Headlines and Recaps 2022
October 2, 2022  Kansas State Sweeps Iowa State
I moseyed into the OcTangon of Doom today, uncertain about the outcome. Both teams had 9-6 records. Iowa State, four days earlier, had an impressive 3-1 win over #13 Baylor (now 12-3). Regardless, I felt we could compete with the Tornadoes, and the result was a 25-18, 26-24, 25-20 sweep.

A factor in this victory was aces. The Volleycats had 11, to Iowa State's 2. Sydney Bolding had 4 aces, and Loren Hinkle (no surprise) added 3.

On offense, the Cats trailed ISU in hitting % most of the match, but kept after it. They were running in the 100s, but ended with .243 hitting. Let's not go farther without mentioning Sydney Bolding, who had 15 points, 10 kills and awesome .500 hitting. Shaylee Myers led the Cats with 19.5 points and 17 kills, hitting .311. Kadye Fernholz had 6 kills, and hit a solid .286.

Loren Hinkle is doing so well in her new setter role! She had 37 assists, to add to her 3 aces and 7 digs.

On defense, the ever-reliable Mackenzie Morris recorded an awesome 22 digs, and Molly Ramsey added 10 digs. Mackenzie has four 20-dig outings over her last five matches. Elena Baka had 8 digs. Kadye Fernholz had 2 single blocks and 3 block assists, along with 6 kills.

Suzie Fritz commented,

"It feels great. I am really proud of them. We had a little gauntlet of top-25 teams that we had to roll through a little bit, by design. We felt like we wanted to test ourselves and get ourselves prepared for Big 12-level competition, and then we hit Tech at Tech, who I think is going to have a very good year in the league, but a disappointing performance on our part Wednesday night. So, to be able to show some resilience, bounce back and play well against a good Iowa State team that's coming off a win over Baylor... this is what the Big 12 looks like, so you've got to be able to bring it every night. I'm pretty proud of them."

Up next for the Volleycats is a trip to Morgantown on Wednesday, for an encounter with WVU (6-9, 0-3 Big 12).

Hey... if you ever want an update on all the Big 12 teams' results this season, I have it for you, right here. It's built with InDesign and exported to PDF, for a quick and easy download. (I have it on another of my domains, which gives a faster download.)

This just in... @KStateVB has just posted ISU match highlights. There's good stuff to see!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .243 43 61 7 55 11
ISU .248 39 49 8 55 2
September 28, 2022  Texas Tech Sweeps KSU
We knew Texas Tech (13-2, 2-0 Big 12) is good. They've only lost to Rice (as did the Cats) and Oral Roberts. They went undefeated in their first eight matches. It will be interesting to see what happens when they face 10-0 Texas on Sunday. (I hope they beat UT.) Set scores tonight were (TTU/KSU): 25-22, 25-23, 25-15. We have to give the Volleycats credit for really challenging Tech in the first two sets... very close losses.

Elena Baka led in scoring, with 12 points. She hit .250. Shaylee Myers had 11.5 points, with .189 hitting. Kadye Fernholz had a very solid night, with 10 points and spectacular .500 hitting. Loren Hinkle had 29 assists. But... as a team, Tech hit .272, to the Cats' .144.

Texas Tech prevailed on blocks... 10 to 5 over the Cats in that category. They led in digs, 60 to 49. Our star libero, Mackenzie Morris, led all players with 17 digs.

I don't have much of a feel for the match. I was trying to watch the match on a small screen at the Powercat Sports Grill during Coach Klieman's radio show. I'm dealing with cataracts, and could hardly see the match. There were 13 tie scores in the second match! We can't give up on the Cats. They have very good players. The Volleycats gave Texas Tech two very close sets. The one thing I'm noticing is too many instances this season of giving the ball a little tap over the net, to keep it in play, rather the powerful hits we've become used to from our OHs and MBs. As you'll see in the next paragraph, Coach Fritz credits TTU for their "aggressive swings."

Suzie's comments were brief.

"It was a frustrating evening for us. We were attacking them with our serving and creating out-of-system situations, but we were unable to convert on those opportunities. Texas Tech's outside hitters were taking really aggressive swings, and it felt like we were fighting them off all night. Our serve-pass was a bright spot, but we have to be able to connect the next phase to it."

Iowa State (9-6) is up next, in the Octagon on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 3:30 P.M. Let's all march over there and support our Cats!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Texas Tech .272 44 57 10 60 3
KSU .144 37 44 5 49 2
September 26, 2022  Mackenzie Morris Hits a Historic Mark
During the home KU game on September 24, our awesome libero, junior Mackenzie Morris, recorded her 1,000th dig. That's a fine accomplishment. Along with that is the fun fact that she was also the fastest Volleycat to reach 1,000 digs (in rally scoring, which has been in effect since 2001/2002). D. Scott Fritchen caught up with her to visit about her big day, as covered in this K-State Sports Extra. D. Scott's Extra has much more than the announcement. It's a real nice profile on Mackenzie. Suzie Fritz commented,
"I've been telling anybody that'll listen that she's special. She doesn't say much, but what you see in a match is what you see every day, and it's pretty unusual, to be honest. There aren't many players where you know exactly what you're going to get every single day. The effort, focus, and incredibly high achieving, maybe to a fault, but what you see in the plays that you see in a match are the plays that she makes every day."

There's more coverage of Mackenzie's big event in the Sept. 24 match recap.

September 24, 2022  Cats Lose to KU in Five Sets
I believed that KU would be a handful in this contest, and they were. Set scores were 19-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 7-15. The Cats ended with more points. KU led in blocking by 0.5 block. The Cats led in kills, by 2 kills. KU was digging a lot of balls we sent their way, although they only led in digs, 75-66. Probably the biggest different was hitting, with a solid .278 for KU, and .183 for KSU. Suzie Fritz commented that going into the fifth set (having just won two sets) that the Cats lost momentum, and missed a 'tremendous opportunity.'

On offense, Aliyah Carter was not at her most efficient (.092), but she led the team with 20 kills (her season high), and 22.5 points! Shaylee Myers was excellent in hitting, at .407 / 14 points, and 13 kills. So was Sydney Bolding, hitting .400, with 14.5 points. Kadye had 12 points, from blocks + 10 kills. She hit .273.

Loren Hinkle had all kinds of awesome sets, totaling 57! (This is a career high!)

Now to defense... Libero Mackenzie Morris has just become the quickest player (rally scoring era) to reach 1,000 career digs! Suzie Fritz doesn't miss any opportunity to praise her. We have had awesome liberos and DSs over the years, and Mackenzie is now in the record book for her contributions! And... she's a junior! Molly Ramsey had a career-high 12 digs. (Read more about Mackenzie in the Sept. 26 headline, just above.)

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KU .278 60 79.5 13 75 3
KSU .183 62 76 12.5 66 5
September 22, 2022  Sydney Bolding Is Off to a Fast Start
The following is from K-State Volleyball's notes before the KU match.
  • Sydney's hitting .338 – and averaging 1.98 kills per set – with 1.33 blocks per set and 20 aces.
  • She's been named to the all-tournament team at the Rambler and K-State invitationals.
  • Sydney has recorded double-figure kills four times this season, and has hit .350 or better five times, including a career-best .588 at Rice.
September 22, 2022  Shaylee Myers Is Getting It Done!
The following is from K-State Volleyball's notes before the KU match.
  • Shay is hitting .335, and averaging a team-high 3.93 kills per set.
  • She has six matches with double-figure kills. Her season high is 23 kills, vs. Missouri. (That's the highest of any Volleycat this season.)
  • Her first double-double came vs. Rice, when she had 17 kills and 10 digs.
September 22, 2022  Mackenzie Morris Is Headed for a Record!
The following is from K-State Volleyball's notes before the KU match.
  • K-State junior libero Mackenzie Morris sits just 18 digs away from joining the 1,000-digs club.
  • If she reaches the 1,000-dig mark Saturday against Kansas, Morris will be the fastest player in program history (rally-scoring era) to reach the milestone, doing so in just 63 matches.
  • Earlier this season, Morris set a career high with 25 digs against UCF.
  • The Dallas native is coming off back-to-back 20-dig performances at the Rice Adidas Invitational, as she now sits at 15 career matches with at least 20 digs (fourth-most in program history).
  • Currently, she is one of just two players in the rally-scoring era to average over 4.00 digs per set (Angie "Ace" Lastra, 4.37).
September 21, 2022  Cats in Big 12 Standings, Approaching Conference Play
  • Aces - Elena Baka #4, Sydney Bolding #5, Loren Hinkle #10
  • Assists - Loren Hinkle #6
  • Blocks - Sydney Bolding #4, Kadye Fernholz #8
  • Digs - Mackenzie Morris #3
  • Hitting % - Sydney Bolding #8
  • Kills - Shaylee Myers #3
  • Points - Shaylee Myers #4, Elena Baka #8
September 21, 2022  Sydney Bolding Destined to play College Volleyball •••
Here's a must-read K-State Sports Extra, Sydney Bolding Destined to play College Volleyball, by the outstanding sports writer, D. Scott Fritchen. It begins with her interest in volleyball as a young girl, and we learn about her path to Jacksonville, and then Kansas State. Now in her second season with us, she feels that playing with the Cats was "meant to be." Well... we mean it when we say we're very glad she's here!
September 17, 2022  #17 Creighton Prevails over K-State in Four Sets
It was kind of a handful trying to follow this match while at K-State Football, but live stats was the answer. Creighton won the first two sets, then the teams alternated. Set scores (KSU/Creighton) were: 16-25, 22-25, 25-13, 19-25. I was worried about tangling with #17 Creighton, after checking their schedule and seeing that they took #2 NU to 2-3, beat #25 USC and beat Florida State. So... this is not a match we were supposed to win - but almost did - and Creighton's post-match write-up said they "clawed their way through" their encounter with the Volleycats.

On offense, we have to start with a shout out to Shaylee Myers, who led with 21 points, accumulated from 4 block assists, .326 hitting and 16 kills 2 assists + 3 aces! Her name keeps popping up, doesn't it? Elena Baka... no surprise... had 15 points, from 13 kills. Kadye Fernholz added 11 points. She hit an awesome .438, and had 8 kills. Loren Hinkle was busy, as usual. She recorded 37 assists.

In the defense department, our awesome libero, Mackenzie Morris, led all players with 22 digs. Sydney Bolding, Shaylee Myers and Kadye Fernholz each had 4 block assists. The Cats surpassed the Bluebirds 10 to 5 in blocks.

Suzie commented to the media,

"The end of a productive and difficult preseason, I think is what we're feeling. This was the challenge we were ready for this weekend... the teams of the caliber of Rice and Creighton and, frankly, I think we are in it, and capable of playing with - and beating - those kind of teams, because we are one of those kinds of teams. Defensively, I thought we were pretty tenacious today. We extended rallies, we were pretty good out-of-system. I thought we did some really good things playing a rested Creighton team.

Mack Morris really stood out to me, in terms of the shots that she took. Shaylee Myers is really doing some tremendous things from an offensive perspective. Honestly, this weekend was one of Loren Hinkle's best weekends in terms of set location, and getting hitters in a pretty good rhythm. She's gotten a lot better as she's gone along."

I'll conclude by commenting, Go Volleycats! Beat the Chickenhawks!" (September 24, 4 P.M., Octagon of Doom)
Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Creighton .226 55 66 5 77 6
KSU .192 48 62 10 72 4
September 16, 2022  Rice 3, Kansas State 2
I didn't expect this one vs. Rice (now 9 - 1) to be easy. For one thing, 6 of 9 of their Ws have been sweeps. (At least Kansas State took 'em to 5 sets!)

This was a close one. Set scores were 25-20, 26-24, 21-25, 18-25, 13-15. So... in a way, K-State lost by three points.

On offense, the Cats' .187 hitting wasn't impressive, although in total points, we prevailed slightly, 80 to 78. The Cats had 59 kills, to Rice's 62. Rice players had 8 aces, to the Cats' 7. Sydney Bolding had the most efficient offense, hitting an outstanding .588, and she had 16 points. Shaylee Myers was less efficient, hitting .226, but she led the team with 17 kills and 18 points. Elena Baka hit .195, but she kept trying, and ended with 17 points. Setter Loren Hinkle had 41 assists!

The Volleycats' defense led the Owls in blocks, 14 to 8. Rice prevailed slightly in digs, 73 to 70. Not surprisingly, Mackenzie Morris recorded 23 digs in the match. Elena Baka had 12 digs, and Loren Hinkle had 11.

Suzie said, "I thought we were playing extremely well after the first few points in game one. Game two was about as good as we've been... a lot of defensive pressure and not giving up lots of points. I thought, frankly, they upgraded. I thought maybe we got a little bit conservative from the service line, and a little bit conservative from an attacking perspective, as well." Suzie is calling for improvement on sideouts in future matches.

Up next (Sept. 17) is 7-2 Creighton. What concerns me about them (without knowing the details), is that 10 days ago, they took #2 Nebraska to five sets, with a final score of 2-3, and earlier this month, they beat #25 USC.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Rice .235 62 78 8 73 8
KSU .187 59 80 14 70 7
September 14, 2022  Elena Baka Fits Right In
D. Scott Fritchen has a must-read K-State Sports Extra on our new transfer from Greece, Elena Baka. Elena is having quite an impressive season with the Volleycats. She's been making all-tournament teams. Elena has multiple national titles as a member of Greek national teams. She wants to play on the Greek national team, but is open to staying here one more season.
September 14, 2022  Kansas State Sweeps UMKC in KCMO
First, I refuse to call UMKC "Kansas City," because the Chiefs are Kansas City. Secondly, I'm unwilling to call them the Roos. I prefer to call them the Kangas. Deal with it.

The outcome of the Volleycats' trip back East was 25-14, 25-13, 31-29. The Cats are now 9-2, and the Kangas are 3-7, but we had a barn burner in set three (with 10 tied scores). Elena Baka had 10 kills, 286 hitting and 14.5 points. Sydney Bolding has been a steady contributor. She hit .267 with 6 kills, and had 11.5 points. Another with similar .286 hitting was Shaylee Myers, with 8 kills. Haley Warner had 8 points, 7 kills and .455 hitting! Loren Hinkle and Ava LeGrand shared setting, and each had 15 assists. Mackenzie Morris had 2 aces. The team combined for solid .245 hitting. Suzie Fritz commented on our offense, "We still have some personnel I am excited for. I am excited about our outside hitting core. Sydney is wonderfully consistent, in terms of what she's doing. I think we have two setters who are getting better and better by the day, I think we are growing there, but I like the progress that we are making."

On defense, Molly Ramsey led with 10 digs, and Mackenzie Morris added 9. The Cats led the Kangas in digs, 50 to 43. Middle blocker Sydney Bolding had an impressive 7 block assists, and Kadye Fernholz had 5. The Cats prevailed in blocks, 15 to 4, which if you notice the recap's use of the term "stout defense," is the story of the match. Suzie said, "I thought the effort was good. We look a little fresher today than we were last weekend, I think. Defense is so determined by the connectivity between serve productivity - which I think we are really good at right now - to block productivity, which I think we are pretty far ahead, and into that dig-to-transition phase."

Rob Voelker said the Volleycats are going straight from Kansas City to Houston, where they will encounter Rice (8-1) and Creighton (7-2). Rice's only loss, as of this writing, has been to #18 Oregon, and the match went to five sets. Creighton took #2 Nebraska to five sets a week ago, so watch out!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .245 41 62 15 50 6
UMKC .018 27 31 4 43 0
September 10, 2022  Volleycats Sweep St. Thomas
Our Cats finished their time at Loyola-Chicago's invitational with an impressive win vs. St. Thomas, 25-12, 25-15, 25-16, bringing their season record to 8 - 2.

Kansas State hit a very impressive .358, and held St. Thomas to .110. On offense, Shaylee Myers had another strong outing, with .474 hitting and 11 kills. Elena Baka also had 11 kills, with .276 hitting. Kadye Fernholz had 6 kills, from excellent .400 hitting. Ava LeGrand didn't have as many attempts, but her .750 hitting was certainly noteworthy. Sydney Bolding had 4 aces, and Elena Baka had 3.

Ava LeGrand had setter duty today, and contributed 31 assists. For an unknown reason, Loren Hinkle did not play today.

In the defense department, Brenna Schmidt had 4 block assists, and 2 single blocks, and Shaylee Myers had 3 block assists. No surprise, libero Mackenzie Morris led with 12 digs, with Molly Ramsey, Ava LeGrand, Shaylee Myers and Elena Baka contributing a half dozen or more digs.

Sydney Bolding and Mackenzie Morris made the all-tournament team.

Coach Suzie Fritz said, "I'm excited. At one point in time, I looked out on the floor and we had four freshmen on the floor, and thought they were playing exceptionally well. I am excited about their development and improvement, and excited about their future. The only way they can get better is to get them out there and give them some experience. We finished a stretch where we just played four matches in four days, so we are experiencing some pretty significant physical, mental and travel fatigue right now. We thought getting in some fresh bodies could rejuvenate us. The thing I was the proudest of was that we sustained a really high and consistent level of play. We stayed really focused and engaged in the match, from start to finish." Suzie also commented on a major emphasis on effective serving in early fall.

Up next is a visit to UMKC on Wednesday, 9/14, at 7:00 P. The match can be seen on KCRoos.com, and KMAN 93.3 FM will have Rob Voelker's play-by-play.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .358 40 60 9 41 11
St. Thomas .110 27 32 4 30 1
September 9, 2022  Wildcats Have a Setback vs. Loyola-Chicago
The Volleycats lost 1 - 3 to the hosts of their latest invitational, 26-24, 9-25, 23-25, 15-25. With the exception of game 2, scores were fairly close, but the Cats lost to Loyola in every significant statistical category.

Loyola's hitting wasn't spectacular, but they outhit KSU, .209 to .078. MB Sydney Bolding had a tremendous match! She led the team in scoring, with 16 points and 11 kills, and she hit .391! Aliyah Carter had 9 kills, and Elena Baka had 7. Loren Hinkle 22 assists. She played all four sets, after appearing to have an ankle bothering her at home this week.

Back to Sydney Bolding... she had 6 block assists, enroute to her 16 points. Kadye Fernholz and Ava LeGrand had 4 block assists. Ava had 7 assists, too!

Mackenzie Morris, who is having a very impressive season, led the Cats with 19 digs. She had 25 serve receives, and 3 aces.

Suzie Fritz said, "I thought the difference down the stretch was just serving productivity. I thought our block was terrific. Haley and Sydney were doing some really nice things to be disruptive, and Kadye as well. I'm excited about that part of our game, and being able to tie that serve-to-block-to-dig sequence. Mack Morris was doing Mack Morris things as well. I think anytime you can hold an opponent below .100, you're feeling pretty good about the defensive effort."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Loyola Chicago .209 52 76 14 72 10
KSU .078 35 51 11 52 5
September 9, 2022  Volleycats Sweep Rutgers
It was a good morning, as K-State took care of Rutgers, 28-26, 25-19, 25-22 in the Loyola-Chicago Invitational, but there were 28 tied scores in the three sets, and 12 lead changes.

OH Shaylee Myers didn't have the highest efficiency, but she led the team with 14 points, and she had 10 kills. Aliyah Carter led the team with 13 kills, and almost in points, with 13.5. Now, if you like efficiency, MB Kadye Fernholz had .467 hitting! Wait a minute. I haven't mentioned that Loren Hinkle had 35 assists in this morning's sweep!

The Cats prevailed in blocks, 12.5 to 8. Sydney Bolding had 6 block assists. Shaylee Myers and Loren Hinkle each had 4 block assists. Mackenzie Morris led all players, with 17 digs.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .193 42 58.5 12.5 38 4
Rutgers .096 34 45 8 41 3
September 7, 2022   K-State Defeats Our Old Friends, Missouri, in Five Sets
I was looking forward to this match, as a good test of where we are. K-State last faced MU on September 14, 2021, with a 3-0 win. Coach Fritz is now 17-7 vs. Missouri, after tonight's 27-25, 25-14, 24-26, 20-25, 15-10 barnburner, and our Volleycats now hold a 6 - 1 record.

There were four lead changes in set 1, which ended in favor of the Cats, 27-25. Things were looking quite fine in set 2, with the Cats prevailing, 25-14. It looked like we'd finish with set 3, but MU won it by 2 points, then won set 4 by five points.

On offense, tonight was the Shaylee Myers show! She led all players with 23 kills and 24 points, and she hit an outstanding .419! Haley Warner and Elena Baka had 16 kills, and Haley hit a solid .242, finishing with 19.5 points. Sydney Bolding's name was heard often! She had 10 kills, hit .222, added 16.5 points and led the match with 4 aces. Loren Hinkle's setting was so good! She had 41 assists, and in this writer's opinion, is a tremendous asset in her new role as setter. Loren sat out a little bit, and seemed to have a slight limp, but still played in 4 of 5 sets. Molly Ramsey had 3 aces!

Of Shaylee Myers' evening, as well as the team, Suzie Fritz said, "She's been doing it every day, to be honest. She has earned some opportunities, and I am thrilled that we have the outside hitting core that we have right now – with (Aliyah) Carter, with Baka, with Myers – all three give us something just a little bit different. We've got four matches in four days (this week) and to be able to use them all and keep them fresh is huge."

On defense, Haley Warner had 7 block assists, Sydney Bolding had 5, and Kadye Fernholz had 3. Missouri prevailed in blocks, 16 to the Cats' 10. Elena Baka had 17 digs, libero Mackenzie Morris had 15, and our veteran libero, Loren Hinkle, had 10 digs. The Cats outhit the Tigers slightly, .200 to .164.

In conclusion, I was impressed with the Volleycats' team play. I felt they were passing the ball impressively. Their hitting percentage went up and down during the match, but ultimately they prevailed in kills, 71 to 48, and in points, 91 to 68. Our old friend, Anna Dixon, led MU in kills, with 17, and in points, with 19. For some reason, Brynn Carlson was not suited up for the match.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .200 71 91 10 71 4
MU .164 48 68 16 73 10
September 3, 2022  The Volleycats Lose a Close One to Central Florida
First, I had no idea until I saw the box score afterward, that on the other side of the net were Kari Zumach, Kylee's sister, and Heidi Bonde, Holly's sister. Kari had 13 kills against us, and Heidi, a 6' 4" OH, had 11 kills. It's a small world.

This was another match that was hard to follow, as it ran concurrently with K-State Football's season opener vs. South Dakota. All we could get was live stats. The contest was definitely back and forth, with set scores (KSU/UCF) of 25-20, 18-25, 30-28, 21-25, 11-15. UCF's recap called the match a thriller. UCF prevailed in hitting, .268 to .222, in kills, 72 to 66, in blocks, 11 to 7, and in digs, 63 to 53. The teams had 49 tie scores, and 24 lead changes. (official recap)

Elena Baka led the Cats with 19 points and 19 kills. Aliyah Carter had 18.5 points and 18 kills, but hit .136. Sydney Bolding had 13.5 points, and impressive .350 hitting. Kadye Fernholz was extremely efficient, with .500 hitting. She had 11 kills.

Loren Hinkle continues to impress in her new setter role. She had 53 assists, an ace and 2 block assists.

Our libero, Mackenzie Morris, was a force on defense, leading all players with 25 digs. Suzie Fritz said, "Talk about a special player... Mack Morris is special. What she can do defensively and the shots that she's taking are amazing. She keeps us in it, and frustrates attackers. I'm not even sure Mack Morris knows how special she is, but she is an elite defender." Mackenzie had two aces. She's very reliable on serving. Here's Mackenzie's newcomer video from 2020. Just as a reminder, Mackenzie doesn't like bugs.

To summarize the match vs. the soon-to-be Big 12 team, Suzie said, "I loved our effort. If it only came down to just effort, I think we'd be feeling pretty good. I thought that was, at times, the best volleyball that we've played thus far – which was required against the best team we've played thus far. I felt like we had some passing breakdowns, we gave up a few too many point-scoring runs and got stuck in a couple of rotations. Against a really good team, that's going to be the difference."

In conclusion, here's a re-entry. Big congrats go to Elena Baka and Mackenzie Morris on being named to the UCF Challenge All-Tournament Team! Elena recorded 50 kills, and Mackenzie had a career-high 25 digs vs. UCF.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
UCF .268 72 88 11 63 5
KSU .222 66 78 7 53 5
September 2, 2022  K-State Gets by North Florida in Straight Sets
The Volleycats defeated the Ospreys - whatever those are - in Orlando today, 30-28, 25-22, 25-15. This brings the Cats' season record to 5 - 0... the best record among Big 12 teams at the moment! I was on alert going into this match, having noticed that North Florida took a set from #13 Florida the other day.

It was no picnic following this match. The only alternative seemed to be live stats. Rob Voelker watches some of the road matches at home, and gives us perfectly good play-by-play, but he wasn't on today. Maybe he couldn't watch it, either.

Our transfer OH from Greece, Elena Baka, was a major factor today... leading with 19.5 points, 14 kills and .281 hitting. Aliyah Carter was not as efficient as usual (.044 hitting), but she had 10 points from 9 kills. Kadye Fernholz had good .236 hitting, with 6 kills. Lauren Hinkle had a busy afternoon, with 30 assists and 2 aces. Speaking of aces, Elena Baka had 4, Mackenzie Morris had 3, and Loren and Molly Ramsey each had 2.

On defense, Sydney Bolding had 4 block assists. Elena and Haley Warner added 3 each. Elena had 14 digs, libero Mackenzie Morris had 11 and Aliyah Carter had 7.

While regular contributors did add points, the team was not as efficient this time out. To the Cats' credit, they stayed in there and didn't get discouraged, and got themselves a straight-set win.

Suzie Fritz said, "In the end our serving, I thought, was the difference. We kept them in, and we were getting on it, and it was required, frankly. Really gritty, tenacious, high-energy defensive team that's going to have a great year in North Florida. We had to up our defensive standards a little bit. The match was chaotic, but once we got settled in, things got a little bit better."

From Sports Information:

Elena Baka led the Cats with 14 kills, 14 digs and four aces. It was her second double-double of the season. She has registered multiple service aces in all five matches this season, and currently leads the Big 12 with 14 aces.

   • The current 5 - 0 record is the best start since 2013.

   • The Cats' 12 aces are fourth-best in a three-set match since 2007.

   • The 5-0 current record is the fourth time since 2001.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .162 41 60 7 53 12
North Fla. .186 39 47 5 61 3
September 1, 2022  Aliyah Carter Leads the Cats to Victory vs. a Good Syracuse Team
As of this evening, Kansas State leads the Big 12, with a season record of 4-0!

If you followed the match, which the Cats won 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 25-21, it appeared that they were pretty good shape throughout, winning the first two sets, and in the lead, most of the time. Looking at the box score, K-State had a slight edge in most statistical categories, although blocks and digs were even.

Junior OH Aliyah Carter had a big day! She ended with excellent .366 hitting, 20 kills, 4 aces and 24.5 points. Elena Baka hit a very solid .297, with 17 kills and 21 points and 6 digs. It's so good to see Loren Hinkle excelling at setter! I don't think we expected the position change to happen, but it's no surprise that she's making the most of it. Loren led the match with 44 assists (her career high, so far)! Suzie Fritz had high praise for Aliyah and Loren. Sydney Bolding came in third in Cat points, with 11.5, as she had 6 kills, 5 block assists and 3 aces. Our libero, Mackenzie Morris, led the match with 17 digs. Molly Ramsey and Loren Hinkle had 8 digs.

Tomorrow, the Cats will encounter North Florida. They're 1-2 going into our match, but it should be pointed out that they gave #15 Florida two close sets in Gainesville, and took them to an extra set.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .262 52 72 9 49 11
Syracuse .224 57 69 9 49 3
August 27, 2022  K-State Defeats Florida A&M to Win The K-State Invitational
"My, oh my, we're having some fun now," as David Letterman used to say. I'm out of practice at writing these recaps, but here we go. (Be sure to look at Sports Information's recap, too.) There were numerous individual performances that led to this decisive victory. Set scores were 25-14, 25-13, 25-16. First, let's mention team achievements. Our VolleyCats led in hitting, with an impressive .395. At one point in the contest, they were at .600. They led in kills, 42 to 18, and our defense held A&M to –.041. We outblocked FAMU, 9 to 3.

On offense, K-State prevailed in kills, 42 to 18, led by our new player, Shaylee Myers, who had 22.5 points, excellent .516 hitting and 18 kills! Our junior MB, Kadye Fernholz, had 10.5 points, and spectacular .778 hitting, for 7 kills. Haley Warner also had 7 kills, hitting .308. She added 8.5 points. Shaylee Myers also led the Cats, with 4 aces. Ava LaGrande did great work, with 31 assists. Suzie seems to be trying to give different players an opportunity to play. Loren Hinkle, who served exceptionally as setter in the invitational, added 5 assists today. As a team, hitting in the three sets was .435, .318 and .417.

On defense, Kadye Fernholz had a single block and 5 block assists. As mentioned earlier, Kadye came in second in points, thanks to her kills and blocks. Libero Mackenzie Morris had 14 digs. Elena Baka and Ava LaGrande each recorded 5 digs. Elena Baka led with 16 serve receptions.

I've mentioned earlier how impressed I am with Loren Hinkle's start as a setter. This is new for her, as she's been listed as DS/libero in previous seasons (and still is). Our senior in life sciences and microbiology is very smart, and she knows our offensive schemes well. She'll make great decisions when playing setter. Watching her in a new role, it's like she's been our setter for a long time.

Elena Baka and Sydney Bolding are among the six players on the all-tournament team, and Elena was named the MVP.

Up next for the VolleyCats is the UCF Challenge, vs. Syracuse, North Florida and UCF. Sports Information reports that the Cats vs. UCF on Saturday will be streamed live on ESPN+, and all three matches will have radio coverage on KMAN (93.3 FM), and online at K-StateSports.com/watch.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .395 42 59 9 34 8
Florida A&M –.041 18 25 3 27 4
August 26, 2022  K-State Invitational Continues with a 3-1 Victory vs. NC State
The Cats played in NC State's invitational in August 2019, so they're no strangers. NC State defeated them in that encounter, in five sets. It was time to return the favor. Today's outcome was 25-27, 25-14, 25-17 and 25-18.

Sydney Bolding, who would end the weekend on the all-tournament team, led with 17.5 points, with outstanding .500 hitting, from 13 kills. Elena Baka, the invitational MVP, had 16 points, 12 kills and .306 hitting. Aliyah Carter... no surprise... had 15 points and 11 kills, and she was active on blocking. The Cats outhit NC State .234 to .058. And... our newly-discovered setter, Loren A. Hinkle, had 37 assists and 2 aces.

On defense, Kadye Fernholz led with 8 block assists, and a single block. Mackenzie Morris led the team with 18 digs. Elena Baka and Aliyah Carter had 10 digs, and Molly Ramsey and Loren Hinkle each had 9 digs. The Cats prevailed in blocks, 17.5 to 4, which may help explain NC State's .058 hitting.

I like writing up the matches, but don't miss the experts' recap!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .234 47 74.5 17.5 58 10
NC State .058 40 50 4 66 6
August 26, 2022  K-State Invitational Begins with a W vs. Sam Houston State
It was a good day for offense, as the VolleyCats won in three, 25-14, 25-22, 25-14. Aliyah Carter led with 13 points, from 12 kills and .312 hitting. Our new player, Elena Baka, had 12 points, with 10 kills and .333 hitting. Sydney Bolding did great. She had 9 points, 6 kills and .500 hitting! Haley Warner had a solid night, with 8 points and .364 hitting.

Loren Hinkle, brand new in the setter role, had 31 assists, and our veteran libero added 9 digs. Suzie Fritz commented, "Loren Hinkle did a really nice job. It's quite special given her previous role, and the role we are asking her to do now... the effectiveness in which she is running our offense. So a lot of things have to come together to distribute in that manner."

On defense, Kadye Fernholz led the Cats with 3 block assists, and she had 5 kills. Our favorite team held SHS to .108 hitting.

Of Sydney Bolding, who would go on to make the tournament team, Suzie said, "Based on how she's playing, we call that 'feed the bear.' She was unstoppable at times, so you just ride it until they can stop it."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .357 43 53 5 44 5
Sam Houston State .108 29 37 5 37 3
August 25, 2022  Miked Up with Molly Ramsey
Clearly Molly is a vocal leader of the team. Her chatter reminds one of the great Holly Bonde. I'm looking forward to future installments! (link)
August 25, 2022  Mackenzie Morris: Always on Her Toes, Giving Opponents Headaches
Today's K-State Sports Extra is linked in the Media section, but is worth special note here. I have had great appreciation for our current libero, now starting her junior season.

As a freshman, Mackenzie led the Cats in digs. I always feel confident when she serves, but didn't know that she led the team in aces in her first season. D. Scott Fritchen reports that "she was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week twice, and earned Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors, with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. She also led K-State and ranked fifth in the Big 12 with 3.96 digs per set."

Let's all head to the Octagon of Doom this weekend, and give Mackenzie and company a great crowd.

August 19, 2022  Volleycats Defeat Wayne State, 3-2, in Exhibition
It's so good to be back in business! The Cats' last match was on Dec. 3, in the NCAA Tournament. Wayne State is not an unfamiliar opponent, as the teams played in Bramlage Coliseum on March 28, 2021, in the COVID season. (The attendance at that match was listed as 0.) Wayne State is a good team, currently ranked #17 in the AVCA's Division II poll. Tonight's outcome was (KSU/Wayne State): 25-17, 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12.

On offense, junior Aliyah Carter, our 2021 First Team All-Big 12 OH, led the Cats with 20 points and 19 kills. Elena Baka, senior OH, had an impressive debut with the Cats. She had 18.5 points, 17 kills and 15 digs. Sydney Bolding was really good. She had 14 points, and 12 kills, and led the team with .346 hitting! Kadye Fernholz added 12.5 points, with 8 kills and .231 hitting.

Setter Ava LeGrand, who we swiped from NU's neighborhood, had 34 assists. I was surprised, after Loren Hinkle came in, that she was setting, as she's been a defensive player over her past three seasons. Loren added 23 assists to the box score. It will be interesting to see if setting is more of her role this season. I know she'll do it well. And... Loren had a kill, for 1.000 hitting!

On defense, libero Mackenzie Morris led with 33 digs, Molly Ramsey had 16, Elena Baka had 15 and Aliyah Carter had 13. MB Kadye Fernholz had a single block, and 7 block assists, so she led the Cats in blocks.

Three players, Aliyah Carter, Ava LeGrand and Elena Baka, had double-doubles. By the way, I looked up what counts for a double-double in volleyball. The source I found says it's double digits in two of these five: aces, assists, blocks, digs and kills.

The Cats ended the match with their best hitting in set five, at a good .273.

Up next is the K-State Invitational on Friday, August 26. They'll take on Sam Houston State at noon, and NC State at 7:30 P. Then it's Florida A&M on Saturday, at 12:30 P.

Oh! I found this later. It's a compilation of big plays during the exhibition. (Twitter video)

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .204 67 82 11 102 4
Wayne St. .141 58 67 5 92 4
August 12, 2022  Broadcast Schedule Announced for 2022
Every home match will be broadcasted in 2022, and the Cats vs. ISU will be on ESPNU. The announcement linked here has lots of details. (link)
August 4, 2022  Volleyball Announces Promotions and Theme Nights
K-State Volleyball has fun promotions planned, including a 70s Night on Sept. 7, the Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Event in the Shamrock Zone on Sept. 24, and a Junior Wildcats Day on Oct. 28. (link)
June 3, 2022  Loren Hinkle: Bringing Us Closer
Senior Volleycat Loren Hinkle tells about herself, why K-State is right for her, and what she'll remember about her career. We're very fortunate to have her in our program!
July 18, 2022  Shaylee Myers Is Excited to Be a Wildcat
Along with that, Volleycats fans are excited to welcome Shay. It's unfortunate that the webmaster who posted today's K-State Sports Extra spelled her name wrong in the headline, and the URL. Anyway, it's fun to attract an excellent player from the Lincoln area (Lincoln Southwest HS).

D. Scott Fritchen reports that Shay was a First Team Super-State player, with 1,536 career kills and 161 aces. She averaged .372 hitting in her senior year! Coach Fritz described Shay as "a versatile and powerful attacker, with a well-rounded skill set, hard-working and academically driven."

K-State swiped our new 6' 0" OH from Fresno State, as well as the back yard of NU. We'll send them a card or something.

July 12, 2022  Selfie Cats
Loren Hinkle was in charge of the phone. The Cats are doing promotion videos and pictures for the 2022 season, which starts with an exhibition on August 19.

July 1, 2022  NCAA Women's Volleyball Rules: 2022-2023
I've just ordered the latest NCAA Volleyball rule book. It will be in effect for the next two seasons. I take it to every match, to assist the second referee, as needed. You can download a PDF for 0¢, or you can buy a printed copy from the NCAA.
June 22, 2022  Aliyah Carter: Unanimous Preseason First Team All-Big 12
Here's a headline that's no surprise. Our star OH and junior-to-be was unanimously honored by the Big 12's head coaches. (link) In December, Aliyah was named First Team All-Big 12, and AVCA First Team All-Midwest Region.
June 18, 2022  Volleyball Reveals Big 12 and Full 2022 Schedules
Here's K-State's Big 12 schedule, and while we're at it, K-State's complete 2022 schedule. Let's go!! (By the way, here's a different version of the 2022 schedule.
June 17, 2022  Shaylee Myers
Shaylee... mentioned just below... is here. We've got her! Here's what K-State Volleyball has to say. "Myers was a four-year starter for Lincoln Southwest High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, and left as the program's all-time leader with 1,536 kills and 161 service aces. In 2021, she finished with 489 kills (4.8 per set) and a .372 hitting percentage, which was sixth-best in the state."

Shay is officially enrolled this summer, as a freshman in English.

May 28, 2022  Shaylee Myers from Nebraska is a Volleycat!
A Fresno State commit for two years, Shaylee saw the light. The 6' 0" OH is headed south from Papillion, Nebraska. (She'll be driving by Lincoln on the way here.) The Lincoln Journal Star has a nice story. She's one of their 2021 first team Super-State players, along with our Ava Legrand.

Shay, in her final season, had about 489 kills, hitting an amazing .372. Along with that, she contributed 303 digs, 44 blocks and 35 aces, and finished as her school's career leader in kills, with 1,536! Here's her announcement tweet.


Shaylee Myers
May 2, 2022  Aliyah Carter Enjoys the View from Above the Net
Here's a must-read K-State Sports Extra... a profile on Aliyah Carter, plus a look at how her vertical leap helps the team.
May 14, 2022  Congratulations to Holly Bonde, Kayley Hollywood and Haley Warner
K-State Volleyball posted a nice tweet on this graduation day, honoring Holly, Kayley and Haley.


Holly

Kayley

Haley
May 4, 2022  Mic'd Up w/ Suzie Fritz
Here's a couple of minutes with Coach Fritz and the Volleycats. They're doing some kind of drill, over at the Ahearn gymnasium. It's fun. (Twitter video)
March 24, 2022  Lauren Ramatowski Feels at Home Back in Manhattan
As a KSUVB fan who was probably at all of Lauren's home matches (2007-10), I'm 100% behind her selection as assistant coach. D. Scott Fritchen has just posted quite an in-depth visit with Lauren, as today's K-State Sports Extra. She brings all kinds of experience from several institutions, and she's very well-suited to tell the K-State story to recruits. You'll like her focus on building relationships with players. This is very good news!
March 21, 2022  You Knew Her as Lauren Mathewson...
Suzie Fritz announced today that Lauren Ramatowski is coming home! She's our new assistant coach, replacing Trent Sorensen, who moved to SMU. Lauren was a Volleycat in the 2007 - 2010 seasons, with some excellent teams. She has coached at several schools since leaving, and has an impressive resume. This is very good news! Here's her Twitter account.

December 22, 2021  Volleycats Are Smartycats
As tweeted here, K-State Volleyball's fall average GPA is 3.377, and five: Holly Bonde, Kadye Fernholz, Loren Hinkle, Tessa Mati, Jaden Ravnsborg and Mackenzie Morris, scored a 4.000. As posted here on Nov. 17, eight players received Academic All-Big 12 recognition, with seven on the First Team. That's very nice work!

December 8, 2021  Ground Is Broken for the Morgan Family Volleyball Arena
It was a nice-but-brief event in the Cat Town area today, as ground was broken for the Morgan Family Arena and Olympic Training Center. Ward and Brenda Morgan were lead donors, and many thanks to them. There were remarks from Gene Taylor, Suzie Fritz, Danny Cavender and Richard Myers. The arena will seat about 3,100. (photo gallery) (video) (K-State Sports Extra)
December 7, 2021  Aliyah Carter's AVCA First Team All-Midwest Region
Aliyah Carter: The hits just keep coming! In 2020, Aliyah was AVCA Midwest Region Freshman of the Year. She's now First Team All-Midwest Region. (K-State announcement) (AVCA announcement)

Here are some of her accomplishments:
   • team-leading 431 kills and 4.03 kills per set
   • 2nd in the Big 12 and 44th in the U.S. in kills per set
   • career highs in digs (269), aces (19) and blocks (52)
   • average 4.06 kills per set is 1st for KSU in the rally scoring era
   • 13 double-doubles

December 4, 2021  Ava Legrand, 2022 K-State signee, guided her team to a state title
Amy is a setter for her Nebraska high school, Papillion-La Vista South, as well as team captain, and her team's just won their second state title. (Twitter) (Lincoln Journal-Star)
December 3, 2021  Cats Fall to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament
Florida State (20-9) will continue their season, and Kansas State (15-13) ends with a winning record after Round 1 of the NCAA tournament in Lincoln. The top story of the match is probably errors, as the Cats hit .077 to FSU's .340. Kansas State, in three sets, hit .135, .027 and .070.

There were some bright spots on offense. Haley Warner hit .375, with 8 kills. Kadye Fernholz hit .333, with 6 kills. Aliyah Carter led with 9 kills, but was in negative numbers with hitting, as was Holly Bonde, with 7 kills. Holly has given us tremendous matches over her time at K-State. I will miss her so much! Teana Adams-Kaonohi had 25 assists, 7 digs and 2 aces.

On defense, the Cats had 1 block, to FSU's 6, but was close in digs (43 to 50). Mackenzie Morris led with 9 digs, Aliyah Carter had 8, Teana added 7, and Jacque Smith and Loren Hinkle added 6 each. We had a scare with Mackenzie Morris, who had some sort of mishap on the court, but I'm very thankful that she was able to return to play, after some recovery time.

To conclude for now, I had a wonderful time watching the Cats this season, and I'm ready to start the next season next week. Some highlights were winning 2 of 3 at the Gaucho Invitational in California, sweeping the K-State Invitational, sweeping Missouri, sweeping Texas Tech, and getting the first win at Iowa State since 2007!!

To all our Volleycats and staff... thanks for the memories!!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
FSU .340 39 48 6 50 3
KSU .077 33 39 1 43 5
December 2, 2021  A Chance at New Life (video)
This awesome video on Twitter is a combination farewell to seniors Holly Bonde, Kayley Hollywood and Jacque Smith, plus some clips from the NCAA Tournament selection show. Don't miss it!
December 1, 2021  Aliyah Carter's First Team All-Big 12!
Here's the exciting news from K-State Volleyball, and the Big 12 Conference. The Manhattan Mercury has weighed in, too.
November 29, 2021  More NCAA Tournament Fun
D. Scott Fritchen has posted a K-State Sports Extra, K-State Gets Redemption, Makes 2021 NCAA Tournament Field. Also, here's NCAA Selection Show Photo Gallery
November 28, 2021  K-State will play Florida State in the NCAA Tournament
The Cats are in! They only have to hop on a bus to Lincoln, for the Dec. 3 match at 4:30 P.M.

Florida State (19-9) isn't seeded in the tournament. The Cats' (15-12) RPI, posted today, is 47, and Florida State's is 19. Here's the NCAA's Tournament Bracket, and be sure to have a look at K-State Volleyball's announcement!

This is great. The Cats, until today, have been carrying a 30-something NCAA RPI. Last year, in a week when they were ranked #10 in the AVCA poll, the Volleycats weren't invited to the NCAA Tournament, after the field had been reduced from 64 to 48.

November 27, 2021  Morgan Family Arena: Fall 2023
Ward and Brenda Morgan, known in Manhattan for the Midwest Dream Car Collection and the web site development company, CivicPlus, have stepped forward with a major donation toward the Morgan Family Arena, which will be a 3,100-seat facility, dedicated to K-State Volleyball.

Here's the announcement from K-State Athletics. This facility will demonstrate K-State's commitment to our beloved Volleyball program. Since our players will practice there, it will have them much closer to resources in the Vanier Complex, meals at the West Stadium Center, etc. The program won't need to coordinate practices, camps, etc. with Basketball and Track. The $24,000,000 facility will be done in under two years. Here's information on the facilities master plan.