Headlines 2021
October 22, 2021  Cats win 3-1 at TCU, with impressive performances
What a difference a day can make, as they say! It was 24 hours ago that KSU hit .091 in Fort Worth. Tonight's number was .301! Last night, Aliyah Carter produced points, but had –.051 hitting, and tonight she hit .327. Actually, some Volleycats had impressive hitting last night (.467 for Sydney Bolding), but as a team, hitting errors were reduced from 36 to 15.

On offense, Aliyah Carter contributed 26 points and 23 kills, hitting .327! Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 10 digs, plus 40 assists! (Oh... and she hit .636!) (The official write-up of the match says Teana "flirted with a triple-double." Apparently points don't count.) Sydney Bolding and Haley Warner each added 9.5 points. Sydney led with 7 block assists, with solid .308 hitting, and Haley had 8 kills. Kadye Fernholz had 9 points and 7 kills, and how about her .400 hitting?! The Cats recorded 6 aces, led by 3 from Aliyah Carter.

Now, to defense. Libero Mackenzie Morris, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, led with 18 digs. Jacque Smith had 12 digs, Teana had 10, and Loren Hinkle had 9.

Set scores were (KSU/TCU): 23-25, 25-15, 25-14, 25-21. While the Cats barely lost Set 1, they did hit .308, and in their impressive Set 3 win, they hit .436!!

Suzie Fritz said, "Significant improvement and a big bounce back match for us. I thought our swing management was excellent. We made much better attack choices, particularly in transition. Additionally, we were able to upgrade our serving, which allowed us to be a lot more effective in our ability to score defensive points."

After Baylor takes care of WVU tomorrow night, there will be a five-way tie for fourth place in the Big 12, as KSU, TTU, KU and OU now have 3-5 records.

Up next for the 12-7, 3-5 Cats (on Oct. 28 and 29 in Bramlage Coliseum), will be encounters with 13-8, 3-5 Texas Tech.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .301 58 73 9 63 6
TCU .159 45 50 4 61 1
October 21, 2021  Cats lose to TCU, after excessive errors
I go for the box score, as soon as match results come in. TCU, lowest in the Big 12 standings, were joined by the Cats today via today's outcome. As with a few other matches, the two teams were very close in several stats. Set scores were (TCU/KSU): 26-24, 25-17, 23-25, 25-16. Curiously, KSU ended with 68 points, to TCU's 65 points. Both teams had 49 kills. KSU prevailed in blocks, 16-15. KSU had 3 aces, to TCU's 1. KSU had 44 assists, compared to TCU's 46. TCU did have more digs, 52 to 46. To this untrained fan, TCU defeated KSU because the Cats had 36 attack errors, and TCU had 23. KSU's hitting percentage of .091 was low, but actually, TCU's .202 wasn't dramatically higher. The story tonight, it seems, is K-State's high number of attack errors.

On offense, Aliyah Carter led with 16.5 points and 13 kills, but had hitting of –051. Sydney Bolding had a fine evening, with .467 hitting. She had 11.5 points, and 9 kills. Kadye Fernholz added 11 points, with 6 kills, but while she leads the Cats with .315 hitting this season, her outcome tonight was .000. It was just an off night. Haley Warner added 9 points and 8 kills, and Jayden Nembhard had 7 kills. Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 41 assists. Loren Hinkle had 2 aces.

On defense, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week Mackenzie Morris led with 13 digs, and Aliyah Carter had 10. Kadye Fernholz led all players with 10 block assists, a season high for the Cats!! Sydney Bolding and Aliyah Carter each added 5 block assists.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .091 49 68 16 46 3
TCU .202 49 65 15 52 1
October 19, 2021  Video Shout Out to Mackenzie Morris (Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week)
K-State Volleyball has tweeted a brief video edit of our adorable and fierce libero, #20 Mackenzie Morris, who's the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. You'll see a couple of heroic pancakes in the video. Mackenzie recorded 19 and 22 digs in the WVU matches, this past weekend.
October 15, 2021  WVU Defeats KSU in the Second Match
I predicted, based on season stats, that the matches with WVU would be close. Set scores were (WVU/KSU): 25-14, 25-20, 25-22. There was a season high home crowd of 1,748 for this match.

Back to the match being close: While the Set 1 score of 14-25 was disappointing, the second and third sets were lost by 5 points and 3 points. KSU prevailed in blocks, 12 to 10. WVU had 59 digs, to KSU's 55. WVU had 36 kills, to KSU's 32. There was a noticeable margin of 7 to 2 on aces, with WVU winning that category.

Both teams had substandard hitting efficiency, with WVU at .146, and KSU at an exceptionally low .072 (the lowest since .015 on Oct. 11, 2017). Hitting numbers for K-State in the three sets were .000, .067 and .125, and therein lies the loss.

Suzie Fritz, in postmatch comments, commented on "uncharacteristically high errors," and said, "I didn't think we made great decisions offensively tonight." She said, "Sometimes as an attacker, in an effort to try and make plays, you make errors, and you try and force things that aren't necessarily there." Personally, I wonder if sometimes there's such a thing as trying to make too big a play. Suzie was concerned about "way too many unforced errors." Finally, Suzie had an interesting point, that among Big 12 teams, WVU is currently holding opponents to the lowest hitting percentage.

I felt that although the offense in Set 1 (.000 hitting) was disappointing, K-State was definitely competitive with WVU, and the Cats made them earn their victory.

On offense, Aliyah Carter led with 17 points and 14 kills. Holly Bonde had 8 points and 7 kills. Kadye Fernholz also had 8 points, with 4 kills. A fun fact, which I mentioned to Kadye's parents before the match, is that Kadye leads the team in season hitting percentage, at .325!! Loren Hinkle and Sydney Bolding each had an ace. It was certainly good to have Haley Warner available again. She led the Cats with .222 hitting. Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 28 assists.

On defense, the Cats prevailed in blocks, 12 to 10. Kadye Fernholz and Aliyah Carter each had 6 block assists, and Sydney Bolding had 5. Mackenzie Morris was quite impressive, with 22 digs!! Jacque Smith had 8. Teana Adams-Kaonohi and Loren Hinkle each had 7 digs.

Over the season, I've thought that the Cats have done a nice job of being hard to predict on attacks. I felt that tonight, that maybe the Cats were a bit more predictable on who would attack. I'm no kind of expert. It was just a feeling I had. In conclusion, the Cats played a very good team close tonight, and beat them yesterday. They'll work on offense next week, and have a road trip to Fort Worth to pay a call on TCU, who are setting at the bottom of the Big 12 rankings at this point. I predict two glorious victories down south!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .072 32 46 12 55 2
WVU .146 36 53 10 59 7
October 14, 2021  K-State Defeats WVU in Four Sets
After looking over the advance notes on KSU (11-5) vs. WVU (12-4), I expected this to be a close match. The momentum did go back and forth, but looking at the box score, KSU prevailed in several categories. Set scores were (KSU/WVU): 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-18. Here's a shout out to Teana Adams-Kaonohi and Aliyah Carter, who recorded double-doubles! Now, to the box score...

On offense, Aliyah Carter led all players with 19 points and 18 kills. Jayden Nembhard had 16 points and 14 kills. Kadye Fernholz had a big night, with 14 points and 11 kills, especially considering her .375 hitting and production of blocks! I whined every time Holly Bonde subbed out, considering her blockbuster performance vs. OU. Holly had 12 points and 10 kills, in no small part due to .296 hitting! Teana Adams-Kaonohi (owner of a double-double) had 46 assists and 10 digs. In addition, Teana, who struggled somewhat with serving last season, led the team with 3 aces. Oops! I almost didn't mention that the Volleycats hit .368 in Set 3!

On defense, Kadye Fernholz had 6 block assists for 3 blocks, and Sydney Bolding had 5 assists and a single, for 3.5 blocks. Libero Mackenzie Morris led with 19 digs! Aliyah Carter had 16, Loren Hinkle had 14, Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 10 and Jacque Smith had 7. Holly Bonde, who was so efficient on hitting, had 4 block assists. Have you seen D. Scott Fritchen's awesome K-State Sports Extra on Holly Bonde two days ago?

Suzie Fritz said, "That's a big win for us. We spent a lot of time over the last week or so just trying to tighten the bolts on our defensive system." Suzie was very pleased about holding WVU to .117 hitting.

It will be very interesting to see how everything goes in the second match, on Friday at 7 P.M.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .219 55 74 13 73 6
WVU .117 20 59 7 72 2
October 12, 2021  Holly Bonde Brings Straightforward Approach to K-State Volleyball
I've never met Holly Bonde, but I have great appreciation for her. In addition to being a reliable and versatile contributor on the court, she brings lots of energy, determination and humor to the court. Oh... did I forget to mention skill? She's the kind of person you want as your teammate.

D. Scott Fritchen has posted an awesome K-State Sports Extra today, a profile of Holly, and her straightforward approach, as she describes it. She says, "I can come off aggressive and strong, but I make important individual connections, so people are comfortable around me. I take pride in that." You see her constantly interacting with her teammates, supporting them and entertaining them with her fun sense of humor.

Coach Fritz says, ""Holly wears a lot of hats. Her leadership has really evolved. Her confidence has really grown as a leader. She's one of our most consistent players, in how she shows up to work every day."

Holly says (and I definitely agree), "My range is what makes me so successful. I might not always be the heavy hitter, but I'm able to hit on many different places on the court, and I'm able to see where the defense isn't at, and mix it up. That's where I generate my most kills. I play tough."

It was great to come in from K-State's home Football game vs. OU, to learn that Holly had put the smack down on OU Volleyball in Norman, with 20 kills and 23 points. I know Cat fans are delighted to have her on our side.

October 11, 2021  Oct. 15 Is Dollar Day: K-State Volleyball vs. WVU
K-State Athletics is doing a promotion for the second match vs. WVU, at 7:00 P. All tickets and select concessions are $1. Here's a link for ordering a ticket. The first match is on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 6:30 P.
October 8, 2021  Unbreakable Bond
I highly recommend this 3.5-minute video (with clips and comments), focused on the Volleycats' victory at OU on Oct. 2. Holly Bonde laid 23 points on the Covered Wagon, as Robert calls them. Up next is West Virginia (12-3) on October 14, in the Octagon of Doom and Despair. (Twitter link)
October 2, 2021  Holly Bonde Leads the Cats to a Victory over the Covered Wagon
Wahoo! I came in from Football's loss to OU, to find that the Volleycats defeated the Sooners (whatever that means), 3-1. Set scores were (KSU/OU): 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-16. And... our awesome Volleycat, Holly Bonde, had a career night, leading all scorers with 23 points! K-State's now 10-5, 1-3 Big 12.

On offense, the aforementioned Holly Bonde amassed 20 kills, with impressive .372 hitting, and with her 2 block assists and 2 single blocks, recorded 23 points. Aliyah Carter had a productive night (or late afternoon, I guess), with 15 kills and 17 points. Kadye Fernholz added 9 kills, with spectacular .444 hitting. Kadye had 4 of the Cats' 7 service aces. Sydney Bolding and Haley Warner each had 6 kills. Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 49 assists.

On defense, Sydney Bolding had 4 block assists and 2 singles, and Haley Warner had 2 assists and 1 single. Aliyah Carter, who we think of for her work on offense, led with 17 digs, libero Mackenzie Morris was next in line with 15 digs, and Teana and Loren Hinkle had 8.

Back to Holly Bonde... the recap mentions that 8 of her 20 kills came in the second set, helping the Wildcats respond from their set one loss. Holly hit .500 in set two, with just one error on 14 attacks. She hit over .300 in three of the four sets! Of Holly's performance, Suzie Fritz said,

"Holly was just having one of those days where she was seeing things really well, making great hitting choices with the ball, staying really high and getting good deflections off the block. She was terrific."

It's a bye week for the Volleycats, who will next play on Oct. 14, when WVU drops by. It should be noted that for whatever reason, the next match is on a Thursday, with the second on a Friday.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .229 58 75 10 63 7
OU .163 46 56 8 63 2

October 1, 2021  Cats Lose on the Road to OU
I may not have much interesting to report, as I only heard the beginning of coverage of this match. I was over at the Alumni Center, watching Liz Wegner Busch entering the K-Staate Sports Hall of Fame.

In terms of stats, this was another close loss. OU hit .234, to the Cats' .193. They scored 75 points, to the Cats' 66. OU had 59 kills, to the Cats' 56.

Aliyah Carter led with 18.5 points and 16 kills, but hit .127. Sydney Bolding had a strong performance, with 14 points, 12 kills and spectacular .500 hitting! Haley Warner and Holly Bonde each had 9 kills, and Kadye Fernholz had 7 kills.

Mackenzie Morris had a whopping 21 digs, and Jacque was great, too, with 18 (her best of the season). Sydney Bolding and Kadye Fernholz had 4 block assists.

In summary, K-State's going to have to get more reliable hitting. You're not going to win matches hitting .193.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
OU .234 59 75 12 70 4
KSU .193 56 66 9 67 1
September 27, 2021  Liz Wegner Busch to the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame
On October, an awesome class of nine will enter the Hall of Fame. Her achievements and honors include: 1,907 career kills, 4.48 kills per set, 27 20-kill matches, ~ 4,900 total attacks, and 2,161 total points. Liz had over 1,000 digs in her career -- one of only five players ever with over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. She was All-Big 12 three years. She was Academic All-Big 12. We're fortunate to have her teamed with Brian Smoller for K-STATEHDTV coverage of matches. (link) Liz is featured in this K-State Sports Extra.
September 26, 2021  Cats Lose a Second Match to #10 Baylor
In postgame, Suzie Fritz said this could be the best Baylor team she has ever seen. They certainly were a handful. Set scores in tonight's sweep were (Baylor/KSU): 25-22, 25-17, 25-15. The two teams' box scores (link) weren't quite as close as last night, but once again, Baylor prevailed in hitting, .398 to .202, but oddly, kills were just 42 to 41 in favor of Baylor.

On offense, Aliyah Carter led the way, with 18 points and 18 kills, and she hit a solid .275 on 40 attempts. Kadye Fernholz was hitting at a very high rate early. She finished with 9 points and 8 kills, hitting .211. Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 34 assists. K-State, unusually, recorded no service aces.

The Cats distributed the load on defense. There were 10 block assists; therefore, 5 team blocks, and Baylor had 6 blocks. The teams were similar in digs, with 30 for KSU and 32 for BU. Libero Mackenzie Morris had 11 digs. Jacque Smith and Loren Hinkle each added 5 digs.

Up next for the Cats is a trip to Norman, Oct. 1-2, while OU Football will be up here. (Cats' schedule) As of today, OU sets at the bottom of the Big 12. (Big 12 schedule)

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Baylor .398 42 54 6 32 6
KSU .202 41 46 5 30 0
September 25, 2021  Cats Lose to #10 Baylor
In the first of two weekend encounters, and the first Big 12 matchup of the season, the Cats were swept by #10 Baylor. Set scores were (Baylor/KSU): 25-16, 25-21, 25-17. Attendance was listed as 1,157! K-State (9-3) saw an eight-match winning streak broken. Looking at the box score, many stats categories were close. There was a total of 9 points difference in points. Baylor had 4 blocks, and K-State had 2. Baylor had 42 digs, and K-State had 41. Serving and serve receive numbers were almost equal. The dramatic difference was in hitting percentage, with Baylor hitting .350, and KSU at .150.

On offense, Aliyah Carter delivered, as usual, with 14 points, but oddly, her hitting percentage was .122. Haley Warner had 8.5 points, but hit .000. Kadye Fernholz had 6.5 points, and hit .357!

On defense, K-State had an exceptionally low blocks total of 2, although Baylor only recorded 4 blocks. K-State had 41 digs (Aliyah Carter with 10, Jacque Smith with 9 and Mackenzie Morris with 8), and Baylor had 42 digs.

The most striking thing from the box score - and Coach Fritz referred to this in postgame - was allowing Baylor's players to hit at high efficiency. Hannah Sedwick hit 1.000. Avery Skinner hit .467 (and led with 17 points), and their star player, Yossiana Pressley, hit .406, resulting in 16 points.

Finally, something unusual was that K-State had 0 service aces, and Baylor had 1.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Baylor .350 44 49 4 42 1
KSU .150 38 40 2 41 0
September 22, 2021  K-State Volleyball Looking to Meet Objectives Entering Big 12 Play
Our 9-2 Volleycats have gotten their first D. Scott Fritchen K-State Sports Extra. (link) The team has won eight straight matches, and its two losses were to ranked teams... namely Pepperdine and NU. #10 Baylor is next on the agenda, this weekend. While there has not yet been any Big 12 play, the Cats are in third place among Big 12 teams in non-conference competition. They ended the 2020 season ranked #10 in the AVCA poll, and ended spring in 3rd place in the Big 12.
September 18, 2021  K-State (9-2) Wins the Omaha Challenge
The Volleycats and Football Cats were playing concurrently this Saturday afternoon. I haven't missed home Football in 50 years, so I didn't get to hear Rob Voelker's coverage, but it was a fine afternoon for both teams! Set scores were (KSU/Omaha): 25-11, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19. Attendance is listed as 572, so the Cats were no doubt dealing with a very partisan home crowd! Unfortunately, Kadye Fernholz got some sort of foot injury a few days ago, and wasn't able to play. We hope she's back in action soon!

Aliyah Carter, Preseason All-Big 12, struck again! She led with 16 points and 15 kills, hitting .273. With her 13 digs, write down a double-double for Aliyah (her sixth of the season)! Haley Warner was solid, with 15 points and 12 kills. Sydney Bolding had 11 points, 7 kills, 2 aces and hit .500! Holly Bonde added 6 kills, and she hit .238. She played in two sets. Setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 43 assists. The Cats began and ended strong on offense, with .406 hitting in set one, and concluding with .324 hitting in set four.

On defense, Kayley Hollywood did great. She had 8 points, 6 block assists and 2 single blocks. This made Kayley the first Volleycat this season to record double-digit blocks! Coach Fritz said, "I thought that was Kayley Hollywood's best match in terms of her play at the net. There are productive touches (at the net) and then there are stuffs, and she did both, and did a really good job at controlling the net." Haley Warner had 6 block assists. Libero Mackenzie Morris led with 17 digs. Aliyah Carter had 13, and Loren Hinkle had 11 (and, no surprise, she added 2 aces... her 6th straight match with an ace).

Congrats to Aliyah Carter, Omaha Challenge MVP, and to Mackenzie Morris and Teana Adams-Kaonohi, named to the all-tournament team.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .225 48 69 15 63 6
Omaha .087 44 53 7 67 2

September 17, 2021  Volleycats (8-2) Make it 7 Straight with a Win over Weber State
First, if they're going to pronounce their school's name wrong, why don't they spell it Weeber State? OK... now I've got that off my chest.

Today's match was a tale of 25-23s. Congrats to the Wildcats, who once again found themselves in a close match, but didn't get intimidated or discouraged. They kept sawing wood, and won the final three of four sets. Set scores were (KSU/Weber St.): 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23, and yes, it was a barnburner.

Aliyah Carter and Jayden Nembhard were invaluable on offense, and recorded season-high kill totals. Aliyah led with 23 points, 22 kills and .422 hitting! Jayden Nembhard had 20 points and 20 kills. Also invaluable was Teana Adams-Kaonohi, with a double-double from 51 assists and 13 digs. Sydney Bolding added 10.5 points and 6 kills. Holly Bonde had 7.5 points and 7 kills, via solid .253 hitting. She didn't start today, but I always feel confident with her on the court, and she's always the life of the party!

Suzie Fritz called the Cats' serving exceptional. There were 8 aces, led by Mackenzie Morris with 3, and the total coming from five players.

On defense, the Cats had 86 digs total. Libero Mackenzie Morris had 24 digs!, Jacque Smith had 17, Aliyah Carter had 16, Teana had 13 and Loren Hinkle had 7. They held Weeber State (sorry... can't help myself...) to modest .195 hitting.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .240 63 79 8 86 8
Weber State .195 50 66 6 73 10
September 16, 2021  Built Different: Chris Brown
K-State Volleyball's sports information man Chris Brown is in Omaha with the Cats today. He grabbed a Molten® volleyball from a basket, and launched the unsuspecting ball nearly the length of the court, to a basketball goal at the opposite end. Swish! That's three points for Chris, from a spectacular shot... documented on video for the ages. Add to that a victory dance that will be copied by youngsters nationwide. (Twitter video)
September 16, 2021  A Harry Potter Fanatic and a Nail Biter Get on a Bus...
We begin with introductions. Aliyah Carter is a Harry Potter fanatic. (I'm semi-fanatical, with several of the books, and about all of the DVDs.) Kadye Fernholz is the nail biter. I used to be bad about that. In high school study hall, I ran across a picture of a spiral in a Popular Mechanics magazine. You were supposed to stare at the spiral for a while, then give yourself a hypnotic suggestion. This was in the late 1960s. I haven't bitten a nail since then!

The two Volleycats were likely headed to Omaha, to collect their next two glorious victories. (Twitter link)

September 14, 2021  A Reunion of Cats in Columbia
How time flies! It's been almost 10 years since K-State has played Missouri. The last encounter was on October 26, 2011 in Columbia, with a 3-2 win for our Wildcats. Our hero, Brynn Carlson, is at MU, working on yet another degree, after earning three B.S. degrees and an M.S. (For an unknown reason, Brynn didn't play today.) Also playing for MU is Anna Dixon, who's over there studying nursing, after a fine freshman season in MHK.

Before we go farther... I'd just like to pass on my condolences to the team for having to drive through Lawrence to get to Columbia. The things you ladies go through to give us a volleyball season... Thank you!

Today's defeat of MU in three sets included a domination in major stats categories, as shown below. Set scores were (KSU/MU): 25-23, 25-20, 25-20. KSU's season now stands at 7-2, and the Volleycats are the owners of a six-match winning streak!

On offense, Preseason All-Big 12 honoree Aliyah Carter led with 18.5 points, from 16 kills and 5 block assists, and .433 hitting. Not surprisingly, Jayden Nembhard had a big day, with 17 points from 17 kills. She hit an impressive .324. Here's a shoutout to Loren Hinkle, who produced 4 service aces (a career high)! Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 35 assists, and Loren Hinkle added 3 assists. Coach Fritz appreciated the Cats' rhythm and timing.

On defense, holding an opponent to .140 hitting says a lot. Holding MU to .000 in set three was quite impressive! The Cats had an 8-to-5 advantage in blocks, with 5 assists from Aliyah Carter and Kadye Fernholz. Kadye apparently suffered a foot injury late in the match. We all wish her the best. Teana Adams-Kaonohi led with 11 digs (and a double-double), libero Mackenize Morris had 9, and there were 5 each from Aliyah Carter, Jacque Smith and Loren Hinkle. A fun fact is that the Cats have out-blocked all nine opponents this season.

Today's match is another in which the team didn't get intimidated when the opponent closed in on them (as in the previous two matches, which went to five sets). While not yet in Big 12 competition, Kansas State's record stands in 3rd place, behind West Virginia and Texas... both undefeated at this point.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .284 46 59 8 39 5
MU .140 32 39 5 33 2
September 11, 2021  Volleycats Win in Five over Fresno State
K-State Volleyball improved to 6-2 in the third and final match of the Kansas State Invitational. Set scores were (KSU/Fresno State): 23-25, 25-10, 25-21, 18-25, 15-8. Aliyah Carter and Kadye Fernholz made the all-tournament team, and Aliyah Carter was honored as the MVP. Aliyah had a double-double, with 16 kills and 20 digs.

The statistic that stands out the most is hitting: KSU .306, with Fresno St. at .188. It should be noted, also, that K-State hit .423 in set two, .312 in set three and .591 in set five. Impressive individual hitting included Teana Adams-Kaonohi at .400, Kayley Hollywood at .364, Jayden Nembhard at .393 and Haley Warner at .455!

On offense, Haley Warner led with 20.5 points and 18 kills. Aliyah Carter was right in there with 19 points and 16 kills. Kadye Fernholz hit .298. Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 58 assists, her season high. Loren Hinkle had 3 aces, and Kadye Fernholz had 2.

Jayden Nembhard didn't play vs. Loyola Chicago, and I remember thinking that she could have helped. She returned to action vs. Fresno State, with 14 kills and .393 hitting. She said,

"I just tell myself every day that it's a new day, and to improve myself and get better. Seeing my teammates celebrate and support me from the sideline when I do go in, that gives me a lot of confidence. It's just playing constantly with a chip on my shoulder every single time I go out there, and just knowing that I'm capable of playing out here and just doing what I can."

On defense, MVP Aliyah Carter had 20 digs, libero Mackenzie Morris had 17, Loren Hinkle had 16 and Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 8. Kayley Hollywood had 6 block assists, Haley Warner had 5, and Kadye Fernholz and Aliyah Carter had 4.

Over the two five-set match wins in this invitational, I remember thinking that the Volleycats dug in when things looked iffy. They kept sawing wood, as Coach Snyder would say. They've gotten Ws in seven of the last eight five-set matches. In post-match comments, Suzie Fritz said, "What I love about these guys is when their backs are against the wall, they are at their best."

Up next, on September 14, is Missouri. It'll be a reunion of sorts with Brynn Carlson and Anna Dixon.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .306 67 85 10 70 8
Fresno State .188 53 68 7 69 8
September 10, 2021  K-State (5-2) Defeats Loyola Chicago in Five Sets
After seeing Loyola Chicago handle Fresno State two days ago, I didn't expect this to be easy. Our players called their team scrappy. It seemed like they were digging everything the Cats sent over. Ultimately, the teams each had 78 digs. Set scores were (KSU/Loyola Chicago): 25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 20-25, 15-8.

On offense, Aliyah Carter led the way, with 19.5 points from 17 kills, an ace and some block assists. Holly Bonde had some awesome kills, enroute to her 18.5 points, and she led with 18 kills. Haley Warner continues to impress in her first season. She had 16 points and 12 kills. There were 9 service aces (3 from Mackenzie Morris and 2 from Loren Hinkle), plus four other Cats contributed an ace. Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 47 assists, and she hit .571 on 7 attacks.

Kadye Fernholz had another big night, with 13 points and 8 kills, hitting .350. Add an ace to that, and 8 block assists. Kadye's parents and grandfather sat right behind me, and I enjoyed visiting with them, on their trip from South Dakota.

On defense, libero Mackenzie Morris led with 19 digs, Aliyah Carter had 18, setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 12, and DS Loren Hinkle had 12.

An argument could be made that blocking played a significant part in this victory, as the Cats had 26 to LC's 14, but Mackenzie's 19 digs + Aliyah's 18, Teana's 12 and Loren's 10 certainly combined to be a critical factor.

The student section wasn't nearly as full as in Ahearn, but they were ornery. They were constantly messing with Loyola Chicago (in a fun way, it seemed). I wish I could have understood what they were yelling. Anyway, they got smiles from the Ramblers. I don't know what a Rambler is (except for the unimpressive 1960 cars), but their mascot is a cartoon wolf. Whatever!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .181 61 83 13 78 9
Loyola Chicago .210 64 76 11 78 1
September 9, 2021  Wildcats Eat Bobcats -- Volleycats Handle Ohio in Straight Sets
Up first in the K-State Invitational was the University of Ohio, a very solid team, I thought. I was surprised when I noticed that their encounter with the Cats left them at 0-7, and the Cats improved to 4-2. Set scores were (KSU/Ohio): 25-16, 25-23, 25-18.

Aliyah Carter had another strong performance. Aliyah led with 13 points and 11 kills, and hit .304. Kadye Fernholz had another fine day. She had 8.5 points and 5 kills, and hit .417. Holly Bonde had 8 points, and 8 kills, with .412 hitting. The remainder of the points were fairly evenly shared by the rest of the team. The serving percentage was .890, which is very similar to the other matches this season. Loren Hinkle, Kadye Fernholz and Aliyah Carter turned in two aces each. Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 23 assists.

On defense, setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi and libero Mackenzie Morris each recorded 8 digs, along with 7 from Aliyah Carter and 5 from Jaden Ravnsborg. Teana Adams-Kaonohi also led the team in blocks, with 4 block assists. The Cats held Ohio to .091 hitting in set two. And, while I felt Ohio was very competitive, the Cats prevailed in hitting, .256 to .124, which points to good defense. Suzie Fritz said, "I thought Loren Hinkle was tremendous. I thought (Mackenzie) Morris defensively was tremendous. Holly Bonde hit .410. Really good outing for her, and she did a really nice job of managing some of her out-of-system swings."

It was great to see Sydney Bolding, the latest addition to the team, on the court for a while.

Here's audio from Suzie Fritz and player audio from Holly Bonde and Mackenzie Morris.

Up next for the Cats on Friday evening is Loyola-Chicago (6-2), who had a fairly decisive 25-13, 25-17, 25-19 win over Fresno State. Looking at their box score, I noticed that Loyola held Fresno to .000 hitting, while hitting .294 themselves. Be ready, Cats!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .256 34 48 7 35 7
Ohio .124 32 40 3 37 5
September 4, 2021  K-State's Second Victory of the Day: San Diego State
What a volleyball match! The 3 - 1 victory was the Cats' second match of the day... only about two hours after the UCSB match. Set scores were (KSU/SDSU): 25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 25-16.

There were some tremendous individual performances that Rob Voelker mentioned repeatedly, and which will be remembered for a long time! How about Haley Warner, who put together a string of 10 kills, and totaled 18 for the match? She hit .636! Aliyah Carter had 10 kills. Holly Bonde had 9 kills, and hit .231. Kadye Fernholz had 6 kills, and hit .462! Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 5 kills, and hit .714! Kayley Hollywood also had 5 kills, and hit an excellent .300. Jayden Nembhard added 3 kills, hitting .750. Speaking of offense, setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 44 assists.

Mackenzie Morris had a tremendous match, with 17 digs, and add 4 service aces to her performance. Teana Adams-Kaonohi and Jaden Ravnsborg had 5 digs each, Molly Ramsey and Loren Hinkle recorded 4 digs. Haley Warner added to her amazing match with 5 blocks, and Aliyah Carter and Kadye Fernholz each had 4 blocks.

The Cats surpassed SDSU on points, hitting, kills, blocks, digs and aces, as shown below. This was very much a team effort. I believe the Volleycats will at least be RV in the AVCA poll on Monday afternoon.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .287 56 72 10 45 6
San Diego St. .213 47 57 6 39 4
September 4, 2021  K-State Prevails over UC Santa Barbara
The Cats had the first of two matches today vs. the invitational host, UCSB, and it was a barnburner! Set scores were (KSU/UCSB): 25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 23-25, 15-13. While UCSB led in most statistical categories, the differences were slight, and some tremendous individual performances delivered the victory.

Let's start with Preseason All-Big 12 Aliyah Carter, who led all scorers with 22 points, from 21 kills and .386 hitting. Haley Warner's name came up constantly during match coverage. She had 20.5 points, from 19 kills and .471 hitting! Kadye Fernholz added 12 points, from 6 kills and excellent .417 hitting, along with 3 aces and 6 block assists! Holly Bonde had 7 points and 6 kills. Kayley Hollywood was extremely efficient. Her 6.5 points came from .625 hitting and 3 block assists.

On defense, again Kadye Fernholz led with 6 block assists. Libero Mackenzie Morris was off-the-charts tremendous on defense, with 20 digs, Loren Hinkle had a major impact with 11 digs, Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 7 digs, and newcomer Molly Ramsey contributed 5 digs.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .321 66 86.5 10.5 55 10
UCSB .340 70 87 7 57 10
September 3, 2021  K-State Has a Close Loss to #21 Pepperdine
A look at most of the box score would leave a person wondering, "OK, who won it?" This was an exceptionally close match, that still went only three sets. What we can take from this is the Volleycats gave Pepperdine all they could handle, as shown by set scores of (KSU / Pepperdine): 22-25, 30-32, 22-25. When was the last time the Cats had a set go to 32 points? I think our Volleycats are seeing that they can compete with top teams. I'm looking forward to the Big 12 race!

(KSU / Pepperdine): Kills: 46-48, Points: 57-56, Blocks: 8-6, Digs: 40-42, Aces: 3-2

Kadye Fernholz had a big night! She led the Cats with 15 points. She had 11 kills, hit an awesome .450, and led the team in blocks. Aliyah Carter had 12 points and 12 kills. Holly Bonde had 11.5 points and 11 kills, from solid .333 hitting. Haley Warner had 8.5 points and 7 kills, and solid .267 hitting. Kayley Hollywood had 4.5 points and 4 kills, and hit a spectacular .667!

On defense, as mentioned above, Kadye Fernholz had a single block and 6 assists. Libero Mackenzie Morris led with 10 digs, Aliyah Carter had 9, and Teana Adams-Kaonohi and Loren Hinkle each added 7 digs. K-State had a slight lead in blocks, while Pepperdine had a slight lead in digs.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .282 46 57 8 40 3
Pepperdine .283 48 56 6 42 2
August 28, 2021  Hard-Fought
Here's a Twitter highlight video that's all too short. It's from the big match vs. NU today. (Twitter video)

The Volleycats are going to take confidence from their performance. They saw that they can play with the best, and they matched or surpassed NU in blocks, digs and points.

August 28, 2021  K-State Tests #5 Nebraska
That was fun, and our Volleycats had some amazing runs in this match. Scores were 17-25, 25-27, 25-11, 22-25. There were 24 tied scores, and 10 lead changes. The Cats had very poor hitting in Set 1: .031, but held NU to .054 in Set 3, when the Cats hit .556 (and put 12 straight points on the board).

Preseason All-Big 12 honoree Aliyah Carter led with 16 points and 14 kills, but oddly only hit .080. Holly Bonde had a solid afternoon, adding 14 points, with 12 kills. Haley Warner was really good, with 12.5 points and 11 kills, and she hit an amazing .556! Serving was very good today, with a combined .900. There were only 9 errors in 90 attempts. Teana, Aliyah, Mackenzie and Loren were especially efficient, and Kadye Fernholz served a perfect 1.000.

On defense, libero Mackenzie Morris had 19 digs, and Aliyah Carter had 16. Kadye Fernholz led with 5 block assists, and Kayley Hollywood had 4. The Cats surpassed NU 10.5 to 5.5 in blocks, and 65 to 64 in digs. Coach Fritz made special note of "very good" serving and digging.

A big story of the match was K-State scoring 12 straight points in Set 3. At one point, the Cats led 19-5.

It should be noted that K-State had today's impressive performance in front of a crowd of 7,952.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .196 49 64.5 10.5 65 5
NU .224 55 64.5 4.5 64 4
August 27, 2021  Cats Open 2021 with a Win over Colgate
Kansas State claimed a W in their first match of the season, and their first meeting with a good Colgate team, 19-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-16, in the Husker Invitational.

There was a bit of a slow start, with Colgate prevailing on hitting, .222 to .081 in set one. Coach Fritz had a goal of holding Colgate to under .180 hitting, and they ended at .170, but she was disappointed with the Cats' errors early on. She must have been encouraged by the Cats' .417 hitting in set four, vs. Colgate's modest .000 hitting!

Aliyah Carter, Preseason All-Big 12, was impressive on offense. She led the match with 23 points, hit .333 and her 21 kills gave a season-opening double-double. Holly Bonde had 12 points, 11 kills and .240 hitting, and delivered .364 hitting in set 3. Kadye Fernholz had 11.5 points, 8 kills and hit .375. Haley Warner's first Wildcat match was solid, with 11 points, 10 kills and .300 hitting.

On defense, Teana Adams-Kaonoi led with 7 block assists, and added 9 digs. Kayley Hollywood had 6 block assists, and Kadye Fernholz had 5. Libero Mackenzie Morris had 10 digs, and Jacque Smith had 9.

Coach Fritz praised Aliyah Carter's passing. She led with 11 digs, her career high, and Mackenzie Morris had 10 digs. Jacque Smith and Teana Adams-Kaonohi each added 9 digs.

It's the Cats vs. #5 Nebraska at 4 p.m. on Saturday. It might be a bit of a grudge match for NU, as the last time the Cats played them on their court, it was a Wildcat victory in five sets, 10 years ago (12/02/11), and the Cats eliminated NU from the NCAA tournament, earning a trip to Hawaii. Nebraska had lost only 10 home court matches over the past 10 seasons.

Here's the match recap from Colgate.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .242 58 75 12 50 5
Colgate .171 44 53 7 39 2
August 25, 2021  Sydney Bolding Brings Competitive Spirit
It was just 19 days ago that Sydney's transfer was announced, and she's the subject of today's K-State Sports Extra. At Jacksonville, our new 6' 5" middle blocker had 344 kills, 135 blocks and hit .353. In her first season, she averaged .392 hitting!!

I'm sure she'll make an impact here, and look forward to seeing her in action.

August 24, 2021  Stylin' All Season
Here's a short video of the Volleycats trying on new accessories. (Twitter link)
August 24, 2021  This Is Us: Holly Bonde
Holly has the second installment of this Q&A series. She mentions being aggressive and sensitive about her dog, Pluto. I've really enjoyed videos of her in practice, because she's nonstop funny, while hard at work. (Twitter link)
August 23, 2021  This Is Us: Mackenzie Morris
Mackenzie was the celebrity guest in the first installment of this series. What a charming human! She talked about family values, hard work and a very reasonable fear of sharks. We learned on Saturday that she's not afraid of kangaroos, as she put the hammer down on them in Set 4, with an awesome ace, thereby winning the match. Her match-high 16 digs were a nice addition, too! (Twitter link)
August 21, 2021  Match One: An Exhibition with Kansas City
After a bit of a slow start, the Cats settled in and prevailed in their only exhibition match, and we saw some very good things happen. After all... Cats eat Kangaroos. Set scores were (KSU/K.C.): 19-25, 25-13, 25-23, 30-28. There were numerous errors in set one, as the Cats hit .167 to K.C.'s .414. The Cats improved hitting efficiency, and hit .300 in the second set.

Hey... how about Dr. Mike Hamilton's rad new haircut?

It was good to have a first look at new players Jaden Ravnsborg and Haley Warner (who had 12 kills and hit .455!). Unfortunately, we didn't get to see Molly Ramsey, Josie Halbleib or Sydney Bolding.

Setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi had a tremendous match. She led with .571 hitting, had 9 digs and 44 assists.

Aliyah Carter led with 15 kills and 17 points. Kadye Fernholz led the Cats in scoring, with 18 points. She had .360 hitting, and also led the team in blocks.

Set 4 was a wild ride, with 9 tied scores, and several match points. The set score of 30-28 sort of points to that fact. Finally, at 29-28, Mackenzie Morris moved back to serve, I hollered "How about an ace?," Mackenzie served an ace, and we went home happy. Here's video of the winning serve.

Here's audio of comments from Suzie Fritz and Kadye Fernholz and Haley Warner.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .243 58 78 11 57 9
Kansas City .144 47 54 3 52 4
August 19, 2021  Aliyah Carter Looks to Build on Breakout Season
Austin Siegel has posted another excellent K-State Sports Extra... a look back at 2020-21, and what's in store for our Preseason All-Big 12 sophomore. (link)
August 10, 2021  K-State Practices Are Fun!
How about some videos? Day 1 is some fun at practice today (we guess). A lot to unpack here... is a quick look at Holly Bonde's and Loren Hinkle's practice antics. Holly has perfected a 360° leg sweep over unsuspecting players, and Loren's working on it. The Cats have some inside jokes that we're not privy to. Remember the exhibition on Saturday, 8/21 at 3:00 P in the Octagon o' Doom, vs. UMKC.
August 8, 2021  New Equipment Day
I noticed a bunch of players' cars at the Octagon when I had my evening walk, but at the moment, no one was on the court. They were picking up their shirts, shoes, towels, knee pads... The Cats are all set! (video link) / Remember... Saturday, August 21 at 3:00 P is the home exhibition match vs. "Kansas City" (which we all know is UMKC). Then, at 7:00, there's the annual Marching Band whoopteedo in Aggieville, around 12th and Moro.
August 6, 2021  Sydney Bolding Transfers from Jacksonville
Sydney is a 6' 5" middle blocker, who's joining the Cats after two seasons at Jacksonville. In that time, she had 344 kills, 135 blocks and hit .353. In her first season, she averaged .392!! (K-State Volleyball's announcement)

She will be listed as a junior, and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

July 12, 2021  Brynn Carlson's Second Straight CoSIDA Academic All-America Honor
KSUVB has tweeted the news, but the tweet's link to a complete story is broken at this moment. Brynn's off to MU for graduate school.
July 9, 2021  Volleycats Starring in Timeout and Promo Videos
KSUVB tweeted 40 seconds of fun stuff... cranking out a bunch of videos for 2021. We're going to an exciting season. Bring on the Cats!