Headlines 2019
January 13, 2020  Kadye Fernholz: Gatorade Player of the Year in South Dakota!
Kadye @kadye-fernholz, a 2020 K-State signee from Miller High School, has been named South Dakota Volleyball Player of the Year. As of this moment, I don't have an official link, but here's a profile from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, from December 2019. Kadye is a 6' 1" middle blocker, who finished at Miller High School with 2,024 kills and 1,000+ digs!

1. Here's a must-see YouTube video from 8/06/19, that has Kadye's comments on recruiting, and clips of spectacular plays. Kadye says she chose K-State because she loves the coaches. 2. South Dakota Public Broadcasting: Kadye Fernholz of Miller Commits to Kansas State 3. Huron Daily Plainsman: Rustler standout commits to K-State

January 9, 2020  Gloria Mutiri Has Transferred to Oregon
Here's the word from the Manhattan Mercury on both transfers. There may be more to this than meets the eye, or it may be as simple as the Cats' 4-12, 9-19 record in 2019.
January 9, 2020  Anna Dixon Leaves Kansas State for MU
Here's news that has shocked Cats VB fans. Anna Dixon has abandoned ship. A hometown media source, Louisburg Sports Zone, has posted the news of Anna's transfer. This especially stunning because Anna grew up a K-State fan.
December 19, 2019  Big 12 Teams Concluded the 2019 Season Today
Baylor lost to Wisconsin in the semifinal game of the Final Four today, so all Big 12 teams are finished. A number of years ago, I started keeping a rankings chart of the Big 12 teams only. (link) Of the teams which currently make up the Big 12, only two teams, Texas and Kansas State, have winning records (in conference play)! Texas leads with an 82.2% winning record, with Kansas State at 54.7%. While Baylor made the Final Four this year, in Big 12 competition, only in the past three seasons have they produced a winning conference record.

Nebraska, a perennial powerhouse, owns the best all-time record in the Big 12, at 92.7%, with Texas A&M in third place, at 60.8%. So... Kansas State Volleyball is #4 all-time in Big 12 wins, and #2 among current Big 12 members.

Finally, I have a year-by-year standings page, which shows each team's season outcome, since the forming of the conference in 1996.

December 9, 2019  Brynn Carlson Named CoSIDA Academic All-America
Brynn's 4.000 is making news! The Sports Information Directors organization, CoSIDA, has placed her on their Academic All-America Third Team for 2019. She's also Academic All-Big 12 First Team. Here are releases from K-State and CoSIDA.
December 4, 2019  Sports Extra: Loren Hinkle Ends Season with Big 12 Honor
Freshman libero Loren Hinkle is the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. As noted on Dec. 2 below, she recorded 23 digs in the sweep of Texas Tech on Saturday, the Big 12 high for a three-set match this season. In conference-only matches, Loren ended with 3.53 digs per set – the fourth-best rate in the Big 12 – and the highest for a freshmen. In today's Sports Extra, Corbin McGuire reports Loren's adjustment to the libero position. She's played whatever positions have been needed. In September, Loren's dad told me that she has played every position except middle blocker. This she sees as useful when defending against the various positions.

Loren certainly isn't afraid of a challenge. She's majoring in biochemistry, which is an exceptionally difficult major. In this interview, she describes her process of learning and perfecting the libero position, and her focus on being the best teammate possible.

Finally, I've been impressed throughout the season with her serve, which is also mentioned in the Extra. A quick check of the season stats reveals that Loren leads the Cats in service aces (25), and service aces per set (0.22). While we're at it, she's second on the team in sets played, and second in digs. We look forward to watching her over three more seasons!

December 3, 2019  Peyton Williams and Anna Dixon Receive All-Big 12 Honors
Big congrats go to Peyton Williams, who was named Second Team All-Big 12 today, and to Anna Dixon, who made the All-Big 12 Rookie Team! (Big 12) (K-State Sports)

Peyton is the only player in Big 12 history to earn All-Big 12 in both Volleyball and Women's Basketball. She was 5th in the Big 12 in hitting, averaging .314. Also, she led the Cats in hitting % in her three seasons! "She hit .300 or better 14 times in 2019, and eclipsed the .400 plateau on seven occasions," reports K-State Sports.

Anna led the Cats with 2.89 kills per set, and she recorded 289 total kills. Her overall and league kills-per-set averages were tops among all Big 12 freshmen.

December 2, 2019  Loren Hinkle: Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week!
I called it in my Nov. 30 write-up of the match, just below! Loren's 23 digs... her K-State high... helped the Cats to their sweep of Texas Tech. As a team, the Cats held Tech to hitting over the three sets of .047, .054 and .103. The Red Raiders managed only .067 hitting for the match. By the way, the Big 12 reports that Loren's 23 digs is the conference's season high for a three-set match! Swiping a stat from K-State Sports, "In conference-only matches, Loren ended with 3.53 digs per set – the fourth-best rate in the Big 12 – and tops among freshmen."

Here are the announcements from the Big 12 and K-State Sports.

I don't have any links to highlights of the match, but how about this cool clip from a practice, to celebrate Loren's recognition today!

November 30, 2019  Defense Pushes K-State to Sweep of Texas Tech
As Mitch Holthus used to say on an occasion like this, "Now, you listen to me closely. What this is, is a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big K-State victory."

Our Cats journeyed to Lubbock, and carried out what might be their most decisive victory of the season! After scrolling through the box scores for the season, the performance on defense (.067 hitting for TTU) is by far the best of the season, and the Cats' hitting (.283) appears to be their third highest of the season (with the highest being .300). The Cats dominated TTU in every major statistical category, and ended with a sweep. I'm sorry Peyton couldn't be there for the festivities, but she was stuck in the Bahamas.

Holly Bonde had a big night on offense, leading with 15 points and 12 kills, and she hit .417! Anna Dixon added 9.5 points and 9 kills. Brynn Carlson had 9 points, and 8 kills, and solid .261 hitting. Gloria Mutiri ended with 7.5 points and 6 kills. Kaley Hollywood had 6.5 points, 5 block assists, and she hit .600! Sarah Dixon, sadly in her last match, had 18 assists, as did Teana Adams-Kaonohi.

So... the Cats' overall offense by set came in at .200, .333 and .316.

Now that I've persuaded you that offense was solid, let us turn to defense. Coach Fritz (who recorded her 350th victory) said,

"I was really excited about holding an opponent under .100. That was, in my mind, one of the best defensive efforts in a lot of phases. We were productive at the net in terms of blocks. I thought Loren Hinkle had a tremendous defensive night, and our left-back defenders Holly (Bonde) and Mckenzi Weber did a nice job, as well."
Loren Hinkle had a career-high 23 digs, and I feel she's a contender for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.

Look at these hitting percentages by Tech: set 1: .047, set 2: .054 and set 3: .103. There was off-the-charts spectacular defense going on!

The Cats' season is unfortunately complete now, ending at 9-19 overall, and 4-12 in Big 12 play. Baylor and Texas are co-champs... each finishing 15-1. TCU and KSU ended in a tie for 6th place. It makes me happy that our Cats ended strong, with a memorable victory over 17-13 Texas Tech. I miss Volleyball season already!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .283 41 57 10 57
TTU .067 30 37 3 48
November 26, 2019  Cats' Rally vs. OU = an NCAA Top 5 Play of the Week
Yup... I got to witness it! The occasion was a set two rally, playing OU in Ahearn. An attack by OU got past the block of Peyton Williams and Anna Dixon, and was headed to the floor. Holly Bonde wasn't having it, and went sliding out of bounds to pancake the ball, and got it about three feet into the air. Loren Hinkle scampered over to tap the ball farther inbounds, then Peyton sent it back across the net. OU dug it and sent it our way, but Peyton finished the rally with a single block. Here's the tweet from the NCAA. Right-click here to download the video, with play-by-play from Brian Smoller.
November 23, 2019  #3 Baylor Gets by the Cats
Kansas State's final home match ended as a loss, but the Cats made Baylor (23-1, 13-2 Big 12) earn it. Set scores were (Baylor/KSU): 25-19, 25-17, 25-18.

Let's begin with a shout out to Peyton Williams, in her final season, who led with 9 points, 8 kills, 4 digs and .500 hitting! Peyton was named as Academic All-District a few days ago. Senior setter Sarah Dixon hit .750, had 12 assists and 5 digs, and has a 4.000. Mckenzi Weber had her last home match, and leaves with a 4.000 GPA. Brooke Heyne, who was unable to play this season, was on the bench with the Cats tonight. We're very sorry that she had to take a medical leave this season. Also recognized tonight were Makenzie Holcomb, graduate manager, who is completing her MBA this year, and played in 2014 and 2015. Avery Noel, manager, was also recognized. We will miss all of these fine Wildcats.

The competition was tough. Baylor will most likely be Big 12 co-champions, as they and Texas only have losses to each other at this late point in the season. In most matches, the Cats were competitive with their opponents, but didn't quite prevail. The Cats have so far taken 10 matches to 5 sets, and 8 matches to 4 sets. Of those 18 extended matches, 8 ended as victories.

On defense, Loren Hinkle, our libero tonight, led with 12 digs. Megan Vernon had 6 block assists, and Gloria Mutiri added 4.

The Cats' final match will be at Texas Tech, next Saturday at 1 p.m. Let's follow Football's example from today, and come home with a W!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
Baylor .279 46 58 6 44
KSU .143 31 41 8 35

November 21, 2019  BANANAS
Here's a play, posted by @K-StateVB on Twitter, and as a download on my site. It began with a Cats partial block, then a pancake save by Holly Bonde, with the ball clearly not going to make it over the net. Loren Hinkle zoomed in from backcourt to tap it up, but Peyton Williams had to redirect the ball higher, and over the net. Oklahoma returned the attack moments later. Peyton and Gloria Mutiri went up to block, which ended with credit for a block single by Peyton. Let's also give credit to Brian Smoller for his call of the exciting play. Be sure to set aside 17 seconds to watch it!
November 21, 2019  Seven Cats Named First Team Academic All-Big 12

K-State VB's players who earned this honor are Brynn Carlson (4.000), Sarah Dixon (4.000), Mckenzi Weber (4.000), Abigail Archibong, Jacque Smith, Megan Vernon and Peyton Williams. (Brynn and Peyton were named Academic All-District a week ago.) Here's the impressive news from K-State and the Big 12.
November 20, 2019  OU gets a match and season sweep
In the match in Norman, the teams' box score numbers were strikingly similar. For example, points scored were exactly the same, hitting percentages were .180 and .187 and kills were 65 to 62. That was not the case tonight.

Oklahoma hit .298 to K-State's .119, which explains an advantage on kills of 42 to 31, and 57 to 43 points in favor of the Sooners, who lead the Big 12 in minimizing their opponents' hitting percentage.

Gloria Mutiri performance was "tremendous," reported Coach Fritz. She led with 11 points and 10 kills, and this is not a typo: she hit .533! Brynn Carlson was next with 8.5 points, but was less efficient. Anna Dixon and Holly Bonde each added 7 points.

Coach Fritz gave shout outs to our defensive duo of Loren Hinkle (libero tonight) and Dru Kuck on their passing, which she called their career bests. Loren led the Cats with 11 digs, and contributed a service ace. This was her 15th match with double-digit digs. Peyton Williams led the Cats with 6 block assists, and a single.

Sarah Dixon, the subject of a very complimentary Sports Extra today, had 15 assists.

Set one was the best for the Cats, as they hit .242, and ended within 25-20 of OU. Unfortunately, set 2 came in considerably lower, with –.033 hitting. Oklahoma prevailed, with a 25-14 set score.

Next up for the Cats is Senior Day, vs. #3 Baylor, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. It's noteworthy that #3 Baylor knocked off #1 Texas tonight. Texas has played one more Big 12 match than Baylor. Texas still has to play at Iowa State, so their path to the championship is more difficult, I'd say. Let's help them out.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
OU .298 42 57 8 44
KSU .119 31 43 10 34
November 16, 2019  K-State loses to KU, to even this year's series
The Cats took the Poultry to 4 sets, but KU got the W today, with very close set scores of (KSU/KU): 18-25, 25-23, 23-25, 24-26. Set 1 was more lopsided than the 18-25 shows, as the Cats hit .174, to a blistering hot .517 for KU. Sets 2 and 3 were obviously decided by two points, with each team winning one, but KU hit noticeably better in set 4 (.407 to .286). Both teams had substandard hitting in set 4 (with the Cats only managing .069), and set 4 ended with a difference of two points, as the Bluebirds only hit .119.

Peyton Williams had a very fine match. She led with 15.5 points, helped with blocks and digs, had 10 kills and excellent .421 hitting. Finally, Peyton had 3 aces! Anna Dixon was next in points, with 13. While she had 10 kills, she also had 10 errors. Brynn Carlson, newly announced as First Team Academic All-Region, had 13 points and a team-high 12 kills, with solid .308 hitting. Gloria Mutiri had 7 points, Megan Vernon had 6.5, and Holly Bonde added 4.5, hitting .375! Sarah Dixon contributed 31 assists.

Loren Hinkle served as libero throughout, as Dru Kuck was again not available. Loren led with 12 digs, and Coach Fritz praised her passing. Peyton Williams, Anna Dixon and Megan Vernon each had 3 block assists.

Once again, K-State was certainly competitive with their opponent, but ultimately didn't bring home the W. There were 11 lead changes in the match, and 30 tie scores.

Up next is OU, on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 6:30. If you scroll down to October 16, you'll see the box score of KSU at OU, with strikingly close numbers in all the major stats categories. Let's all be at the Field House to support our Cats!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KU .314 57 69 9 43
KSU .214 49 62 7 34
November 14, 2019  Brynn Carlson and Peyton Williams: Academic All-District
So... this news rolled out on the same day (see below) that Peyton published a lengthy how-to guide on being a Division I two-sport athlete. Well into her career, she has a 3.940 GPA in Anthropology. Brynn Carlson, now a redshirt sophomore, has a 4.000 in what I believe is a triple major of Dietetics, Nutrition and Kinesiology. Brynn was named to the First Team, and Peyton, with her almost-perfect GPA, is Second Team. Brynn is eligible for Academic All-American. Here's the announcement from Athletics. Congrats to both of our deep thinkers!
November 14, 2019  Peyton Williams' Guide to Being a Dual-Sport Student-Athlete
Any regular readers (ha!) will have noticed that I'm a big fan of Corbin McGuire's Sports Extra. A while back, he got the idea that once in a while an athlete with a fascinating personal story can also be the writer. Here, in the words of the exceptional Peyton Williams, is her Survival Guide to Being a Dual-Sport Student-Athlete.

She has survived, and has made Big 12 Academic First Team, and in Basketball, she played in the 2019 Silver Medal U.S. Pan American Games Team. Also, as of today, she's on at least five different watch lists for national awards.

To anyone who has an interest in writing, Peyton's story is goals, as the younger set would say.

November 13, 2019  #1 Texas Sweeps the Cats
Texas dominated the box score, accumulating 63 points to the Cats' 36, ending in a (TX/KSU) 25-18, 25-16, 25-17 victory, in front of a home crowd of 3,496. They're #1 in this week's AVCA poll, and also lead the Big 12.

Brynn Carlson led with 9.5 points and 9 kills, hitting .240. Anna Dixon added 8.5 points and 7 kills, hitting .032. The Longhorns' dominance in blocks (11 to 5) partially explains the Cats' low points output, along with 17 attack errors. Texas had a tremendous evening of offense, hitting .452, .303 and .300 in three sets, and an impressive .346 for the match. Obviously, it's a bit of a tall order to play the best team in Division I. By the way, the Horns lead the nation in hitting percentage.

Loren Hinkle logged 18 of the Cats' 43 digs, which marked a career high for her. Dru Kuck did not play. She's had a hand wrapped in recent matches. We don't know what the circumstance was tonight.

Next up for Kansas State: the Squawks, on November 16, in The Shanty. I'm looking forward to a second season sweep of the ever-annoying poultry!!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
Texas .346 45 63 11 46
KSU .118 29 36 5 43
November 13, 2019  Kadye Fernholz has signed with the Cats
Kadye @kadye_fernholz is a 6' 1" middle blocker from Miller, South Dakota. Here's her announcement tweet.

Kadye Fernholz was named to the 2019 Under Armour Girls High School All-America Second Team by the AVCA earlier this month. She is 2019 AVCA High School All-Region, and was named a PrepVolleyball.com Senior Ace, as one of the nation's top 150 recruits.

She had 1,900+ kills and 300+ blocks in high school, and over 450 kills and.441 hitting in her senior season. Kadye is a two-time First-Team All-State, and was Second-Team All-State as a freshman. The Miller Rustlers are currently the top seed in the state tournament that begins November 21 in Rapid City. Kadye led Miller HS to the Class A championship match last season.

Suzie Fritz said she is a versatile and well-accomplished, multi-sport athlete. "She has the capacity to play a variety of positions, but we like her athleticism and speed from pin to pin as a middle blocker. With that speed, she will be able to get out and run in transition to be an offensive threat. Kadye has excellent arm speed and will be able to generate kill production in a lot of different gaps."

November 13, 2019  Mackenzie Morris has signed with the Cats!
Mackenzie @mackenzmorris22 is a 5' 7" libero from Dallas. Here's her commitment announcement, dated Aug. 20, 2018.

Mackenzie was named 2018 6A District 2 Defensive Player of the Year, first team all-state and first team all-district following her junior season. She was named academic all-state and the district's Newcomer of the Year in 2017. In her club team, she helped lead Excel to a third-place finish at the 2018 USAV Junior National Championship, and was selected to the all-tournament team.

Suzie Fritz said she is one of the most underrated liberos in the 2020 class. "A highly-desired characteristic of a good libero is the ability to make the people around you better. Mackenzie does just that. She is an incredibly hard worker, and has a relentless-pursuit mentality that all good defenders require. She possesses tremendous speed and ball control, and sees the game well for a young player."

November 13, 2019  Jayden Nembhard has signed with the Cats!
Jayden @jaydennembhard2 is a 6' 1" OH from Keller, TX. Here's the tweet announcing her commitment in 2018.

Jayden lettered four years at Keller High School, and had 1,400+ kills, 150 blocks and 500 service aces. She helped lead the Indians to the Class 6A district playoffs in her senior season, and was named first team all-district. She helped her club team win gold in the Open division of the 2017 Girls Junior National Championships.

Coach Fritz says, "Jayden comes to us with strong competitive experiences coming from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, in both her club and high school programs. She is an outstanding athlete and jumper, with good blocking instincts. Jayden has the ability to play incredibly high and score points fast at the net. She comes from an athletic family with her brother, RJ, currently playing basketball at TCU. Her father played in the NBA, and her grandfather played in the NFL."

November 13, 2019  Aliyah Carter has signed with the Cats!
Aliyah @aliyah_carter22 is a 5' 9" OH, who's a state champion in volleyball and track, from Dubuque, Iowa.

Aliyah helped lead Wahlert Catholic High School to two straight 4A state championships. She was voted the 2019 MVC Valley Division Player of the Year, and was a unanimous all-conference selection. She played her freshman season at Hempstead High School before transferring, and her team made the state tournament. In her junior season, she led the state in kills per set and hitting efficiency. She was one of three finalists for the 2019 All-Female Iowa Athlete of the Year, named by the Des Moines Register. The award honors the top multi-sport female athletes in the state of Iowa.

Suzie Fritz said, "Aliyah has a strong potential to be a six-rotation impact player. She is one of the most physically gifted jumpers in the nation. She is an elite multi-sport athlete, who has set several state records in track and field, to go with multiple state championships in volleyball. Aliyah comes from an athletic family, with both brothers currently playing college basketball."

November 9, 2019  Iowa State completes a season sweep of Kansas State
The set scores (KSU/ISU) were: 21-25, 20-25, 18-25. The Cats were competitive with Iowa State in defense: 6 KSU blocks to 7 for ISU, and 42 KSU digs to 45 for ISU, but it was a poor day for offense. While ISU's hitting was a lackluster .217, KSU's was only .108, and ISU prevailed in points, 58 to 38. The Cats' season stands at 8-15, 3-8 Big 12.

Here's a shout out to Megan Vernon, who had 5 points, and hit .500. Anna Dixon took the most swings (27), and led with 8.5 points, but hit only .074. Brynn Carlson and Gloria Mutiri each had 6 points, but hit only .158 and .048. Peyton Williams had 5.5 points (1.5 of them from block assists), and hit better, at .214. K-State's offense trended down over the three sets: .185, .088 and .073, resulting in .108 for the match. Kills came in at a season low of 30. The Cats' previous season low of 32 came vs. Iowa State.

Defense was comparable to the numbers Iowa State turned in (6 blocks to 7 for ISU, and 42 digs to 45 for ISU). Loren Hinkle and Dru Kuck shared libero duty once again. Dru had 11 digs, and Loren added 6 digs. Anna and Sarah Dixon each had 8.

Iowa State played a good match. They had some outstanding hits, they had 7 service aces, and their hitting improved steadily as the match went on (.161, .220 and .256). Their overall record of 16-8 and conference record of 7-5 are both #4 in the Big 12.

K-State returns to action on Nov. 13 at Texas. They're 17-2, 11-0 Big 12.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
ISU .217 44 58 7 45
KSU .108 30 38 6 42
November 7, 2019  Anna Dixon Follows Family's Footsteps to K-State Volleyball
There's nothing like a proper upbringing! Freshman OH Anna Dixon grew up coming to K-State Football games. Her dad and cousins are Wildcats, and Anna's aunt played for the Cats. In this excellent Sports Extra, we learn about her focus on "being a smarter hitter," and strategy for placing the ball. She's putting up increasingly strong numbers, as a result.
November 2, 2019  Cats Handle the Froggies in Five Sets
There were ups and downs, but once again, Kansas State showed the determination that has helped them prevail in some close matches. Set scores were (KSU/TCU): 25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 17-25, 15-7. The teams entered the match tied at 2-7 in Big 12 play, with similar overall records, and this match ended, as seen in the mini box score below, very close in statistical categories.

Suzie Fritz has oftened mentioned her hope for greater consistency in her team's play. Tonight's match started strong, as the Cats turned in .419 hitting in set one, then dropped to .067 in set two. Determination was seen, as hitting improved, ending back at an excellent .389 in set five.

Anna Dixon and Peyton Williams led in offense, each with 16 points and 11 kills, and Peyton hit .348 for the match. Gloria Mutiri had a solid match, ending with 14.5 points and 13 kills, and .444 hitting! Brynn Carlson added 14 points and 13 kills, hitting .263. There was considerably lower points production among the remaining players. Sarah Dixon had 26 assists, and Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 22.

On defense, K-State held TCU to .199 hitting for the match, and the Cats were strongest on defense in the final set, as TCU managed only .040 hitting. The Cats were strong on blocks, with 15, compared to TCU's 7, but TCU had an edge in digs, 65 to 58. I didn't have access to stats, but remember commenting that TCU seemed to be digging everything. Peyton Williams led with 8 block assists, Megan Vernon had 7 and Anna Dixon had 6.

Loren Hinkle and Dru Kuck switched as libero about three times. Both have been performing well in the role, and Coach Fritz probably wants to recognize both of them. Loren had 16 digs, and Dru had 10. Something noticeable in the box score is that TCU turned in 13 service aces, to the Cats' 5. Both teams had 12 service errors.

The Cats have a bye on Wednesday, and will take on Iowa State at home on Nov. 9. Iowa State, 14-7, 5-4, will play on Sunday and Wednesday before coming to visit the Cats next Saturday.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .255 57 77 15 58
TCU .199 55 75 7 65
October 30, 2019  West Virginia Wins in Four Sets
I wasn't able to follow this match, except for live stats, as we had home Men's Basketball, and no radio coverage. Set scores were (WVU/KSU) 26-28, 25-15, 25-17, 25-19.

While the Cats prevailed in set one, and had good hitting at .264, along with a match-high 21 kills, there was a dramatic drop-off afterward. The Cats' offense recorded .000 hitting in set two, while the Mountaineers hit .346, and WVU would turn in .351 and .349 hitting in sets 3 and 4. Coach Fritz commented that the Cats failed to match WVU's intensity beyond set one.

Anna Dixon led with 17 points and 16 kills, for a double-double. Peyton Williams, who had to miss a WBB game, added 10.5 points, with solid .263 hitting. Brynn Carlson had 10 points, with outstanding .400 hitting. Teana Adams-Kaonohi must have played setter for a while, as she had 24 assists, with Sarah Dixon contributing 22. Along with her 10 digs, she had a double-double.

On defense, the Cats produced on 3 blocks, vs. 9 for WVU. Libero Dru Kuck led with 15 digs. Loren Hinkle and Anna Dixon added 11, and Sarah Dixon had 10.

Up next for the Cats is purple vs. purple, with TCU in Ahearn on Nov. 2 at 6:30 P. Both teams are tied at 2 - 7 in Big 12 action. Be there, or be counted absent!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
WVU .314 63 76 9 72
KSU .152 51 58 3 63
October 26, 2019  Cyclones Slow Down Wildcats
The Cats were swept by Iowa State (KSU/ISU): 20-25, 23-25, 16-25 in Hilton Coliseum. They have won 3 of their last 14 matches, dating back to mid September. The official recap reports that tonight's outing resulted in a season-low 32 kills. It also states that we're now at 12 straight losses in Ames.

Coach Grove, in his post-match radio interview, emphasized the need for the Cats to react faster to their opponents' plays. When attending their previous, victorious match, I said a similar thing, wishing for them to better anticipate their opponent's offensive plays. Coach Fritz commented to the media on the need to get organized faster.

Anna Dixon led with 10 points and 10 kills. Gloria Mutiri added 8 points and 7 kills, and hit a solid .300. Holly Bonde had 6 points and 6 kills. The Cats hit .265 in set one, but Iowa State hit .365. The Cats dropped to .178 hitting in set two, although the final score was 23-25, as Iowa State hit only .174.

There was a stunning shortage of blocks in tonight's match, with 3 for KSU, and 2 for ISU. No KSU player had more than 2 block assists.

Up next for the Cats is a visit to WVU on Oct. 30. West Virginia has the worst Big 12 record at 1-7, but provided a loss at home for the Cats on Oct. 12. (The Cats, TCU and KU are currently tied at 2-6.)

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
ISU .258 50 61 3 66
KSU .217 32 36 2 54
October 24, 2019  K-State Outhits KU in a Five-Set Victory
A crowd of 2,655 in Ahearn witnessed the Cats' glorious defeat of the Squawks tonight. It was admittedly a close one, with set scores of (KSU/KU) 31-33, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-9.

While the Cats had significant trouble with service errors (20, to be exact), they were offset by 75 kills to KU's 54, and 12 aces. As seen above, The Cats lost the first two sets by two and three points, but showed real determination to find a way to win.

Anna Dixon had a big night on offense, leading with 25 points and 21 kills. Peyton Williams, who scored the final point to win set five, had 17.5 points and 13 kills, with excellent .379 hitting. Brynn Carlson added 16 points, with 15 kills and .256 hitting. Gloria Mutiri had 13.5 points and 12 kills. Megan Vernon had 10 points, from outstanding .417 hitting!

The Cats' hitting was not good in the first two sets, at .146 and .190, but they stepped it up in the next three sets, at .303, .324 and .400!

On defense, Megan Vernon was impressive, leading with six block assists. Loren Hinkle had 13 digs, Sarah Dixon had 11 and Dru Kuck had 9.

Coach Fritz had a shout out. "I want to point out Jacque Smith, who we brought in in the fifth, put together a four-point scoring run (on her serve) at the end, and made two key digs and a couple key plays there. That's MVP stuff for me, coming off the bench and being able to do that, and helping your team in the fifth and being ready when we need you."

Here's the official match recap. Thanks to the Cats for a night to remember!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .257 75 97 10 67
Squawks .191 54 73 12 72
October 21, 2019  Dru Kuck: Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
For her 36 digs vs. OU, Dru has been named Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the Big 12 today.

This is the third-highest mark in K-State history during the rally-scoring era (since 2001), and is the most turned in by any player in the Big 12 this season.

Here's the good news from K-State Athletics. K-State says Dru's the first K-State freshman to earn the Big 12 honor since the award began in 2007.

It's noteworthy that Dru had this achievement after being sidelined in four recent matches with a hand injury. In closing, I recommend a look at Dru's philosophy on defense, as she describes it in her player profile video. Here's an example of what she was talking about, as seen on Twitter, and called by Brian Smoller. It's a combination volleyball/gymnastics move, I'd say.

October 16, 2019  Cats lose at OU in Five Sets
Look at the mini box score below... at how close these two teams were in the major stats categories. Along with that, it should be noted that the five-set match went to match point, in K-State's (KSU/OU) 25-20, 25-19, 23-25, 16-25, 14-16 loss to 12-5 OU.

Coach Fritz has been talking a lot about consistency. She's onto something. K-State's hitting over the five sets went something like this: .167, .342, .071, .196 and .222. The Cats went from excellent .342 hitting to .071 from set two to three. We're not sure how this happened.

Anna Dixon led in offense, with 22.5 points and 22 kills. Gloria Mutiri had 14 points and 13 kills, but only hit .225. Peyton Wiliams added 13.5 points, and hit a respectable .269. Brynn Carlson contributed 12.5 points and 10 kills, off substandard .086 hitting. Sarah Dixon was certainly busy, with 43 assists!

The story of the match has to be Dru Kuck's 36 digs. Dru tied the third-highest digs total in program history during the rally-scoring era (since 2001). They were the most since Angie Lastra's in 2007, and this was the first 30-dig outing since Kersten Kober's 32 digs against KU in 2015. Angie Lastra went on to be the Big 12 Libero of the Year in 2007.

On defense, Sarah Dixon had 19 digs, Loren Hinkle had 17, and Mckenzi Weber contributed 15. Megan Vernon and Brynn Carlson led the team with 5 block assists each.

Up next, we have the ever-annoying Squawks, on Wed., Oct. 23. Please note the 6 p.m. start time. We must defeat and humiliate our guests from downriver.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
OU .180 65 80 11 109
KSU .187 62 80 11 119
October 14, 2019  A Quiet Time for the Big 12
Looking at today's AVCA Division I Poll, only two Big 12 teams can be found: #1 Baylor and #4 Texas. I guess that should count for quite a bit, but generally our conference has more than two teams in the poll. Missouri... beaten by the Cats in an exhibition, is now 10-4, and ranked #25.
October 12, 2019  West Virginia 3, K-State 1
I went into the Field House expecting to see a win. KU had beaten West Virginia two days earlier. Set scores were (KSU/WVU): 25-18, 17-25, 18-25, 19-25, so the Cats were in the match, but WVU's 62-44 advantage in kills was the difference.

Anna Dixon led with 11 kills, from .108 hitting. Peyton Williams had 8 kills, with excellent .353 hitting. Gloria Mutiri led in total points, with 11.5, had 9 kills and excellent .296 hitting. Holly Bonde didn't have as many attempts, ending with 6 kills, but hit .500! Sara Dixon had 31 assists. It was a good day for service aces, with 6 total. Loren Hinkle leads the Cats in aces, at 17 for the season.

It was great to see Dru Kuck back in action, after missing about three matches because of an injury. She leads the team with 227 digs. Today, Sarah Dixon led with 14 digs, Loren Hinkle, libero, had 11 and Dru had 7. Megan Vernon had 4 block assists, Gloria Mutiri had 3 and Peyton Williams had 2. The Cats prevailed in blocks, 6 to 5.

The difference in the match was kills output. West Virginia had 66, to the Cats' 44. K-State started strong on offense in set one, hitting .360, but efficiency dropped considerably in the remaining three sets. A look at the box score leaves some question on who's taking the most attempts, vs. who's most efficient. Holly Bonde had 1/3 to 1/2 of the attempts some teammates had, but she hit .500. Megan Vernon had only 10 attempts, but hit an outstanding .400. Gloria Mutiri, however, had 27 attempts, with very solid .296 hitting. Peyton Williams did great, hitting .353. I don't know enough to have the answer. Obviously, you can't set the same player every time, thus being way too predictable.

Up next for the Cats is OU (11-5, 3-2 Big 12) on Oct. 16 in Norman, with first serve around 7 p.m. (preview)

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
WVU .291 62 74 5 60
KSU .254 44 56 6 54
October 9, 2019  K-State Makes Texas Earn It, But Falls in Three Sets
The official recap tells the story better than I will, but here goes...

From my seat behind the bench, I felt the Cats were competitive with #4 Texas, although UT's .250 hitting vs. the Cats' .096 (their season low) will make you wonder. Set scores were (UT/KSU) 32-30, 25-17, 25-18, but look at set one. There were 15 tied scores, and 6 lead changes. Someone told me there were 7 set points enroute to the 32-30 finish. On the other hand (in set one), Texas hit .250, and the Cats hit .080.

The Texas players received quite a chewing from Coach Jerritt Elliott in a set-two time out. It wasn't a strategic discussion... just a good chewing, as the score was too close to suit him.

OH Anna Dixon led the Cats with 15 points and 14 kills. Peyton Williams added 8 points, and led the Cats in efficiency, hitting a solid .286. Sarah Dixon had 23 assists and 13 digs, so there's another double-double for her. The rest of the Cats' scoring was in single digits, widely distributed among the team.

Loren Hinkle, libero, had an impressive, career-high 16 digs, followed by Sarah's 13. Coach Fritz complimented Loren for getting a lot of touches. Blocks were not in very high supply, with a team total of 5. Coach Fritz complained about the team getting out of system too often on serve receive, although she make a point to compliment the Cats' digs.

Next up for Kansas State is West Virginia, on Saturday, Oct. 12, with a rare afternoon first serve of 1 p.m. The Mountaineers are 0 - 3, but will likely beat KU in an also-rare Thursday match tomorrow. Maybe that's to reduce travel halfway across the continent.

My friends and I have been wondering about Dru Kuck, who was not on the bench at the previous home match. One of her hands has either a wrap or a small cast. I wish her a quick recovery.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
Texas .250 43 60 10 66
KSU .096 31 43 5 55
October 9, 2019  Why Dyslexia Does Not Define K-State Senior Mckenzi Weber
As a Cats fan for 49 years, the Weber name is hardly new to me. Mckenzi's proud dad, Stan, was the quarterback for K-State Football in the 80s, and has been a color analyst for K-State radio broadcasts for 33 years. I remember when her mother, Nancy, was a K-State cheerleader. A fun fact is that Stan saw - in person - every snap of the Bill Snyder era. His preparation and performance on-air have often led me to say that I wish I had his mind. Hey... do you have Stan's book, Tales from the Kansas State Sideline?

This highlight is about Mckenzi, who walked on to K-State Volleyball, and early this fall was granted a scholarship. In Corbin McGuire's Sports Extra, we learn today that Mckenzi has dealt with dyslexia, enroute to all her accomplishments. In fact, she's been an academic star, making the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll five times in her first three seasons, and being named Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2018. Be sure to have a look at her Sports Extra.

October 7, 2019  Loren Hinkle: Smooth
When Loren makes a big dig, or records another ace serve, here's what you may see (in practice, anyway). (video).
October 5, 2019  K-State Unable to Tame No. 1 Baylor
While the Cats got swept (KSU/BU) 19-25, 15-25, 27-29 by the nation's #1 team, they were competitive in two of the three sets, and held Baylor to its season-low hitting, .240, in part by leading the Bears in blocks, 11 to 8.5.

Anna Dixon led in offense, with 12 points and 10 kills. Gloria Mutiri had 9 points and 6 kills, and Megan Vernon and Brynn Carlson each had 7 points. Sarah Dixon had 25 assists, and hit .500. Peyton Williams was efficient, too, hitting .333.

Megan Vernon had an impressive 8 block assists. Sarah Dixon led with 9 digs, and Loren Hinkle, as libero, added 8 digs.

After a disappointing set two, with –.107 hitting, the Cats dug in in set three, taking Baylor to extra points, ultimately losing the set 27-29.

Up next for the Cats is #6 Texas, in Ahearn on Oct. 9, at 7 p.m.

K-State Volleyball fans still want to know, "Where is Dru Kuck?" She's on the roster, and appears to be enrolled. We've stopped seeing her at matches, and we miss her!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
Baylor .240 44 56.5 8.5 45
KSU .154 33 45 11 27
October 2, 2019  Cats Lose in Three to Texas Tech
This one, with final scores of (KSU/TTU) 31-33, 21-25, 20-25, is puzzling to me. While the mini box score (below) shows Tech with the advantage in every category, being present at the match, I felt the Cats were very competitive with the Red Raiders.

For example, set one... with a 31-33 final score... had 11 lead changes. The Cats had four set points in set one. Both teams hit .127 in set one.

Set two was looking promising, with a fairly late K-State advantage of 18-16, but Tech then scored 9-3 on the final stretch, to win it. While the set score ended with a difference of only 4 points, Texas Tech hit .375, to the Cats' .233.

Set three was a different story, with the Cats only managing .154 hitting, compared to Tech's .263.

Gloria Mutiri led with 13 points and 12 kills. She hit .229, on a team-high 35 attempts. Anna Dixon added 10.5 points, with 10 kills.

Megan Vernon led in blocks, with three assists and two singles, and Holly Bonde led the team with 16 digs.

Our Cats will miss home Football vs. Baylor, as they'll be playing #1 Baylor, concurrently in Waco, on Saturday. We close with the day's #1 fan topic: Where is Dru Kuck?

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
TTU .226 51 66 9 55
KSU .161 40 49 7 51
September 28, 2019  K-State Opens Big 12 Play with a W over TCU
I'm calling this a defensive victory, based on the Cats' season high 18 blocks, thereby holding the Froggies to .125 hitting. Coach Fritz told the media in postgame that the Cats had worked a lot on defense, leading up to this match. The game recap reports that the 18 blocks is (in the rally scoring era, beginning in 2002) the 3rd highest in a four-set match.

On offense, KSU hit a respectable .281. And... Brynn Carlson had a tremendous offensive match. leading with 19.5 points, 18 kills and .362 hitting. Anna Dixon added 14.5 points and 13 kills. Sarah Dixon had 39 assists.

DS Jacque Smith was big on defense, leading with 19 digs. Peyton Williams had 8 block assists and a single, and Sarah Dixon and Megan Vernon had 7 block assists. The Cats recorded 18 blocks, to TCU's 6. Although TCU hit .375 in set one, K-State held the Froggies' hitting to .045, –.061 and .163 in the final three sets, resulting in their overall .125 hitting percentage.

Up next... the Cats encounter Texas Tech (11-5) in Ahearn on Wed., Oct. 2 at 6:30 P. Be there, or be counted absent!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .281 48 68 18 62
TCU .125 52 60 6 68
September 25, 2019  Brooke Heyne Announces a Medical Retirement
It's so sad that Brooke can't continue her volleyball career. She's worked very hard, and because of nothing more than bad luck, has to step away.

Disappointed fans have been wondering since the Missouri exhibition why Brooke was not playing. Today, she announced that she's had a career-ending knee injury, after playing through the last match of the 2018 season.

After the victory over KU on November 14, 2018, Coach Fritz had high praise for Brooke, saying, "Heyne is such a creative attacker. She does some things sometimes that blow my mind, how she can create something out of nothing."

Brooke is currently enrolled at Kansas State... listed as a junior, with an ambitious academic program. She has a dual major in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Pre-Nursing, and is working on minors in Spanish and Leadership Studies.

We will miss her greatly. She was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week two times in 2018, after hitting .467 vs. Baylor (with 15 kills), and .450 vs. WVU. Here's a Sports Extra from October 2018 that I had saved: High-Flying Heyne Becoming Force for K-State Volleyball

I wish Brooke the very best, and know she will do great things outside of volleyball. To conclude this tribute, how about a Look Back at Brooke's Career, via Twitter?

September 21, 2019  Cats Lose in Four to New Mexico
This was another back-and-forth match for the Cats, with set scores (KSU/NM) of 28-30, 25-17, 17-25, 23-25, with K-State now at 5-7 for the season.

Looking at the box score, this one is mysterious at first glance. (See the mini box score below.) With the exception of .217 vs. .219 hitting, Kansas State had better numbers on the other offensive and defensive categories. On the other hand, New Mexico strongly prevailed in hitting percentage in sets three and four. While they averaged out basically equal, the advantage in two sets was clearly New Mexico's.

Brynn Carlson had a big morning, with 22 points. All but one point was from 21 kills (a career high) and excellent .436 hitting. Suzie Fritz said, "I thought she was tremendous."

Anna Dixon had 13.5 points, with 12 kills and three block assists. Peyton Williams added 12.5 points from seven kills, five block assists and one single. Gloria Mutiri had 10.5 points, from 10 kills. Sarah Dixon had another double-double, with 46 assists and 12 digs.

Loren Hinkle switched to libero for part of the match. She had 12 digs, along with Sarah Dixon and Dru Kuck, and Mckenzi Weber led with 14 digs. Loren now has an ace in eight consecutive matches!

Up next for the Cats is TCU in Fort Worth on Sept. 28, then it's back to Ahearn on Oct. 2, when the Red Raiders will be dropping by.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
New Mexico .219 50 68 8 62
KSU .217 58 74 10 70
September 20, 2019  Cats Almost There vs. Ohio
Now 11 matches into the season, this was the 8th five-set match. Kansas State (now 5-6) came in behind Ohio (7-4) in every major statistical category, in a 26-28, 25-20, 25-27, 25-22, 12-15 loss. While in second place in the stats, most of the sets were won or lost by two or three points.

Regardless, good things happened in terms of individual play. Gloria Mutiri again led the Cats, with 18 points and 17 kills, hitting .333. Peyton Williams had a good match, with 16.5 points and 13 kills, with outstanding .500 hitting! Brynn Carlson wasn't as efficient, but delivered 15.5 points and 14 kills. Sarah Dixon had a whopping 61 assists (her career high)! Megan Vernon added 11 points and 8 kills, with excellent .438 hitting!

Five Cats: Sarah, Jacque, Peyton, Loren and Dru, recorded service aces.

Dru Kuck and Jacque Smith had 15 digs, and Sarah Dixon and Brynn Carlson had 8. Megan Vernon led in blocks, with four block assists and one single. Peyton and Brynn had three block assists.

It should be noted that Loren Hinkle, who has a very consistent serve, now has seven consecutive matches with an ace.

Up next for our Cats is a 10:30 call tomorrow morning, vs. New Mexico (4-7). Apparently lobo is the Spanish name for wolf.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
Ohio .304 79 94 11 74
KSU .270 67 81 9 66
September 19, 2019  Kansas State gets by North Texas in Five
So... this was the Cats' seventh five-set match in their 10 matches this season (not counting a five-set exhibition win over Missouri)! Our favorite team hung in there, with set scores of 18-25, 25-13, 16-25, 27-25 and 15-11. It's sort of weird for me that the Cats are playing in Denton, Texas, as I'm from Denton, Kansas (pop. 148).

Before we go farther, let's reflect on the fact that Bill Snyder's first K-State win came vs. North Texas, 30 years ago, on Sept. 30, 1989. (video, with Mitch Holthus and Stan Weber)

Let's look at the numbers, shall we? Gloria Mutiri won the match for us, with the final kill of the match, and leading with 18 points from 17 kills and excellent .359 hitting. She was Second-Team All-Big 12 in 2018, after all. Brynn Carlson had a big night, too, with 17 points and 17 kills. Peyton Williams added 12 points and 11 kills, with great .417 hitting. Sarah Dixon was extremely efficient! She hit .700, enroute to 8 points and 7 kills! (and she had 56 assists!) (and... with her 11 digs, had a double-double) (no wonder she was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American in 2018!)

Our defenders were a huge factor tonight. Libero Dru Kuck led with 19 digs (tied with Jacque Smith's 19), and Loren Hinkle had 14 (and she recorded two aces). There wasn't much blocking to report.

Up tomorrow is Ohio at 3:30 p.m. They're 6-4, but barely beat a 3-7 New Mexico team today.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .287 71 80 5 84
North Texas .234 58 72 7 67

September 13, 2019  Dayton Edges K-State to Conclude the Missouri State Invitational
As shown in the mini box score below, the match was close in hitting % and set scores, with Dayton taking the match with a four-point advantage in set five.

Gloria Mutiri led with 15 points, followed by Anna Dixon with 14.5, Peyton Williams with 14 and Holly Bonde with 13.5. Peyton had solid hitting, at .333, and Holly finished at .323. Sarah Dixon had 43 assists.

Peyton had four block assists, and Anna had 3. Dru Kuck led with 24 digs, Gloria Mutiri had 18, Jacque Smith had 15, Loren Hinkle had 14 and Sarah Dixon had 13. K-State prevailed in digs, 94 to 86.

Coach Fritz called the Dayton match the best performance of the three in Springfield, and especially complimented the Cats' defense.

Up next is a trip to Denton (no... not my home town of Denton, KS... Denton, TX... for the North Texas State Challenge. The Cats will tangle with North Texas, Ohio and New Mexico next weekend.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
Dayton .190 60 80 9 86
KSU .202 60 73 8 94
September 17, 2019  Dru Kuck Is Diggin It
So... I swiped this tweet from K-State Volleyball. Dru has been ranked as the #2 HS player in Wisconsin. We're keeping her!

September 13, 2019  Weber State Prevails in Four Sets vs. the Cats
It was a close match in terms of defense, with K-State and Weber State equal on digs and blocks. Weber State had the edge on hitting, at .298, with K-State at .259. Set scores (KSU/Weber) were: 25-21, 26-28, 21-25, 20-25.

Peyton Williams led the Cats with 17 points, hitting .407. Gloria Mutiri had 13.5 points, and Brynn Carlson added 13. Sarah Dixon had 48 assists.

Dru Kuck had 20 digs, Loren Hinkle had 12, and Gloria Mutiri had 11. Megan Vernon led in blocking.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
Weber St. .298 67 79 7 66
KSU .259 56 68 7 66
September 12, 2019  Missouri State Gets Past K-State in Their Invitational
So close! K-State took Missouri State to five sets, ultimately losing the match by two points, 25-18, 23-25, 25-13, 17-25, 14-16. This one hurts, because there were some very good individual performances... certainly including hitting.

The Cats had some strong performances in this close loss. Gloria Mutiri led with 19.5 points, with team (and career) high kills of 18, collecting 19.5 points from excellent .429 hitting. Peyton Williams added 16.5 points and 13 kills, hitting .435. Anna Dixon had 13.5 points, and also had 13 kills. The Cats outhit Missouri State .265 to .239, with a total of 72 points to the Bears' 74.

A case could be made that Missouri State won the match on blocks, with 12 to the Cats' 6. Abigail Archibong led with 4 block assists. Missouri State had 61 digs, to the Cats' 60, of which Dru Kuck contributed 23, followed by Jacque Smith's 10.

Inconsistency on offense was an issue in this match. K-State prevailed in set one, with .438 hitting, then dropped to .065 in set two. Hitting was back to .433 in set three, then down to .255 in set four.

The Cats will be back to action at high noon on Sept. 13, vs. Weber State (4-2). OK... I'd heard of them, but had to look them up. They're in Ogden, Utah, and at 26,000+ students, have a higher enrollment that K-State (which is almost from Ogden, Kansas). They're Wildcats, too, and their colors are purple and white.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
Missouri State .239 55 74 12 61
KSU .265 59 72 6 60
September 9, 2019  Molly Ramsey Commits to K-State VB
I hope it's OK for me to report this, as I learned from Molly's tweet that she's committed to be a Cat.

An Internet search shows she's a DS/Libero, in the Class of '21 at Norris High School in Roca, NE. (... or she's an investment banking analyst with J. P. Morgan). (sportsrecruits.com) (maxpreps.com)

September 7, 2019  A win over Central Arkansas Completes the K-State Invitational
A 23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-15 victory produced a win of the K-State Invitational, and a happy Wildcat day that included Football's 52-0 win over Bowling Green.

This was no pushover. Central Arkansas has a very good team, and it was a surprise after the match to see K-State's solid hitting percentage of .300 vs. the opponents' .155, doubling them in blocks, 10 to 5, and recording 63 kills to their 52. Central Arkansas did have a 76 - 68 advantage in digs, but it seemed they were digging even better. Anyway, for the third straight day, our Cats had some fine individual performances, and hung in there. I believe that the challenges (and success) in the previous two matches brought confidence that made the difference.

Peyton Williams was great, leading with 20.5 points, logging 17 kills from excellent .400 hitting (and an ace). Brynn Carlson had 17.5 points, with 17 kills from .350 hitting. Gloria Mutiri added 12 points and 11 kills, from outstanding .357 hitting.

Freshman libero Dru Kuck was super busy all night, and recorded an awesome 28 digs. Nine digs each from Jacque Smith and Sarah Dixon (who had 44 assists) certainly helped seal the victory.

It wasn't until set four that Cat fans could relax and enjoy the ride, as a lead started to develop, ending with a set score of 25-15.

Of the invitational, Coach Fritz had some of the observations you've seen here,

"We got better as we went, which has been a hallmark of the weekend for us. As the matches got longer, we got better, which, I think, in the long run is a pretty good sign. I was really proud of them through the whole course of the weekend. They showed a lot of perseverance. There were times it wasn't coming easy and we weren't playing cleanly, but we still found a way to grind through it."

Next up... in five days... is our old friends, Missouri State, and their invitational in Springfield. The teams have met 23 times. Missouri State leads 14-9; however, the Cats have won the past eight matches.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .300 63 77 10 68
Central Arkansas .155 52 64 5 76
September 6, 2019  K-State Defeats a Fine Omaha Team in Five
Legendary K-State sportscaster Dev Nelson would have called this match a "rip-snortin', barn-burnin', double-barrel, double-dip, deep-dish dilly." Both teams ended with 76 points, there were 28 tied scores and 17 lead changes.

What's important is that a few times when it looked like any chance had run out, the Cats dug in and prevailed. It seemed at times as if Omaha was digging everything the Cats sent their way, but the Cats kept their composure, ultimately winning 25-21, 21-25, 25-16, 20-25, 15-10.

OH Brynn Carlson led in scoring, with 17.5 points and 17 kills. Peyton was most efficient, with 16.5 points and 14 kills, hitting an impressive .294. Anna Dixon had 16 points and 16 kills. Gloria Mutiri had 15.5 points and 11 kills. Sarah Dixon recorded 50 assists, and a double-double with her 12 digs.

Gloria Mutiri led in blocking, with 7 block assists, and Dru Kuck had 29 of the Cats' 91 digs.

In set 3, freshman Loren Hinkle delivered the most impressive stretch of serving I can recall. From my vantage point near center court, each serve looked almost precisely the same. The result was 11 straight K-State points, and three of them came from Loren's aces. The score was 14-13 Omaha when Loren's stretch began, and when Omaha finally scored again, the score was K-State 24, Omaha 14.

Attendance was quite low, at 790. Last season, K-State averaged 1,345 per match. The Cats face Central Arkansas at 5 p.m. on September 7. Be there! (You won't see them at home again until October 2.)

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .179 61 76 8 91
Omaha .148 53 76 14 94
September 5, 2019  Cats Rally to Defeat Clemson
Bill Snyder's goal #10 is never give up. The Cats dug in after losing two sets, winning 16-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19, 16-14 over a Clemson team that came in 3-0.

The Cats didn't play well in set one. They weren't sharp, and hit an unimpressive .070. Things looked ominous, but they kept after it. Hitting started improving... to .205... to .241... to .400 by set four. Anna Dixon came in in set three, hitting .308, and blocking got better.

On offense, Brynn Carlson led with 15 kills and 16.5 points, followed by Peyton Williams, with 13 kills and 15.5 points. Gloria Mutiri, who would eventually seal the set five victory, had 11 kills and 11 points. Anna Dixon ended with .225 hitting and 10.5 points. Sarah Dixon had 42 assists.

On defense, Sarah Dixon led with 16 digs, and libero Dru Kuck had 14. Megan Vernon had four block assists, and the Cats ended with 8 blocks, to 5 for Clemson.

I wasn't aware that Clemson is coached by Michaela Franklin, who was an outside hitter on K-State's Big 12 championship team in 2003.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs
KSU .200 54 68 8 65
Clemson .159 61 77 5 79
August 2, 2019  Missouri Exhibition in Ahearn
The Tigers will come calling on Saturday, August 24 at 3 p.m. in Ahearn Field House. This will be an exhibition match, and you're invited!
July 31, 2019  Loren Hinkle answers the tough questions we all need to know...
Check out this Twitter video!
July 16, 2019  Libero Dru Kuck Signs with the Cats
First, her name is pronounced like Cook, and she's been ranked as the #2 player in Wisconsin. Our freshman class currently ranks 20th in the nation! She joins setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi (Honolulu) and a trio of Kansas natives in outside hitter Anna Dixon (Louisburg), middle blocker Faith Hammontree (Shawnee) and libero Loren Hinkle (Shawnee), says the Manhattan Mercury. Coach Fritz says, "She is, first and foremost, a fearless defender with tremendous speed and explosiveness."

That's what I want to see: a quick libero... like Angie Lastra, Big 12 Libero of the Year in 2004 and 2007!

May 30, 2019  Lauren Goehring to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
Big time congratulations to Lauren Goehring Cost! The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame has announced that she will be one of the 2019 inductees on October 6. In the Cats' 2003 Big 12 championship season, Lauren was #10 in Division I in hitting (.409), Big 12 Player of the Year and a First-Team All-American.
May 30, 2019  Bryna Vogel Returns to Volleyball
After a devastating knee injury, Bryna Vogel, while in Switzerland, decided to make professional volleyball her next goal, as we read in Corbin McGuire's excellent K-State Sports Extra.
April 1, 2019  Four Wildcats Named to Collegiate National Team-Anaheim Roster
Teana Adams-Kaonohi, Brynn Carlson, Anna Dixon and Gloria Mutiri were selected to the 28-player U.S. Women's Collegiate National Team-Anaheim roster. Here's K-State's announcement. They will train from June 23 to 29.
February 21, 2019  Open Scrimmage with Wichita State Friday
Fans can have their first opportunity to see the 2019 K-State volleyball team as it will be holding a free, open scrimmage and training session with Wichita State Friday at the upper gym inside Ahearn Field House.

The Wildcats and Shockers will hold a joint training session beginning at 4:30 p.m. before a team scrimmage starting at 6:30 p.m. Each segment is scheduled to last approximately an hour and a half and is free and open to all fans. (link)

February 14, 2019  Bench Celebrations 2018
This video's too short, at 00:28! I sit almost behind the Cats' bench, and always enjoy their sideline antics. In this video, we see the Faint and Catch routine that redshirt freshman Kenzie Smith perfected this past season, with Abigail Archibong catching her. All-Big 12 middle blocker Elle Sandbothe is always fun on the sideline, and we see a super-cool dance routine. Our volleyball team is cooler than your volleyball team. (Twitter video)
January 21, 2019  Vogel and Zumach now playing professional volleyball
Here's a tweet from @KStateVB showing Bryna Vogel in Switzerland, and Kylee Zumach heading to Spain. Something she posted recently led me to believe she was going to the Canary Islands. Time will tell.
January 20, 2019  Kylee Zumach to play professional volleyball
Kylee has just tweeted her announcement that she will play professionally in the Canary Islands!