams, with KU at .195 for the evening, and K-State almost equal, at .182. KU had 65 kills, to K-State's 62.

Blocking was the stat with the greatest separation between the teams, with KU at 16, and K-State at 10. KU had a tiny edge in sideouts, 64% to 61%. Hey... nice going Bryna Vogel, who had 23 digs. Kersten Kober had 16, and Katie Brand had 15, enroute to her 65th career double-double. Kober moved up to 4th place in career digs. (career statistics leaders)

Here's the official recap. Up next is TCU in Fort Worth, on Nov. 5 at 5:00 P. Let's keep getting it done. K-State is currently #15 in Division I for toughest schedule. We have four winnable matches left this month. With our tough schedule, and if we do get to 21 wins, I think we're in the NCAA tournament for sure. Go Cats!

I put "good things" in the title, and then forgot to mention tonight's attendance: 3,317, very near the season's high of 3,469 vs. Texas. This brings the season attendance to 26,976 for 13 matches, an average of 2,075 per match. This should move Kansas State to around 15th nationally in next week's listing. Should anyone wonder if this makes a difference...

October 29, 2016  Baylor Sweep of Sep. 25 Avenged!
This was a great day! I have no use for Baylor University whatsoever, and the Cats handled Volleyball in four (25-22, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20) tonight. While our VB match was underway, #8 Baylor Football lost to Texas, 35-34, and Oklahoma Football administered a 56-3 whoopin' to KU. If that KU loss had been in Memorial Stadium, there wouldn't have been 15 fans left when the game ended. Anyway, I was delighted to watch the Cats repay Baylor for ending their 10-match winning streak a month ago.

As in the previous meeting, K-State was competitive with Baylor throughout, but this time prevailed, other than a four-point loss in set two, and ultimately posted 71 points, to Baylor's 54. Except for a big, big 25-13 win in set three, I commented late in the match that I had no feeling for what the stats would look like. They were pretty close:

hitting: KSU .181, BU .111 (Baylor's lowest of the season!)
kills: KSU 52, BU 43
blocks: KSU 13, BU 10
digs: KSU 62, BU 58
set scores: three of four within five points

Baylor's Staiger, who had 23.5 points in Waco, led the match with 23 points. Bryna Vogel led the Cats with 15.5 points/13 kills, Alyssa Schultejans had 14 points/12 kills and Elle Sandbothe had another fine match, with 13.5 points/10 kills. Elle has a lightning-fast swing, and is going to do great things in her career here. On offense, the Cats started well in set one, hitting .286. They did poorly in set two, with .091 hitting, and their best set (set three) ended with .296 hitting.

Bryna Vogel was most efficient tonight, with outstanding .393 hitting, followed by Elle Sandbothe's .278, Schultejans' .242 and Katie Brand with .231.

Katie Brand turned in her 65th career double-double, closing in on the legendary Kim Zschau's 69. Kersten Kober will pass the legendary Laura Downey for 4th place in career digs on Wednesday. Kersten had a hard landing in set three. It looked like she hit her noggin on the court, but after a couple of scary minutes, she hopped up and resumed play. For her heroics, the student section gave her the Terence Newman / Jordy Nelson cheer.

Elle Sandbothe led in blocks, with five assists and a single. Macy Flowers had six assists, so Elle had 3.5 blocks, and Macy had 3.0. Katie Brand led in digs, with 17, followed by 14 each from Vogel and Kober.

Be sure to have a look at the highlights video. Look here for K-State's official recap.

Hey! The box score has attendance at 2,442. The Cats entered this match at #18 in NCAA Division I, at 1,915, and #3 in the Big 12. Please note that our evening's attendance was 1 more than Big 12 leader Iowa State's season average. Let's all turn out for our Wed. Nov. 2 encounter with our sworn enemies, the #6 Squawks.

We close with a shout out and best wishes to Rhino, Katie Reininger, as she recovers from an injury, and we're fortunate to have Kylee Zumach back on the court!

October 26, 2016  Schultejans Making Most of Outside Opportunities
Corbin McGuire has an excellent, lengthy Sports Extra on sophomore OH Alyssa Schultejans, who has some excellent accomplishments this season. We're going to be very fortunate to keep her for two more seasons, when this year's awesome seniors have moved on.
October 26, 2016  Iowa State Edges Cats, 3 - 1
While Kansas State only won one set, all but set four was very close: 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 15-25. Factors in the loss were: 1. ISU hit .308 to KSU's .211, 2. nine service errors (evenly distributed among the team) broke momentum several times, and 3. we were down on personnel. Katie Reininger was unable to make the trip. All-American Kylee Zumach was able to play only part of one set.

Brooke Sassin led with 21.5 points from a team-high 19 kills, and had solid .294 hitting. Bryna Vogel had 10 kills, Alyssa Schultejans and Katie Brand had nine, and Macy Flowers had seven. Brand hit .529! Freshman Elle Sandbothe had a big night, with six kills and seven block assists. As usual, Katie Brand got her double-double, #64 in her career, which is 2nd all-time on the career list.

Ellie led the Cats in blocking tonight, with seven of the 19 block assists! Brooke Sassin had five block assists. Katie Brand, enroute to her double-double, led with 19 digs, followed closely by Kersten Kober's 18. Blocking was the only stats category that K-State led in, 9.5 to 7.0.

The Cats will keep after it. They got in the tournament last year with 17 wins, but that won't always do it. Currently K-State has the 20th-toughest schedule in Division I, which will help. I hope everyone gets over to Ahearn on Saturday evening to see the glorious victory over my sworn enemies, Baylor!

October 23, 2016  Katie Brand's Assists
As of October 20, Katie is #3 in NCAA Division I in assists. Here's a chart, game-by-game.
October 22, 2016  Cats prevail in a barnburner with West Virginia
Kansas State moved a notch closer to an NCAA bid tonight, in a somewhat puzzling win over the Mountaineers (25-12, 21-25, 26-24, 20-25, 15-8). I'm no volleyball authority, but I have one rule for success, and that is to not win big in set one. I've seen lots of matches turn after an easy set one win, and tonight was an example. Our Cats hit a spectacular .542 in the first round, which included an exceptionally high 91% on sideouts. Meanwhile, WVU hit .036.

The teams would go on to win every other set. In set two, it was like throwing a switch, as WVU improved to .355 hitting, while the Cats dropped to .156.

It seemed as if WVU was digging everything, but both teams would end the match with 61 digs. WVU clearly was very focused on serving. Each player seemed to serve in the same way. Coach Fritz said, "I thought they served incredibly well." In the end, however, KSU had 10 aces, to WVU's two.

Bryna Vogel had an extremely impressive match. She led all players with 20.5 points, with a match-high 16 kills and .333 hitting. On defense, she had five block assists and 12 digs. Add two aces to her big evening. Vogel now has 512 career kills.

Brooke Sassin had a big night, too, with 18.5 points and 16 kills, two aces and a team-high 17 digs! Alyssa Schultejans was third in points production, with 17, from 12 kills and four aces.

Katie Brand logged her 63rd career double-double, keeping her on track for reaching #1 all-time by the season's end. She leads the Big 12 in double-doubles. Katie had 13 digs.

While many of the teams' stats were very close, something that stands out is WVU's 16 blocks, to the Cats' eight.

See the official recap for more on the ups and downs of this unexpectedly challenging match. K-State, now halfway through the Big 12, is at 16 wins for the 2016 season, with eight matches to go. We got an NCAA tournament invitation in 2015 with 17 wins. Looking at the remaining schedule, nothing looks easy, but the Cats have played some excellent teams tough. As of October 19, K-State has the 12th toughest schedule in Division I. Currently, Texas has the #1-toughest, TCU has #5, and Iowa State (our next opponent) has the 11th-toughest. It's going to be interesting!

October 15, 2016  Cats get past a bad first set to win at Oklahoma
By "bad first set," I refer to a set in which our Cats hit –0.053, and managed only nine kills, resulting in a set one score of 13-25.

Fortunately, Kansas State didn't let a weak start get them down. Consider their ridiculously awesome hitting percentage of .556 in set two, and excellent .436 hitting in set three. The result: 13-25, 25-19, 25-21, 28-26, and a happy trip home (which must have been by bus, because Flight Aware only shows the Football team airborne today). "No one panicked," said Katie Brand, "We just kept fighting. We knew what we needed to do and just took each point as it came."

Major points came from Alyssa Schultejans (18, from 15 kills), and Brooke "The Assassin" Sassin, who had 17 kills. Bryna Vogel added 11 points from 10 kills and awesome .348 hitting. How about Zsofia Gyimes contributing nine points from amazing .583 hitting!!

Katie Brand had seven points, with solid .300 hitting, and 52 assists. OK... that's exactly 13 assists per set. Katie entered tonight leading the Big 12 with 11.79 assists/set, and #4 in NCAA Division I. She may move up to #3 in Division I. In addition, our All-American senior logged another double-double... #11 for the season, and #62 for her outstanding career. She's closing in on Kim Zschau's 69.

Macy Flowers led in block assists, with five. Katie Brand and Zsofia Gyimes had four. Kersten Kober had 15 digs, and Brand and Sassin had 10 each.

The box score shows a pretty even match. K-State led in points, 76 to 70, and in kills, 62 to 60. On defense the Cats had 11 blocks, to the Okies' nine, but OU led in digs, 52 to 47. Hitting percentages were .262 for K-State and .265 for Oklahoma.

The Cats' poise and determination should be noted, as they fought off four set points in set four, winning six of the last eight points, for a 28-26 set four win, to wrap up the evening's festivities. I want to give shout outs to Alyssa Schultejans and Zsofia Gyimes, who haven't seen a lot of playing time of late, who both had major roles in tonight's big win.

Up next: The Mountaineers (currently 11-10, 2-5) in Ahearn on Oct. 22, at 6:00 P.

October 13, 2016  Katie Brand: Senior Class Award Candidate

K-State has just announced that our All-American setter, Katie Brand, is one of 30 players who are up for the award, which recognizes excellence in community, classroom, character and competition. (seniorCLASSaward.com)

October 12, 2016  Cats miss an opportunity vs. the Squawks
If you look at the match scores (15-25, 20-25, 23-25), K-State appears competitive. As Coach Fritz said, they got better as the match went on, but the box score exposes a disastrous first set. KU is #3 in Division I in hitting defense, and they held the Cats to .000 hitting in set one, and .190 for the match.

OK... this wasn't a match we were supposed to win... playing #6 on the road, as the Bluebirds (16-2) have only lost to #4 Texas and #22 Purdue. But... I propose that we make taking control of this series our #1 goal. K-State leads the series, 63-49-1.

October 12, 2016  Simple Approach the Secret to Sassin's Success
In Corbin McGuire's latest Sports Extra, we learn that senior Brooke Sassin's approach is to not overthink what she's doing on the court.
October 10, 2016  17th Toughest Schedule in Division I
Purdue has the toughest, Texas has the 2nd and TCU has the 7th. This is based on past opponents. As of today, K-State is the 14th-toughest schedule, when past and future opponents are considered. These standings are updated at least once per week.
October 8, 2016  Brooke Sassin has a banner day vs. TCU
K-State (14-4, 3-2) has never played a longer first set. Set scores were 33-31, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15, in a Wildcat victory.

The aforementioned Brooke Sassin led in offense with 22 points and 21 kills, from excellent .386 hitting! Bryna Vogel had 17 points, 14 kills, seven assists and two aces! Katie Reininger had 13 points and 11 kills, with solid .304 hitting. Katie Brand, who's leading the Big 12 in assists at 11.87 per set, had 56 this afternoon (14 per set). Katie's nine kills came from spectacular .529 hitting. K-State hit .301, to TCU's .231. The Cats as a team hit a mindblowing .607 in set three, which the Cats won 25-18.

Offensive star Bryna Vogel led with 20 digs, libero Kersten Kober had 16, All-American Katie Brand had 11 and Devan Fairfield had 10. Katie Brand and Macy Flowers had four block assists.

Katie Brand had her 61st double-double, closing in on the legendary Kim Zschau's 69.

Next up is a trip to The Shanty, to take on the Squawks, #6 KU, on Oct. 12.

October 6, 2016  Reininger Finds Balance in Life, on Volleyball Court
Corbin McGuire has a Sports Extra you shouldn't miss. Katie Reininger tells about her decision to transfer here, her interests in creative writing, and her leadership role on the team. (There's one mistake: Rhino played against the Cats in 2012... not 2013.) Besides being a force on the court, it's really fun to watch her on the sidelines, keeping her fellow Cats pumped up.
October 5, 2016  Cats sweep Texas Tech
I guess Tech has a different stats program, so I got to calculate points myself. There were some slow starts in sets, but strong finishes, as K-State won 25-18, 25-19, 25-20.

There was balanced scoring tonight. Brooke Sassin (11 kills and two aces) and Bryna Vogel (12 kills and an ace) led with 13.5 points. Bryna was extremely efficient, hitting .478! Katie Reininger had 9.5 points, eight kills and hit .333. Kylee Zumach had nine points from nine kills, and she hit a great .368. The Cats' efficiency increased through the match, hitting .209, .300 and finishing with .500 in set three! The team hit .308.

It's great that Kersten Kober is back, and she led with 18 digs. Katie Brand had seven digs, and Bryna Vogel had six. For some reason, blocking was unusually low, with only four team blocks, which equaled Tech's four. Apparently a solid night of digs is what held Tech to .168 hitting.

K-State improved to 13-4, 2-2, and will host TCU on Oct. 8 at 1 P.M. Let's put another crowd of 3,469 in Ahearn!

October 1, 2016  K-State (RV) comes within 4 points of beating #4 Texas
What an exciting night! Texas came in and won their 26th in a row over Kansas State (12-4, 1-2), but the Cats were reminded that they're capable of great things as they took UT (12-2, 4-0) to five sets (22-25, 27-25, 17-25, 25-18, 12-15). Hopefully K-State can draw confidence from tonight's match. Texas was runner-up in the national championship game in December. They've become a powerhouse of a program. The Cats didn't seem to be intimidated by them, and they most certainly didn't give up, as they put together strings of points to win sets two and four.

Kylee Zumach led on offense with 19.5 points and 18 kills. Brooke Sassin had 18.5 points and 17 kills. Katie Reininger was incredibly efficient. She had 18 points and 16 kills, and spectacular .464 hitting! Katie Brand had 59 assists, along with solid .312 hitting. Katie had yet another double-double from her assists + 14 digs, bringing her career total to 60. Brand currently leads the Big 12 in season double-doubles, and is closing in on the record of 69 held by K-State superstar Kim Zschau. Texas edged K-State in hitting, .296 to .250, but K-State led in kills, 69 to 66. Ultimately, Texas scored 82 points, to K-State's 81.

Both teams had their peaks and valleys during the match. While hitting percentages were very similar in sets one and two, with each team winning a set, the biggest separation was in set three, which Texas won 25-17, as they hit .433 to the Cats' .119. That didn't set well with K-State, who won set four 25-18, hitting an unbelievable .531 to .212 for Texas. In set five, which K-State could have won, Texas hit .625 to the Cats' .278.

On defense, blocking results were evenly distributed among the Cats, but it was a different story in digging. Bryna Vogel had 20, Katie Brand had 14, Devan Fairfield had 11 and Brooke Sassin and Kylee Zumach had nine. K-State won the digging battle, 68 to 67, with Texas leading in blocks, 12 to eight.

I want to send best wishes to Kersten Kober, who left the match early after injuring an ankle. She was in a lot of pain, but it appeared that there was no serious injury. I think we'll have our awesome libero back soon.

How about a shout out to Cat fans! Attendance was listed as 3,469, which seems low, considering the look of the stuffed balcony. As of last Monday, K-State was #14 in Division I in total season attendance. With today's big number, we should be good for top 20 average attendance.

September 25, 2016  Baylor sweeps K-State
I don't think many of us saw this coming, as the Cats ended their 10-game winning streak, 23-25, 22-25, 19-25. Looking at these set scores, K-State was very competitive, but the stats were not what we'd been seeing.

Kylee Zumach led on offense, with 12.5 points and eight kills. Katie Reininger had 9.5 points, and Macy Flowers had eight, with seven kills each. No Cat hit better than .250. Baylor hit a modest .237, but held the Cats to .133 hitting. The Bears' Katie Staiger, who leads the Big 12 with 5.53 kills/set and 6.14 points/set, had 23.5 points. Therefore, Staiger had 7.8 points/set today.

The only categories in which K-State led were a slight edge in blocking, 10.5 to 7, and two more service aces.

Up next... #5 Texas (10-2, 2-0).

September 21, 2016  Cats win 10th straight in a defeat of Iowa State
Iowa State takes volleyball seriously. In 2015 they were an NCAA tournament team, had a 19-11 season, and currently are ninth in Division I in attendance. This was a good test for the Cats, who won in four, 21-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-15.

Iowa State was good offensively and defensively in set one, hitting .303, while holding K-State to .091. It seemed as if they were digging everything, and they did have 63 digs in the match, to the Cats' 58.

It was a big night for Katie Reininger, who led with 18 points, 14 kills and excellent .545 hitting! Brooke Sassin and Bryna Vogel each added 14.5 points, and Kylee Zumach had 10.5. Brooke had four service aces! After substandard hitting in set one, the Cats turned up the burners, improving to .268 in set two, then excellent .368 and .351 hitting in the final two sets. Serving was an issue, as the Cats logged 13 service errors.

Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week Bryna Vogel led with 15 digs, followed by Katie Brand with 14 and Kersten Kober with 11. Katie Reininger had six block assists. While trailing ISU slightly in digs, the Cats were dominant in blocking, leading 14 to four. This might have something to do with the Cats' .275 hitting, to ISU's .134.

The Katies both had double-doubles tonight. Brand's came from 42 assists and 14 digs, and Rhino's came from 18 points and 14 kills.

The official game recap noted Katie Brand's 58th double-double, and Bryna Vogel's eighth straight match above .300 hitting.

Next up is a trip to vacation hotspot Waco, Texas, for a rare Sunday encounter with Baylor.

September 19, 2016  Bryna Vogel: Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
You can look it up: I predicted yesterday on @ddydotcom that Bryna would receive this honor. She had a great week, but her performance vs. Southern Miss., 25 points, 21 kills, .704 hitting, sealed the deal. Here's the good news from our pals at the Big 12 Conference.

In K-State's announcement we read, "No player in K-State history has recorded as many kills at a higher efficiency than Vogel did Saturday. Her .704 hitting percentage was more than 150 points better than the second-best mark in the league last week."

September 19, 2016  Cats #23 in today's AVCA poll
Check the complete AVCA Top 25 right here! Currently only one ranked team (#25 Western Kentucky) has more wins than the Cats' 11.
September 17, 2016  Wildcats beat Southern Miss. to win the Arkansas Invitational, and Bryna Vogel's MVP
I believed we would win this invitational, after handling Creighton on Tuesday. In terms of set scores, you wouldn't call it a domination, but there were some great individual performances.

My key to victory over Creighton four days ago was to leave Bryna Vogel in the entire match. This afternoon she was named invitational MVP, thanks to her 25 points, 21 kills, .704 hitting and 11 digs today! Yesterday vs. Arkansas, Bryna led with 12.5 points, 10 kills and .333 hitting. She hit .353 vs. UMKC. Today, Bryna almost broke K-State's all-time record for hitting percentage in four sets!

Katie Brand also made the all-tournament team, which is business as usual for her.

Kylee Zumach had 15 points and 14 kills, with .265 hitting. Brooke Sassin had 13 points and 11 kills, and Katie Reininger had nine kills. K-State outhit Southern Miss. .343 to .239. The Cats turned up the burners in set four, recording .424 hitting, and the best set score of 25-15.

Kersten Kober led with 16 digs, Bryna had 11 and Katie Brand had 10. It wasn't the best day for blocking, as Southern Miss. led in blocks, 11 to four. K-State had 61 digs, to 49 for Southern Miss.

On the verge of sweeping Southern Miss, the Cats let just enough points slip by near the end of set three, losing 23-25. The Cats turned up the burners in set four, as evidenced by .424 to .065 hitting.

K-State now holds an 11-2 record. With four nice wins added since receiving the #25 ranking last Monday, the Cats are sure to stay ranked.

September 16, 2016  K-State improves to 10-2 vs. Arkansas
This marks eight straight wins for the #25 Cats, with a sweep in Fayetteville this evening. We helped Arkansas to a Top Ten home crowd, with an attendance of 1,283. (K-State's averaging 1,570 this season... #20 in Division I this week.) Set scores were 25-21, 25-17, 25-13.

I'm writing these notes from the box score, as there was no radio coverage. Bryna Vogel is having a fine season, and she led with 12.5 points and 10 kills, hitting .333. Katie Reininger's ankle must be doing fine. She was second in points, with 12, along with eight kills and outstanding .375 hitting! Brooke "The Assassin" Sassin and Kylee Zumach each had 9.5 points. Macy Flowers was efficient tonight, hitting .300. Scoring was fairly balanced tonight... which is usually pleasing to a coach. Team hitting was .272.

Blocking was good, with K-State surpassing Arkansas 12 to 4. The Razorbacks were held to .109 hitting in set three. Katie Brand and Kersten Kober led with 11 digs, which of course is no surprise, and Katie Reininger led with 8 block assists.

Now comes a good test for the Cats. Tomorrow at 10 A.M., they'll face Southern Mississippi (11-3) of Conference USA, who also just beat Arkansas and UMKC. Hopefully the Cats will get a sweep, hop on a jet and be back in time for some Wildcat Football.

September 13, 2016  Cats overcome a slow start to beat Creighton in four
K-State Athletics has a very fine recap of this match. I arrived at Ahearn believing that Creighton had a much better team than its 4-4 record might suggest, as they came within three kills of beating #4 KU five days ago, and have beaten two Big 12 teams this season.

Fairly early in the match, I revealed my game plan to Terry, who sits next to me, "Leave Bryna Vogel on the court, no matter what." She was really getting it done. Bryna led the Cats with 20.5 points and 18 kills, hitting a great .375. Kylee Zumach had 20 points, 16 kills and .295 hitting, and Brooke Sassin added 14 points. Katie Brand, currently #2 in the Big 12 at 11.42 assists/set, had 51 assists, or 12.75/set. Macy Flowers had 10.5 points, eight kills and excellent .333 hitting. Macy currently is 6th in the Big 12 in hitting, at .375!

Creighton dominated set one. They hit .542, to the Cats' .128. One wonders how the score wasn't worse than 18-25.

K-State "kept sawing wood," as Coach Snyder would say, and while not dominating the next three sets (25-23, 28-26, 25-21), "found a way to win," as Coach Jack Hartman used to say. Ha! After writing this, I saw Suzie's quote in the recap, "I feel good about finding ways to win." I think one of the most important things the Cats can draw from this one is they never gave up. (Actually, I believe Winston Churchill promoted that idea, some decades ago.)

The Birds and Cats were equal on blocks... each with 10. I didn't have live stats, but recall during the match that Creighton was continually annoying me with their digs. Ultimately, they surpassed the Cats in digs, 72 to 56. Kersten Kober had 16 digs, and Katie Brand had 15. Macy Flowers and Bryna Vogel each had five block assists.

K-State is bound for Fayetteville this weekend, where they'll encounter UMKC (7-3), Arkansas (1-7) and Southern Miss (9-3). I think the Cats are going to Arkansas knowing they can play with the best, and they'll come home this weekend at 11-2.

September 12, 2016  Cats ranked in the AVCA poll
The weekly AVCA poll released today has K-State at #25. This is no surprise, as in the first (RV, #26) and second poll (RV, #27), K-State was a handful of votes away.

Next up (tomorrow, to be exact) is Creighton (RV). The Bluejays opened their season by giving Wichita State (RV) a scare (L, 2-3). They followed that by beating Iowa State (RV) (3-1), took #4 KU to five sets (L, 2-3) and beat TCU (3-0). It's going to be interesting!

September 12, 2016  Fritz, K-State Volleyball Reach Historic Milestones
Here's a must-read Sports Extra announcing the 300th win for Suzie Fritz, and on the same day, Sept. 9, the 800th for our program.
September 10, 2016  Cats defeat Loyola-Chicago to win the Wildcat Classic
K-State improved to 7-2, Katie Brand was named MVP and Ahearn Field House was comfortable on this 73° late summer afternoon. Oh, yes, and the Cats swept a sound Loyola-Chicago team. In other exciting news, Katie "Rhino" Reininger is back, and she hit .417!

Kylee Zumach, who's also back, thank goodness, led with 13.5 points and 12 kills, hitting .348. Bryna Vogel had 11 points, 8 kills and hit .500. (She hit an excellent .411 for the weekend classic.) Katie and Katie each added six points. Vogel had three aces, and Brand had two. As a team, the Cats hit a pretty good .250, with set averages ranging from .097 to .486.

Defense was a mixed bag. K-State had 50 digs to Loyola's 37, but blocks were seven to four in favor of the Ramblers. In set three, the Cats held Loyola to –.103 hitting!

Two Cats, Katie Brand (MVP, with 35 assists in this match) and Bryna Vogel made the all-tournament team.

OK... Creighton's up for Tuesday, 9/13. Notice: The match starts at 6:00 P.M.. Watch out, Cats... the Bluejays almost beat the #4 KU Bluebirds earlier this week, and they easily beat Iowa State.

September 9, 2016  Suzie Fritz Show #1
If you'd like to see an example of a great coach's show, have a look at the Suzie Fritz Show. Suzie is a impressive and engaging communicator. There is no better play-by-play broadcaster than Brian Smoller. He is extremely knowledgeable about volleyball, which makes him the perfect host. If you're a radio-TV major, take 20 minutes and study a very professional and enjoyable show.
September 9, 2016  K-State sweeps Miami (Florida)
Efficient hitting was the key to victory over Miami (25-19, 25-17, 25-23), as for the second time today, K-State broke .400. The Cats hit .402, while holding Miami to .235.

Brooke Sassin, who had a very good day, led with 13 points, 13 kills and .409 hitting. Bryna Vogel followed with 12 points and nine kills, hitting .412. Macy Flowers hit 1.000! She had nine points. Katie Brand, currently 2nd in the Big 12 in Assists (11.4 per set), had 40 in this match, or 13.3 per set, and she hit .556! Zsofia Gyimes hit an impressive .444, and added six points. Kylee Zumach had seven points from six kills, with solid .286 hitting.

On defense, both teams had 6.0 blocks, with the difference being K-State leading in digs, 39 to 26, thanks to Kersten Kober's 12.

September 9, 2016  Suzie Fritz gets 300th win vs. Mississippi State
K-State defeated Mississippi State in its invitational Friday afternoon, Suzie Fritz got win #300, and the program's 800th win, in a 3-1 outcome vs. a very good MSU team. Set scores were 25-16, 24-26, 28-26, 25-16.

A look at the box score makes one wonder how it was close, as the Cats outblocked MSU 13 to 2, and doubled MSU in hitting, .420 to .203!

Brooke Sassin had 21.5 points and 18 kills, hitting .485. Macy Flowers (.562), Bryna Vogel (.450) and Kylee Zumach (.355) each added 13 points.

Defense was solid, as mentioned above, with the major discrepancy in blocking at 13-2. The Cats held MSU to .100 hitting in the first set, and .086 in set four! Kersten Kober had 20 digs, and Bryna Vogel had 11.

There was a recognition for Suzie for 300 wins after the match, as players showed off their 300/800t-shirts, and John Currie presented Suzie with flowers.

September 6, 2016  Kylee Zumach is back!
It makes me really happy to link to this video, with Kylee reflecting on a year-long recovery from her ACL injury, and her return to the court.

Here are some of her accomplishments in the 2014 season: First Team All-Big 12, Big 12 Freshman of the Year, five-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week, First-Team Midwest Region (AVCA), Midwest Region (AVCA) Freshman of the Year... and we'll wrap up this long list with AVCA Honorable Mention All-American.

There's no doubt that Kylee's courage and persistence is inspiring her teammates.

September 3, 2016  Cats win a barnburner over a strong Georgia Tech team
Georgia Tech's recap called this one a heartbreaker. This was about an even a match as you'll find. Both teams recorded 83 points. K-State hit .163, and Georgia Tech hit .171. K-State had 16 blocks, to Georgia Tech's 14. There were 30 tied scores. K-State's sideouts came in at 58%, and Georgia Tech had 60%. Both teams left the building with 4-2 records. The match went to five sets, with scores (K-State's listed first) of 25-22, 27-25, 22-25, 16-25 and 15-12.

Once again, welcome back Kylee Zumach, who led with 21 points and 20 kills!! Brooke Sassin had 17.5 points, Macy Flowers had 13 and Bryna Vogel had 12. Macy hit a strong .300, followed by Kylee, with .211. Katie Brand had a whopping 50 assists, a service ace and six kills.

Kersten Kober, who sat out the Tennessee State match, had 26 digs, followed by Bryna Vogel with 20, Brooke Sassin with 19, Katie Brand with 18 and Deven Fairfield with 17. Macy Flowers led in blocks, with four, and Brooke Sassin had 3.5. Zsofia Gyimes had 2.5 blocks.

We send best wishes to Katie "Rhino" Reininger, who went down early in the match with a painful ankle injury. We were very worried for her just afterward, in hopes that she hadn't hurt a knee, but eventually it became clear that she had tweaked an ankle. She seemed to be in good spirits, once the original scare and pain had passed. We hope you're better real soon, Rhino!

September 3, 2016  K-State sweeps Tennessee State
It was a sweep, with uneven results, as shown by set scores of 25-17, 25-6 and 25-22.

Alyssa Schultejans led in offense, with 13.5 points, 13 kills and hitting .407. Katie Reininger and Zsofia Gyimes each had 8.5 points and six kills. Katie hit a spectacular .857, and Zsofia hit a very impressive .364. Brooke Sassin was right there with them, with eight points, eight kills and .389 hitting. As a team, K-State hit an outstanding .419, and .619 in set two! Katie Brand had 35 assists. Newcomer Elle Sandbothe had a solid match, adding 4.5 points from four kills and .286 hitting.

It was a strong outing on defense. In support of that claim, the Cats held their opponents to .160 hitting. While we're at it, let's just mention that the Cats held Tennessee State to .139 hitting in set one, and .000 hitting in set two. The Cats outblocked Tennessee State, 6 - 2. Katie Reininger had five block assists, followed by Katie Brand, with four.

September 2, 2016  Cats fall to Michigan in first home match
K-State started their first invitational with a very good Michigan team (4-0), that also received votes in the first AVCA poll, ultimately losing, 1 - 3.

Some good things happened on offense. Welcome back, Kylee Zumach! She led all scorers with 23.5 points, from 20 kills. Brooke Sassin was also a major contributor, with 19.5 points from 19 kills, and Bryna Vogel added 16.5 points and 16 kills. Katie Brand was busy and efficient, with 56 assists, and she hit .545, adding seven kills. Michigan outhit the Cats, .311 to .225. Scores were 21-25, 26-24, 19-25 and 22-25.

Defense was a bit of a puzzle. Michigan had a solid lead in blocks, 11 to 5, but K-State had a nice lead in digs, 67 - 56. Kersten Kober recorded 20 digs, Bryna Vogel had 13, Brooke Sassin had nine, and Katie Brand had eight.

While we were at home watching the Football Cats play Stanford, Georgia Tech swept Tennessee State.

August 28, 2016  K-State takes second place in Hawaii Invitational
After impressive victories over Arizona and Hawaii this weekend, the Cats were swept by Wisconsin. Set scores were 18-25, 15-25 and 20-25. Katie Brand and Brooke Sassin made the tournament team.

Bryna and Katie Reininger led in kills, with nine each. Katie Brand hit .375, followed by Bryna, at .333. Wisconsin surpassed the Cats in hitting, at an impressive .385 to .152. Wisconsin had strong defense, leading eight to five in blocks, and recording 50 digs, to the Cats' 38.

Kersten Kober had 10 digs, followed by Katie Brand's nine. Brooke Sassin had six, and Kylee Zumach had five.

Welcome the Cats home at Bramlage Coliseum on Friday and Saturday, as they face three undefeated teams!

August 28, 2016  Kansas State defeats #6 Hawaii, in their invitational
This impressive victory is up there with the Cats' win over #2 Nebraska on their court in December 2011 (video), which by the way earned them a trip to Hawaii in the NCAA tournament. K-State had plenty of opportunities to get intimidated when the score in a set got close, but time after time, one of our players stepped up with a critical play to keep the momentum. If K-State wins this invitational by beating Wisconsin later today, I have to think there's a place for them in the first AVCA poll on August 29. Way to go, Cats!

K-State outplayed Hawaii in every statistical category except service aces: kills 62-52, hitting .220-.174, assists 60-52, blocks 12-8 and digs 83-75.

Brooke Sassin led in kills, with 18, followed by Kylee Zumach with 14 and Bryna Vogel with 12. Macy Flowers led in hitting percentage, at .412. Bryna hit .310.

Katie Brand had 21 digs, Kersten Kober had 19 and Kylee Zumach had 11. Katie Reininger had 7 block assists, and Katie Brand had 6.

Hawaii took set one, 25-19, but the Cats prevailed in the next three sets, 30-28, 25-22 and 25-20. The match was close, with 34 tied scores, but K-State often led by a few points. Throughout the match, I consistently felt the Cats were in a position to win the current set and the match. Hawaii never stopped challenging them, but time after time, if a lead started to diminish, a Cat would make an awesome play, and we'd sideout. By the fourth set, the Cats' success seemed to have worn on Hawaii, who trailed the entire set.

This match was one for the history books... our first win over this perennial powerhouse, in front of a partisan crowd of 6,463, and played in the middle of the night!

August 27, 2016  Meet the Newcomers video: Rachel Stark
Kylee Zumach interviews #8 Rachel Stark, freshman OH, her fellow Minnesotan.
August 26, 2016  K-State opens with a solid victory over Arizona Wildcats
Our Cats were wilder! It was a convincing victory in Hawaii this evening, with scores of 25-21, 25-16, 20-25 and 25-18 over Arizona (RV).

Brooke Sassin led with 15.5 points and 14 kills off .351 hitting. Kylee Zumach and Bryna Vogel each had 10.5 points. Macy Flowers added 9.5 points, with impressive .444 hitting. Brooke Sassin hit .351. K-State hit .193, and Arizona hit .122.

Kersten Kober led with 14 digs, Bryna Vogel, who had a great night overall, had 12, and Brooke Sassin had 10 digs. Macy Flowers led with 4.5 blocks, and Katie Brand had 3.5. K-State surpassed Arizona in blocks, 14 - 6.

Next up is #6 Hawaii, at midnight CDT Aug. 27/28. Hawaii was an Elite Eight NCAA team in 2015, ended at #7 in the AVCA Division I Poll, and we get to play them in the Stan Sheriff Center, where they were #2 in Division I attendance, at 6,905 per match in 2015.

August 26, 2016  Hitting Hawaii: Wildcats Ready for Early Tests
Corbin McGuire has a lengthy Sports Extra on the tremendous challenges facing the Cats in Hawaii, as they'll play #4 Wisconsin and #6 Hawaii this weekend.
August 26, 2016  It's Volleyball Season!
There's all kinds of good information on the Arizona match in the Game Notes posted by kstatesports.com.
August 25, 2016  Meet the Newcomers video: Peyton Williams
Rhino interviews #11 Peyton Williams, freshman. She's from Topeka, and went to Cair Paravel. A fun fact is she's on the Women's Basketball team, too. She likes to play guitar and sing, and will soon be starting a group with Katie.
August 24, 2016  Meet the Newcomers video: Maureen Schick
Mattie Batchelder interviews #19 Maureen Schick, freshman. She's from Green Bay, Wisconsin. She loves the Packers and Jordy (and Grey's Anatomy)!
August 24, 2016  Zumach Returns to Court with Greater Love for Volleyball
Corbin McGuire has a nice Sports Extra on Kylee Zumach's lengthy recovery from an ACL injury in the second match of 2015. We're all happy that she's able to play again.
August 23, 2016  Meet the Newcomers video: Mckenzi Weber
Kersten Kober interviews #20 Mckenzi Weber, DS/libero. I'm looking forward to seeing her play. Her dad, K-State's own Stan Weber, is the best sports color guy I've ever heard. Mckenzi's mom, Nancy, was a K-State cheerleader in the late 80s, and we all know Stanton. It's great to see the tradition continue.
August 23, 2016  Meet the Newcomers video: Kylee Penning
Rhino interviews our new setter, who tells us about life on the farm.
August 23, 2016  Cats headed west early in the week
@KStateVB tweeted a fun picture of the team in DFW, which I'm guessing was after the 8:07 a.m. flight from MHK to DFW, with the next stop as Honolulu. Who knew that Katie Brand and Brooke Sassin owned glasses?
August 23, 2016  Meet the Newcomers video: Sarah Dixon
Alyssa Schultejans interviews #4 Sarah Dixon, sophomore. She's from Chino Hills, CA. A fun fact is she played for Arizona last year, and the Cats will play them in Honolulu three days from now.
August 22, 2016  Meet the Newcomers video: Elle Sandbothe
Kylee Zumach interviews our new middle blocker, Elle Sandbothe, from Lee's Summit, MO. Hey! That's where we found Claire Coggins!

Elle signed with K-State last November. Her club coach, Mark Ethridge said, "Elle is super-athletic, with a lighting-fast arm swing. She is competitive, highly energetic and brings out the best in her teammates." Elle has special points with me, because she sent me a note last month to thank me for being an early bird season ticket holder.

August 11, 2016  Get Your Tickets!
As of today, all chairs and cushions are sold out, and season ticket sales are -35 from the all-time record!
August 11, 2016  K-State Players Improve from Summer Collegiate National Team Experiences
Katie Brand spent time in China with the U.S. Collegiate National Team, and Bryna Vogel and Brooke Sassin joined 34 other players in Indianapolis with CNT-Indianapolis, where they polished their skills and gained confidence in competing against other excellent players. Here's the K-State Sports Extra with full details.
August 10, 2016  AVCA Division I Preseason Poll
The preseason poll was released today. National champ Nebraska is #1, and 2015 runner-up Texas came in at #2. Other items of note are that our opponent on Aug. 27, Hawaii, is #6, and our opponent on Aug. 28, Wisconsin, is at #4.
August 9, 2016  2016 Season Practices Begin
Today is the beginning of fall practices... then the Cats will go to Hawaii from August 26-28 to compete against Arizona, Hawaii and Wisconsin. See this story for a preview of the 2016 season!
August 5, 2016  Two K-State Matches to be Nationally Televised on ESPNU
Both matches are on the road, but we'll happily take the exposure. First up is vs. KU in The Shanty on Wed., Oct. 12. The encore will be on the Cats' visit to Ames on Wed., Oct. 26. (details)
August 3, 2016  Katie Brand: Preseason All-Big 12
Now, there's a no-brainer! Our outstanding setter, Katie, recently returned from a successful trip to China with the U.S. Collegiate National Team. It's her third preseason honor. Read the announcements from K-State Sports and the Big 12.
July 24, 2016  Charissa Dugan Cederberg - Mrs. US - Kansas
Here's a nice YouTube video, "The Road to Mrs. US - Kansas," featuring Charissa, a member of the K-State Volleyball 2007 and 2008 teams, and a K-State Sports Extra that announces the video.
July 7, 2016  Sarah Dixon transfers from Arizona
Sarah Dixon, a 5' 9" setter from Chino Hills, California, has joined the Cats as a sophomore. In high school, she lettered four years, was MVP as a senior and was a league champion. In club volleyball, her team won a bronze medal in the 2015 Girls Junior National Championships.

Sarah will join first-year players Cheyenne Hooper, Maureen Schick, Elle Sandbothe, Rachel Stark and Peyton Williams. (link)

July 4, 2016  Katie Brand's on the cover of the K-Stater!
The summer 2016 K-Stater has a great picture of Katie, who's currently in China, playing for the U.S. Collegiate National Team. There's a nice feature on her on page 33.
July 2, 2016  Katie Brand Blog - Bringing Home a Championship (and Memories)
K-State's own Katie Brand, U.S. Collegiate National Team member, has posted her final blog on her trip to China. The U.S. won! Katie has done an amazing job of documenting her trip and experiences!   (Part 3)
June 23, 2016  Schultejans, Flowers and Gyimes named to Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team
Alyssa Schultejans, Zsofia Gyimes and Macy Flowers were among 30 Cats who received this all-conference honor. (link)
June 23, 2016  Katie Brand Blog - Greetings from China
K-State's own Katie Brand, U.S. Collegiate National Team member, is doing a blog of her 12-day trip to China.   (Part 1)   (Part 2)   (Part 3)
June 16, 2016  Maureen Schick joins the Cats as a walk-on
Maureen Schick, an all-state defensive specialist/libero out of Green Bay, Wisconsin, will join K-State Volleyball as a walk-on. The All-State defensive specialist from Notre Dame Academy in Wisconsin totaled 1,539 digs.

She joins incoming freshmen Elle Sandbothe (middle blocker, Lee's Summit, Missouri), Rachel Stark (outside hitter, Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Peyton Williams (middle blocker, Topeka) as the four members of K-State's 2016 recruiting class.

Here's the release from Sports Information.

June 8, 2016  Katie Brand will compete with the U.S. National Team
Katie will train and compete in a series of matches from Shanghai to Beijing from June 18 to July 1. She visited with Kelly McHugh-Stewart in one of her final editions of K-State Sports Extra.
May 11, 2016  Volleyball season tickets earlybird deadline
Here's Kersten Kober's promo video
Apr. 23, 2016  Cats end spring with five sets vs. Minnesota
Kansas State journeyed to Indianola, Iowa to play Minnesota today, winning two of five, 26-28, 19-25, 26-24, 25-21, 27-25.

The Cats hit .222 vs. UM at .290, and fell short on blocks, 7 to 9. Alyssa Schultejans and Brooke Sassin had 15 kills, and Kylee Zumach had 12.

It should be noted that Minnesota was a Final Four team in December, that eventually lost to Nebraska, the national champions. Here's the recap from Athletics.

Apr. 16, 2016  Wildcats Compete at UNI Spring Tournament
K-State competed against Northern Illinois, UNI, South Dakota, Iowa and North Dakota State at the UNI Tournament. While they didn't win a match, the Cats had some nice offensive numbers from Alyssa Schultejans (27 kills), Brooke Sassin (22), Bryna Vogel (21) and, we're happy to announce, Kylee Zumach, who had 19 kills. Welcome back, Kylee! Mattie Batchelder had 17 digs, and six aces. Bryna hit .431, and had 23 digs! Devan Fairfield paced the team with 29 while Kersten Kober had 24. Oops! I've pretty much swiped Volleyball's recap!
Apr. 8, 2016  Brooke Sassin and Bryna Vogel selected for U.S. Collegiate National Team program
This is a tryout program for the U.S. Women's National Team. The competition phase involves a round-robin tournament of the three squads will take place June 26-29, under the same roof as the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships. (K-State Announcement)
Apr. 5, 2016  Suzie Fritz announces the addition of Cheyenne Hooper
The word started circulating in March. We saw her pictured with the team at Ft. Riley. Now the good news that 6' 6" middle blocker Cheyenne Hooper will play volleyball has been officially announced. Coach Fritz stated, "Cheyenne is an exceptionally fast learner, and outstanding person and an excellent teammate. Because of who she is and how she works, we believe she has an excellent opportunity to be successful."
Apr. 4, 2016  Cats Tickets Promo Video
We hear from Kersten Kober, Brooke Sassin, Katie Reininger and Katie Brand. It's too bad the video crew used LED lighting that's reflected in the players' pupils. (8 MB video)
Apr. 2, 2016  Wildcats Fall in Spring Opener against Illinois
The Cats lost to Illinois in four sets today, K-State dropped a four-set match to Illinois today, 22-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19. K-State hit .143, and Illinois hit .264. Bryna Vogel had 14 kills, Katie Brand had 11 and Katie Reininger had nine. Here's a brief recap.
Mar. 18, 2016  Katie Brand to China with the U.S. Collegiate National Team
Katie @katiedbrand will play in China from June 21 to July 1, as part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team. She'll be one of two setters on the 12-player team. She's been training for this in recent summers, and we know she'll do well. (USA VB announcement) (announcement tweet) (USA Volleyball) (KSU VB announcement)
Mar. 10, 2016  Cats visit Fort Riley
Here's a photo (found somewhere on Twitter) of the team paying a visit to Fort Riley soldiers the other day. If there was any question about 6' 6" Cheyenne Hooper transferring from WBB to VB, here's your answer! (Click to enlarge.)
Mar. 7, 2016  Sports Extra: Five Wildcats compete at national team tryout
As announced below Katie Brand, Brooke Sassin, Kersten Kober, Bryna Vogel and Macy Flowers spent a February weekend in Colorado, and this Sports Extra has their comments.
Mar. 1, 2016  Volleyball Announces Spring Scrimmage Schedule
Here's the preliminary information.
Feb. 12, 2016  Five Wildcats Selected for National Team Open Tryout
Katie Brand, Macy Flowers, Kersten Kober, Brooke Sassin and Bryna Vogel will participate in the annual U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryout February 19-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Katie has been involved with this two times previously. (announcement)
Feb. 2, 2016  Suzie Fritz extends her contract to 2020
It's very good to report that Coach Fritz has added some years to her contract. She's been head coach for almost 15 years, and was an assistant for Jim McLaughlin from 1997 to 2000. Her career record is now at 295-168. (announcement)
Jan. 29, 2016  Dawn Cady Sullivan to the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame
Congratulations to Dawn, our outstanding outside hitter from 1996 to 1999, who was named an AVCA Second-Team All-American after her senior season... K-State's first All-American! Of course, she was also First-Team All-Big 12 that year. She had been selected as AVCA National Player of the Week in September 1999.

Dawn is #1 in single-season kills (622), #3 in career kills (1,611), #2 in kills per set (3.99), #5 in digs per set (3.11) and #4 in career points (1,804).

Currently the associate head coach at Iowa State, she joins Lauren Goehring as the second Volleyball player in the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame.

(K-State Sports Extra)