Headlines and Recaps 2023
January 5, 2024  Dalia Wilson to Miami
A post on #CollegeVBTransfers on Dec. 30 shows Dalia committed to play for Miami. I wish her well down south.
January 3, 2024  Welcome Transfers Meg Brown and Jordyn Williams
K-State Volleyball announced today that two middle blockers are transferring to K-State, to replace the great Sydney Bolding, who was drafted by the Grand Rapids Rise. Both new players have impressive accomplishments! See the announcement link for full details.

Meg Brown, 6' 3", has had four seasons at Pepperdine, and was All-Conference all four years! She was on the U.S. Women's Collegiate National Team in summer 2023. (Pepperdine roster)

Jordyn Williams, 6' 2", has been at Kentucky for two seasons. Her club team won two national championships. She has been an Under Armour First Team All-American. (Kentucky roster) (Twitter announcement)

December 18, 2023  The National Champions vs. K-State Volleyball
NCAA Volleyball news: The University of Texas swept the University of Nebraska this afternoon, to secure the Division I National Championship. I'd just like to point out that UT lost only four matches this fall. Kansas State Volleyball (and Stanford Volleyball) were the only teams that swept UT. So, yes... K-State has beaten the national champs this season. Wildcats Topple #3 Texas in Sweep Fashion
December 13, 2023  Aliyah Carter: AVCA All-American!
Our friends at the AVCA proclaimed today that K-State's own Aliyah Carter has been selected as an Honorable Mention All-American. Here's the announcement from K-State Sports. It was most excellent to learn on Dec. that Aliyah is coming back for 2024! Prior to the All-American excitement today, Aliyah visited with D. Scott Fritchen for today's K-State Sports Extra: "Carter Happy She Made the Decision to Stay."

December 12, 2023  Mackenzie Morris and Kadye Fernholz: Academic All-District
First, Mackenzie Morris, the reigning Big 12 Volleyball Scholar Athlete of the Year, has been named All-District by the College Sports Communicators. We knew her grades were outstanding, but this latest recognition states that she has held a 4.000 in Accounting throughout her time at K-State. Accounting is a very challenging major. What an impressive achievement!

Kadye Fernholz is majoring in Elementary Education, and she's turned in a 3.88 GPA. Both of these star players are seniors, and had their Volleyball senior night last month. They will be greatly missed. We know they will do excellent work in their careers. Here's the announcement from K-State Sports, and from the CSC.

December 12, 2023  Sydney Bolding is Going Pro!
The Manhattan Mercury announced today that #16 Sydney Bolding was drafted yesterday by the Grand Rapids Rise, which is part of the Pro Volleyball Federation, a new professional league that will begin action in January. I know we all wish her the best with this new adventure, and I certainly thank her for her tremendous contributions as a middle blocker for the Volleycats!

Here's K-State Volleyball's announcement of Sydney's selection. It has a great deal of information and comments about our favorite pro player.

Sydney... along with Aliyah Carter and Mackenzie Morris... was voted First Team All-Midwest Region by the NCAA a week ago, as reported right here on December 7. Finally, Sydney's team will be playing in Omaha in February, March, April and May. (schedule)

December 8, 2023  Congratulations to Our Volleyball Grads
Volleyball had a 100% graduation rate, of those expected to graduate in fall semester. (announcement)
  • Sydney Bolding - Communications Studies
  • Aliyah Carter - Kinesiology
  • Loren Hinkle - Life Sciences
December 7, 2023  K-State Volleyball has 'unfinished business'
Here's a must-read story in the Manhattan Mercury. It covers the team's and staff's irritation that they weren't selected for the NCAA tournament, after their 16-11 season. I thought the Volleycats were solid contenders for post-season play.
  • Their RPI around selection time was about 59, which is a lower number than 64, right?
  • If the AVCA wanted good attendance, K-State Volleyball had the highest average attendance (at home) in the last quarter century.
  • Then there's the matter of signature Ws, for example: 13 sweeps (including #3 Texas, #8 Brigham Young, #8 Brigham Young again, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Texas Tech again, etc.
  • Three players: Sydney Bolding, Aliyah Carter and Mackenzie Morris are First Team All-AVCA Midwest Region.
  • Aniya Clinton and Mackenzie Morris were Big 12 Players of the Week on Nov. 21
  • Aliyah Carter and Mackenzie Morris were Big 12 Players of the Week on Nov. 14
December 5, 2023  Sydney, Aliyah and Mackenzie: AVCA First Team All-Region
The AVCA has announced that Sydney Bolding, Aliyah Carter and Mackenzie Morris have been proclaimed First Team AVCA All-Midwest Region!

Here's the announcement from K-State Volleyball. This is a big deal. Congrats to our awesome players!

December 2, 2023  Volleycats in the Top 10 in Big 12 Season Stats Categories
Here's the link that's the source of this report. Congrats and thanks much to these awesome players!

   • Aces: Liz Gregorski #6, with .34 per set
   • Blocks: Sydney Bolding #2, with 1.4 per set
   • Digs: Mackenzie Morris #1, with 4.82 per set
   • Points: Aliyah Carter #5, with 4.56 per set

December 1, 2023  Aliyah Carter's Returning for Another Season!
As Mitch Holthus would say, this is huuuge! The Manhattan Mercury posted this awesome news today.

As ironically posted just below, "Aliyah Carter is First Team All-Big 12 (unanimous) for the third time," and "Aliyah Carter is the first Volleycat to earn three unanimous First Team All-Big 12 recognitions."

November 28, 2023  All-Big 12 Honors for Four Volleycats
This announcement rolled in from K-State Volleyball today. Aliyah Carter is the first Volleycat to earn three unanimous First Team All-Big 12 recognitions. Sydney Bolding and Mackenzie Morris are Second Team, and Aniya Clinton made the All-Big 12 Rookie Team.

Aliyah Carter is First Team All-Big 12 (unanimous) for the third time. She recorded 390 kills this season (4.06 kills per set). She's fifth in the Big 12 and 37th in the country in kills per set. Her 4.43 kills per set in Big 12 competition is 3rd in the Big 12.

Sydney Bolding, middle blocker, led the Big 12 with 134 blocks. Her 1.40 block average is 2nd in the Big 12, and 12th in the nation. Add to those numbers 157 kills and 28 aces. Sydney's 1.30 career blocks average is 2nd in K-State history (in rally scoring).

Mackenzie Morris played in all 27 matches, and in all 97 sets! She led the Big 12 with 4.82 digs per set, and 468 total digs (35th in the nation). Add to that 22 service aces.

Aniya Clinton made the All-Rookie Team. She had 261 kills, and averaged 2.84 per match. She laid 17 kills on TCU in September. She hit an amazing .684 on the first night of K-State's double sweep of BYU in October! She followed that with .455 hitting the next night.

Here's the official announcement from the Big 12 office.

November 26, 2023  Kansas State (16-11) Didn't Make the NCAA Tournament Bracket
Here's the 2023 printable bracket. We all know there are lots of factors that go into tournament selections. I've been hopeful. The Volleycats' NCAA RPI, as of Nov. 19, is 57. They are RV in the Nov. 20 AVCA Division I poll.

Meanwhile, six teams the Volleycats defeated (Texas, BYU, TCU, Baylor, Iowa State and Omaha) are on the bracket. The Volleycats had 5 sweeps of tournament teams, including then-#3 Texas and then-#8 BYU. I'm thankful to them for a very enjoyable season that we can all be proud of, and our wonderful group of seniors, Loren Hinkle, Mackenzie Morris, Aliyah Carter, Sydney Bolding and Kadye Fernholz. We are going to miss them so much.

November 25, 2023  K-State Loses in Four Sets at Houston
Our Volleycats concluded regular season play with a loss at Houston. The teams began tonight's festivities tied in the Big 12 standings, at 10-7. Set scores were (UH/KSU): 19-25, 29-27, 25-18, 25-11. K-State opened strong in the first set, and lost the second set by two points. Houston prevailed the most in set four.

On offense, Aliyah Carter led with 18 points and 15 kills, although her hitting was less efficient than usual. Sydney Bolding had very efficient hitting (.455). She had 6 kills, and Aniya Clinton (Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week) had 9 kills. Both had 10.5 total points. Kadye Fernholz hit an impressive .364. Izzi Szulczewski contributed 29 of the Cats' 36 assists.

On defense, Mackenzie Morris, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, had 17 of the Cats' 53 digs. Liz Gregorski added 10 digs, and Aliyah Carter had 9. Sydney Bolding contributed 5 of the Cats' 10 block assists, to add to her efficient hitting.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

(overall thoughts)
"Congratulations to Houston. I thought they played exceptional defense. After the first set, we got pretty tight and had some plays in the second set that I think would have potentially changed the match and put us up 2-0. I like our chances there, and it wasn't for lack of effort, but I think that their serve and their defense was really good and did a great job of slowing us down."

(on his first season as a head coach in the books)
"Just a lot of gratitude. I mean, it's been an up and down season for sure, but just so many great memories. Hope it's not over. As I told the players, I would love to coach them for at least another week, but that's out of our hands. It's been special because of the people on the team, and how much they've improved, and how much they've grown this season. I'm obviously really proud of them, but I still feel like we can get better. So hope we have another week to do that. I couldn't ask for anything more in my first season."

The NCAA Tournament selection show will be on ESPN at 5 P.M. CST on Nov. 26, and round one of the tournament begins on Nov. 30.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Houston .206 55 67 6 62 6
KSU .121 41 54 8 53 5
November 22, 2023  Evaluating K-State's place in the NCAA Tournament
There's a story in the Manhattan Mercury today about the unranked Volleycats' chances for an NCAA invitation. They certainly have some impressive sweeps on their resume. On my computer, you only get one sentence, but my iPhone brings up the complete feature. Anyway, K-State has had some extremely impressive sweeps vs. good teams. A fun fact is that K-State VB has not lost a single set in Morgan Family Arena since September 30! As of this moment, they're 16-10, and 10-7 in the Big 12. Earlier this month, they swept #3 Texas.
November 21, 2023  NCAA Division I Selection Show
K-State Sports reports that show will be on Sunday, November 26 at 5 P.M. Central, on ESPN. The first round of the 2023 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship begins Thursday, November 30, on campus sites.
November 21, 2023  Mackenzie Morris and Aniya Clinton: Big 12 Players of the Week
Here's exciting news from the Big 12. This is two straight weeks that Mackenzie Morris is Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. Also, it's five total in her fine career. The Volleycats' defense held TTU to .121 hitting the other day. This was her 29th career 20-dig match. I'll swipe a sentence from the official release, to report that Mack totaled a league-high 39 digs (6.50 per set) in week 13 action - bringing her career total to 1,716 - which is just 39 away from tying second all-time in school history.

Aniya Clinton is the Big 12 Rookie of the Week. It's her second honor of the season. K-State Sports reports 27 kills this past week, and .297 hitting vs. Tech. She was seventh in the Big 12, with 4.83 points per set.

November 19, 2023  Mackenzie Morris Records Her 100th Career Service Ace
Mack Morris is one of 22 Volleycats to record 100 career aces. This achievement, during the Texas Tech series, resulted in a special notice and photo in the Collegian. This achievement in offense came as she was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. Mack will certainly be missed. I hope she will be able to come back to matches in the future.
November 18, 2023  K-State Has Another Sweep vs. Texas Tech
The new Teraflex® court is sparkly clean, after two straight days of sweeping by the Volleycats, with set scores of (KSU/TTU): 25-23, 25-14, 25-20. K-State's season record now stands at 16-10, 10-7.

On offense, Aniya Clinton had a big day, leading all players with with 13.5 points and 12 kills. Aliyah Carter had 12.5 points, from 11 kills. Izzi Szulczewski added 9.5 points and 8 kills. She was extremely efficient, hitting a match-high .583! Brenna Schmidt added 9.5 points from 8 kills, and was very efficient, with .294 hitting. Again, K-State prevailed on hitting, .252 to Tech's .153. (That had something to do with the Wildcats' 48 kills to Tech's 28.) Have I mentioned that Kadye Fernholz concluded her Morgan Arena days with .400 hitting? I wish we could keep her! And... our awesome transfer, Izzi Szulczewski, led all players with 32 assists.

On defense, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, Mackenzie Morris, led all players with 21 digs. I will miss the Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year so much! We all will. Izzi Szulczewski had 10 digs. It's great that she's returning for 2024. It's no surprise that Sydney Bolding had 4 block assists. She has been so valuable to our team these past two seasons.

How about a special paragraph for the great Mackenzie Morris? She got a shout out in the title of Volleyball's official recap, as she reached 100 digs during today's match. Come back, Mack! You can be an accountant later.

Coach Jason Mansfield commented...

"It was a special way to end the seniors' career, winning at home. I can't remember the last set we've lost at home. I was thinking about it today, and it's been a while. We've had incredible matches here for a while, with a special environment. We needed the crowd today. We didn't play super clean, but we battled and we found ways to win the points that we needed to. I was proud of us for that. It was just really special to have the seniors win their final match here."

OK... I just checked out Coach Mansfield's comment.

The Cats haven't lost a set at home since Cincinnati on September 30... so 7 weeks.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .252 48 60 8 51 4
TTU .153 28 36 6 43 2
November 17, 2023  K-State Sweeps Texas Tech on Senior Day
K-State dominated Texas Tech today in kills, hitting percentage and points, in the first of two meetings. Set scores were (KSU/TTU: 25-20, 25-21, 25-10). Attendance is listed as a sellout, at 3,044. Most of the players (13 of 17) made the court today. I believe that some - or most - of the four who didn't play today will be designated as redshirts.

No surprise... senior Aliyah Carter (Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week) led in offense, with 18 points and 17 kills, as she hit a solid .268. Aniyah Clinton was next in points, with 15.5, and she had 15 kills, with impressive .371 hitting. Someone should have gotten Shaylee Myers the ball more often, as she hit .667. Kadye Fernholz and Brenna Schmidt both hit .400. Izzi Szulczewski delivered 34 of the team's 43 assists.

On defense, Mackenzie Morris, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, had 18 digs, while the team's other 39 digs came from nine other players.

I'd say that the biggest difference in stats, and the reason for the sweep, is K-State's .316 hitting, to Tech's .093. OK... let's also mention K-State's 14 block assists, to Tech's 2.

The departing seniors were recognized after the match. This included Loren Hinkle, Sydney Bolding, Aliyah Carter, Mackenzie Morris and Kadye Fernholz. Here's video of the Senior Day recognition. I have tremendous appreciation for these players. They are exceptional people, and they're going to have awesome lives, and do amazing things. Here's a photo gallery of the game and senior recognition.

There was a very nice pre-match gathering for season ticket holders, which featured coaches Fiona Fonoti, Steve Astor and John Dunn. Two of the three have been on the staff of other Big 12 schools, and at least two have been junior high math teachers. It was most excellent to hear from each of them, and it was clear that Coach Mansfield hired very good, capable people!

Coach Jason Mansfield commented...

(overall thoughts)
"Congratulations to Houston. I thought they played exceptional defense. After the first set, we got pretty tight and had some plays in the second set that I think would have potentially changed the match and put us up 2-0. I like our chances there, and it wasn't for lack of effort, but I think that their serve and their defense was really good and did a great job of slowing us down." (on first season as a head coach in the books)
"Just a lot of gratitude. I mean, it's been an up and down season for sure, but just so many great memories. Hope it's not over. As I told the players, I would love to coach them for at least another week, but that's out of our hands. It's been special because of the people on the team, and how much they've improved, and how much they've grown this season. I'm obviously really proud of them, but I still feel like we can get better. So hope we have another week to do that. I couldn't ask for anything more in my first season."
"It was a weird match, and there wasn't a lot of rhythm to it, you know? But I'm proud that we battled and found a way to pull it out. I think after the second set break, we settled down, and we played a lot more consistently in the third, which I'm very proud of. They're a good team, playing good defense, taking big swings, and I'm just glad that we steadied out, and stayed aggressive offensively. I think that was probably the biggest difference. We made some great plays defensively, but it's a tough team to beat, and we've got to figure out how to be a little bit better for tomorrow."

(on the seniors)
"It's a special group. Their legacy is left in the younger players, and how they showed up every day, how they competed, and how they grew. I've only been around them for 10 months, but it's a special group, and I've seen growth in all of them. And to me, that's the most important thing – obviously, great volleyball players, but they're even better people. I love that they're my first senior class, and I'm never going to forget them."

Some time today, Coach Mansfield commented to a reporter on how long it had been since K-State VB had lost a set at home. Well, I got into my trusty schedule page. The last set loss was to Cincinnati, on Sept. 30, so it's been about 7 weeks. Since then, the Volleycats have swept Iowa State, BYU x 2, Texas and TTU x 2. That is quite impressive, since BYU was ranked #8 on its two sweeps, and Texas was ranked #3.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .316 47 58 8 57 3
TTU .093 29 34 3 52 2
November 14, 2023  Aliyah Carter and Mackenzie Morris Earn Big 12 Awards

This is exciting news, but not surprising in the least! Here are links to K-State's, and the Big 12's announcements. "What awards," you ask? Aliyah Carter is the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, and Mackenzie Morris is the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. We've been extremely fortunate to have these two stars on our rosters, and I'd love to see them come back in 2024.

The occasion that allowed our superstars to shine was the Volleycats' sweep of #3 Texas (the defending NCAA champions), in their last visit to MHK. K-State hadn't won vs. Texas in 20 years... since 2003, when our Cats won the Big 12.

Mackenzie, our libero, turned in a match-high 20 digs. She's very skilled, and the Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year makes good strategic choices. She leads this year's team in sets played, digs (412), and digs per set (4.74), so it's no surprise that she always wears the libero jersey. Here's the Big 12's announcement photo tweet for Mackenzie.

Outside hitter Aliyah Carter led all players with 20 kills, and she hit a solid .311. As you might expect, she also led all players with 21 points. She really can jump, and her swing is quick and dangerous. It was Aliyah who took the final swing of the match. Here's Volleyball's announcement photo tweet for Aliyah.

November 13, 2023  Aliyah Carter: K-State Athlete of the Week
OK... I'm late. I ran across this announcement on Nov. 20. I didn't know it was a thing, but I sure knew Aliyah was doing very well, and she was Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. And... the Cats had just swept Texas. Here's the announcement!
November 9, 2023  Time to Reflect: Seniors share their experiences playing for K-State
Here's an article in the Collegian that I highly recommend. It's our senior players' stories about their growth and highlights as players. After all, development of life skills and knowledge is the purpose of college.
November 9, 2023  Jason Mansfield Adds Three During Fall Signing Period
Here's exciting news on three new signees for 2024!
  • Tatum Tindall from Manhattan is a 6'1" middle blocker / OH. She was 2nd Team All-Conference last year, and had 523 kills.
  • Emerson Van Lannen is a 5'11" setter from Appleton, Wisconsin. She's been All-Conference three times, and has 1,500 career assists. Liz Gregorski is her cousin!
  • Alyss Kelly is the #1 libero in the state of Washington, and the #5 overall player, as designated by Prepdig.com. She's known as "fiercely competitive and extremely skilled."

Here's the announcement from K-State Sports today.

November 8, 2023  K-STATE SWEEPS #3 TEXAS 

Edit: I've found a complete match video replay link!

Let's begin with some perspective. 1. K-State Volleyball had lost 39 straight matches to Texas. 2. The Volleycats hadn't defeated Texas in 20 years... since Oct. 15, 2003 (the year the Cats won the Big 12). 3. This was UT's first Big 12 loss of the season. 4. Texas is the defending NCAA national champion.

This was an unforgettable experience. It was our last meeting with Texas as original members of the Big 12 Conference. Here's a shout out to Joni Smoller. I assume that she and her Fan Experience staff were involved with Volleyball's Taylor Swift Night. I saw postings about it all over K-State residence halls this past week. The student section was packed, and were loud, rambunctious and supportive. The match attendance is listed as a sellout, at 3,044. Volleyball's average attendance this season is 2,704. The crowd tonight was outstanding. The band was outstanding. Fans clearly had a great time. And... we got Sandstorm!

I went in expecting a close match. The Cats had swept then-#8 BYU a couple of weeks ago, and had a very close match with #14 KU four days ago. The title of the advance write-up for tonight's match was "Wildcats Ready for No. 3 Longhorns." Yes, they were!

The box score for the UT match is interesting, in this match with close set scores of (KSU/UT): 25-22, 25-22, 25-21. For example: KSU prevailed in kills, 45-44. KSU prevailed in points, 55-54. The teams tied in aces, 5-5. Blocks were equal, at 10. On the other hand, K-State outperformed UT on hitting, .351 to .246! K-State also outperformed UT on digs, 53-35. From my front-row seat, I never saw any sign that the Cats were intimidated by the #3 team in Division I.

On offense, certainly the Cats' .351 to UT's .246 hitting was significant. Aliyah Carter had the most attempts (45), and she hit a solid .311, resulting in a team-leading 20 kills. Aniyah Clinton and Brenna Schmidt both hit an impressive .333, and had 7 and 6 kills. Izzi Szulczewski, playing setter and DS, hit .857! Oh... and Izzi had 31 assists! She was second among the Cats in points, with 8.0.

On defense, libero Mackenzie Morris led all players with 20 digs, and she added 7 assists to her duties. Liz Gregorski, who's been doing solid work for her team, was second among the Cats in digs, with 9. Izzi and Aliyah had 6 digs. I believe the Volleycats' prevailing on digs, with 53 vs. 35 for UT, was very significant in the sweep.

I've been writing up this match using the box score posted early by UT. Here's the official recap from K-State Sports. Oh... if you'd like to gloat a little, here's the official recap from UT.

One final comment is that I was sad that the great Kadye Fernholz didn't get to be a part of tonight's festivities. She was in street clothes, so I assume she's recovering from some kind of injury. She did play vs. KU four days ago.

Finally, Part 2, here's D. Scott Fritchen's awesome K-State Sports Extra, A Historic Night, posted the day after the glorious victory (with several fun photos).

Coach Jason Mansfield commented to the media...

(overall thoughts)
"I think we just tried to really believe this week. It was tough after losing two close matches to Kansas, and left feeling disappointed. I think that the goal and the message was just to believe from then on. We felt it on Monday's practice, as we got back at work, and with Texas coming, and we needed to get ready and the last few days they've been really focused. There's no reason to believe that we cannot only compete with a team like this, but beat them. I'm really proud of our effort. The crowd was incredible, and the girls definitely fed off that, they were a huge, a huge part of what we did tonight."

(on accomplishing so much in his first season)
"When I took this job, I believed in the players that wanted to stay, and getting Izzi and Liz was a big deal to our culture, and certainly our play. I know what good volleyball looks like, and the girls on this team can play, and it's about the players making plays. It's not about me. I knew that we had enough talent, if we just believed and kept getting better, we'd find a way to be a team. We've had lots of examples this year that not only show we can play with teams, but we could beat quality teams, and that we have players on our team that need to be recognized, in the same way that these other girls on other teams have been recognized. I'm just really proud that they're showing it over, and over, and over again. I'm not a big stats guy, but anybody getting 20 kills in three sets like Aliyah, or 20 digs in three sets like McKenzie is absolutely exceptional, against one of the best teams in the country. So if that doesn't prove that we have great players on this team, then I don't know what does."

Setter Izzi Szulczewski commented on the upset...

"I don't know if I anticipated it, but I knew I was coming into a great program already, and a great culture just within the girls. We all get along so well, and that just translates onto the court. I think that when we played Nebraska, we thought 'dang, that got away from us,' even though we got beat in three straight. We were disappointed. We knew what we were capable of, and know that we can actually do some damage to these teams that are ranked."

Aliyah Carter commented, in part...

(on defense): "You could see it at the end of that third set. There was no way that the girls in the back row were going to let a ball just hit the floor without them going crazy. So I think the mindset, I mean, we just have a whole bunch of dawgs back there that are going to get anything up. So that's the mindset, going into each and every game. We pride ourselves on defense, and keeping balls alive so our offense can work."

(on the difference from last season): "This is completely different, just from the way it feels. There's a lot of confidence and encouragement. I think of this team as like a big circle. Without one part of that circle being there, it's not going to work. It's not a circle. So it's like, from the bench, the coaches, and the people playing, to practice every day, to even weights, everything's working, and everything just feels good. So I don't really like to speak about the past, but I think that this is showing it all, what's going on right now."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .351 45 55 5 53 5
UT .246 44 54 5 35 5
November 4, 2023  KU Barely Sweeps K-State in Lawrence
It was a second day of close volleyball at KU. Set scores were (KU/KSU): 25-19, 26-24, 25-23. #14 KU got a decent start with a 25-19 score, but squeaked by in sets two and three... each won by two points. K-State was a bit more efficient in hitting, at .216 to KU's .213, but KU somehow prevailed a bit in kills, 45 to 39. KU was a bit better on digs, 53 to 47, but KSU was better on blocks, 7 to 5.

Aliyah Carter led in points, with 14.5, with 14 kills and .214 hitting. Aniya Clinton was next with 12.5 points, and 12 kills. In terms of efficiency, Kadye Fernholz was most efficient, hitting .500. She had some kind of injury, late in the match, and had to come out. I wish her the best on a quick recovery. Here's the box score.

On defense, libero Mackenzie Morris led all players with 18 digs, and she had 6 assists. Izzi Szulczewski had 14 digs, and 26 assists. On offense, add a couple of aces and .400 hitting to her afternoon's work. It was great to see Loren Hinkle back on the court, but I'm very disappointed that she's not being used more, of late. She has earned it. Here's the official recap.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"It's my first time experiencing the rivalry, and as I mentioned last night, it's awesome. You can feel the passion people have for this matchup. [KU's] program is currently a bit stronger than ours, as it should be. The coach has been there for 27 years, and I have a lot of respect for what he's built, because it's something we are striving for in Manhattan. I'm proud of our players for their effort last night, but it was another disappointing loss, in the second set, where we felt we had a chance to win. Coming back to battle in the third set speaks volumes about our group, and shows that we are continually finding ways to improve. We have a tough stretch ahead, with five consecutive matches against ranked teams, but we're holding our own, and believe we can compete with these teams. Now, we are focused on finding small ways to get better, and maintaining our health."

on Izzi Szulczewski's performance
"I'm really proud of how Izzi is growing as a leader on the court. Obviously, she's been more consistent, and making more plays. Her defense has been excellent against teams that are attacking her. She's doing a commendable job in digging the balls she's capable of defending."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KU .213 45 54 5 53 4
KSU .216 39 48 7 47 2
November 3, 2023  #14 KU Gets by K-State, 3 - 2
It was a back-and-forth battle in Lawrence, with the Squawks squeaking by the Cats. Set scores were (KU/KSU): 25-16, 25-23, 20-25, 19-25, 15-12. A look at the box score shows that while KU officially won, KSU (RV) prevailed in points: 84-80, KSU prevailed in kills: 70 - 59, KSU prevailed in digs: 94-77, and KSU prevailed in assists: 64-55. This match was concurrent with K-State Women's Basketball in Bramlage. My fan friends and I were watching this match on ESPN+, and live stats. Here's the official recap.

KU got a good start in set one, 25-16, but only squeaked by in set two, 25-23. Then our Volleycats took the next two sets, 25-20 and 25-19. So... KU won the match by three points.

On offense, Aliyah Carter led in kills, with 24, and in points, with 25.5. Sydney Bolding had 15 kills, spectacular .625 hitting, and was second in points, with 18.5. Aniya Clinton had another productive match, with 17.5 points and 16 kills. Setter Izzi Szulczewski led the match with 51 assists. She's having a very impressive season. She also laid a couple of aces on the Squawks.

On defense, our awesome libero, Mackenzie Morris, led the match with 34 digs, and added 7 assists. Izzi Szulczewski and Aliyah Carter each had 14 digs, Symone Sims added 11, and Liz Gregorski had 9 digs.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"First time in the rivalry match, it was exciting, and the crowd was great. Really proud of our comeback from the third and fourth set, after being down 0-2, and a disappointing second set. We're proud of how we battled, and our defense was really good tonight – 94 digs are a lot. We gave ourselves some chances. It's tough to play a close match and lose. It's happened a couple of times, but I think the resilience of our team to come back the next day - and hopefully be better - is what we're going to focus on. A lot of really gritty effort. Sydney Bolding was phenomenal tonight offensively. It was great to see a lot of good individual performances. Just try to be a little better tomorrow, and I'm sure the environment will be great again."
Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KU .238 59 80 15 77 6
KSU .204 70 84 8 94 6
October 31, 2023  Aliyah Carter and Aniya Clinton Collect Big 12 Weekly Awards
The Big 12 Conference announced today that Aliyah Carter is the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, and redshirt freshman Aniya Clinton is the Big 12 Rookie of the Week! These honors came from the Cats' two sweeps last week of then-#8 BYU.

Aliyah, who's Preseason All-Big 12, had 35 kills + .238 hitting. She got her 23rd double-double. Aliyah is 3rd in K-State history (in the rally scoring era), with 1,283 kills.

Aniya had .538 hitting for the week! In the first match vs. BYU, she hit .683!

The above is just a small sample of these fine players' accomplishments this week. Be sure to click the link above for all the good news!

October 30, 2023  Wildcats Gaining Momentum in Stretch Run
Today's K-State Sports Extra, by D. Scott Fritchen, is an update on the exciting accomplishments of K-State Volleyball this season. I highly recommend reading the full story. Here are some fun facts:

  • The BYU sweeps were the first Top 10 victories at home in 20 years.
  • The 2023 Volleycats are the first to record two Top 10 sweeps.
  • On Thursday, Aliyah Carter had 18 kills and .317 hitting.
  • On Thursday, Aniya Clinton had 13 kills and .684 hitting!
  • On Friday, Aniya Clinton had 16 kills and .455 hitting, on 33 swings with one error.
  • On Friday, Aliyah Carter had 17 kills and 9 digs.

October 27, 2023  The Clinton and Carter Show Continues as Volleyball Once Again Sweeps No. 8 BYU
Here's a story from the Kansas State Collegian.
October 27, 2023  K-State Sweeps #8 Brigham Young on Consecutive Nights!
Wahoo! Where do I even start with this recap? (Feel free to take a side trip to the box score at any time.) Let's start with the set scores of (KSU/BYU) 25-21, 25-22, 25-21. K-State (13-8) surpassed Brigham Young (18-5) in every statistical category, as you can see in the chart below. The box score shows a sellout crowd of 3,044, by the way.

Starting with offense, there were some very fine performances. Aliyah Carter had 17 kills, and hit .163. Aniya Clinton a very fine night, with 16 kills and .455 hitting! (She led the match with 18 points.) Sydney Bolding had 5 kills, with .455 hitting. Mackenzie Morris and Liz Gregorski each recorded 2 aces. Izzi Szulczewski had a match-high 37 assists!

On defense, the aforementioned Mackenzie Morris had 12 digs, Simone Sims had 11, and Aliyah Carter had 9. Liz Gregorski, Izzi Szulczewski and Aniya Clinton had 6 digs. Sydney Bolding had 5 block assists, along with her impressive .455 hitting.

K-State Sports has proclaimed that the 2023 Volleycats are our first team ever to have two Top 10 sweeps. The second victory over BYU marks the third season ever - and the first season since 2003 - with two Top 10 victories.

Oh... I've been chirping about attendance of late. Total home match attendance this season is 26,695, with an average of 2,669. Over the last 24 seasons, no season has a higher average attendance than this one!

Here are links to the official recap, the box score, and a fun photo gallery.

Coach Jason Mansfield told the media a lot of good stuff, so here it is,

(on if this is what he signed up for at K-State)

"Absolutely. From day one, I told this group we could be great, and that we could not only compete with anyone, but we could beat anyone. After the Nebraska match, I went to the locker room and the girls were disappointed because we could have made more plays, and if you're disappointed losing to a team like Nebraska, then the expectations are high. Not from me, but from them. So that's how we've tried to keep things the whole season. We've had a lot of ups and downs as far as wins and losses, but the point is to get better, to grow as a group and individually as the season goes on. So I'm really proud of them. I knew this was possible. We have opportunities coming up where we could try to do it again."

(on the attention that the program has received after two straight Top 10 sweeps)

"We never talk about rankings, or at least I don't. I'm sure the girls probably do, but every week we try to figure out how we can beat the next team. I've said this before, but Steve Astor is the best defensive coach in the country, and he prepares us every week to slow down the other team. He's very unique. He coached at Pepperdine, and has played BYU the last three seasons, so our game plan was awesome against them, and the girls obviously executed it. I think we have to have wins like this, in order for the perception of the program to be what we know it to be, which is that we have great players, and we have the capability to play with anyone."

(on the biggest adversity that the team faced)

"We knew it was going to be a different match, and it was. BYU played better, and they certainly played really good defense, scrapping for every point. Each set was a battle tonight. So I think the challenge was it's going to be different. The biggest question was can we handle the big moments towards the end and make plays, and that's exactly what they did. I think the challenge for us was just knowing that they were going to be better, and so that we needed to be better as well, and we were."

(on what this means for the team moving forward)

"It should give us a lot of confidence. First off, let me say this, for Aniya Clinton to have 29 kills and one error in two matches is exceptional, and the one error is a ball that Aliyah Carter should have covered, so I'm sure Aniya will give her a hard time about that. Just unbelievable, swing after unbelievable swing, and I've said this before about Aniya, she's fearless. We saw that all the way back in Portland, the first weekend she had an opportunity to play. This girl is special, and she has a chance to be one of the best outside hitters in the country this year. So I think Aniya and Aliyah taking a lot of swings for us was the right move, and they're really feeding off each other. Our team is so confident, because they're just going for it. Symone coming in that last three matches has really solidified our serve receive. She had 11 digs tonight, and is still figuring out how to play a brand-new position back there at right-back, which I don't think she's played before. Her serves are getting better. I love our lineup right now. I think that we're really athletic. Again, we're fearless. We're going for it. With Izzi in the 5-1, and I just love the momentum that we have right now, and we've got to keep it up. It's going to be tough, going on the road against our rival. [KU] is playing really well right now, but we'll prepare for them. We're proud of this team."

By the way, things got a little rambunctious when Coach Mansfield entered the locker room after the glorious victory. (Twitter video)

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .266 44 58 8 53 6
BYU .184 36 46 6 43 4
October 26, 2023  Carter and Clinton Dominate as Volleyball Sweeps No. 8 BYU
Here's a recap from the Kansas State Collegian, posted after the first of two impressive sweeps of our new Big 12 opponent.
October 26, 2023  K-State Sweeps #8 Brigham Young
K-State Sports reports that tonight's decisive 25-18, 25-16, 25-19 victory vs. Brigham Young marked the first time in 20 years that K-State Volleyball defeated a Top 10 team at home. Another thing that's certain: K-State fans were overjoyed with tonight's performance! Brigham Young players strolled into Morgan Family Arena this evening 18 - 3, 7 - 2 Big 12, and ranked #8 in the AP Poll. Only #6 Washington State and #5 Texas had beaten them. What I saw this evening was a Wildcat team that was focused, and was sharing the ball very well. In my opinion, the Cats passed the ball in a way that made it hard to predict who was going for the kill. Something we saw fairly often - early in the season - was the Cats trying to get a kill by hitting right toward the blockers. I think we saw more of getting the ball into midcourt, and having time to react to attacks.

The statistical category that jumps out at you is hitting: K-State .382 and BYU .075. With the exception of BYU having three more service aces, K-State prevailed in every other statistical category, as shown below.

Aliyah Carter showed no mercy on the Cougars. She had 18 kills, with .317 hitting, and led with 20 points. Aniya Clinton had a huge night. She had 14 points and 13 kills, and she hit an incredible .684!! Izzi Szulczewski was extremely valuable on offense, with an awesome 27 assists. She had a couple of kills, too, hitting .500! Kadye Fernholz hit .300, with 4 kills.

On defense, Sydney Bolding led with 4 block assists + a single. On the rare occasions that she subbed out, fans couldn't wait to see her check back in. (She was 3rd in points for the Cats.) Izzi Szulczewski led with 11 digs. She was very involved in the team's success. We're always confident with Mackenzie Morris on the scene. She had 9 digs and 9 assists, and she laid an ace on the Cougars.

I'm not a volleyball expert, but as a fan, I'm extremely proud of the Cats' performance tonight. I thought they were very focused, and they made lots of sound decisions. I felt that the coaches had a very solid game plan for them. Many thanks, by the way, to Coach Mansfield and Brian Smoller for the pre-match briefing for fans, in the Shamrock Zone. It was extremely informative and interesting. Thanks, also, to manager Fletcher Larson for the amazing graphics he prepared for Coach's presentation! Here's the official match recap, and the box score. Hey... After I finished this post-match write-up, I discovered this awesome photo gallery!

Coach Mansfield's post-match comments...

"It was big. We don't talk like a ton about rankings or the quality of the team. We just try to focus on their strengths, how we're going to try to slow them down, and be consistent. We did the work - the last couple days - of trying to figure out how to slow them down offensively. They're a really good offensive team, and I think our defense did a great job tonight. Offensively, we looked really good tonight, specifically from Aliyah and Aniya. Really proud of the group. I mean, it felt like a blur. We played so consistently, and just made play after play after play. Every time they made a little bit of a run, we stopped it, with a really good play. That's the type of team that I know we can be. So, it was awesome."

(on his first Top 10 win as a head coach)

"It feels great. It always feels great to win, no matter who we play. It certainly feels good to beat a really, really good team that's been incredibly consistent this year, and has been a challenge for everyone they've played. It's weird, because now we have to try to do it again tomorrow. We should feel good with how well we played tonight, but as I told the girls, we have to anticipate they're going to be better. They're going to know the environment that they're in now, and they're going to know how good we are. Knowing that program and their coach, I would anticipate them stepping their game up."

(on the dominating offensive performance)

"We want to be a complete team. We leaned a lot on our defense in the 6-2, and we really slowed teams down, but as I said earlier, in volleyball, you have to score 25 points, and the easiest way to do that is get kills. With our passing improving - with Symone in there and having Aliyah and Aniya hit a lot of balls for us - just makes a lot of sense. They're able to get kills, and put a lot of pressure on the defense. It feels really good when we slow a team down defensively, and click like we did offensively. That's the team that we can be."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .382 42 56 9 44 5
BYU .075 31 41 6 36 4
October 24, 2023  Loren Hinkle on the Cusp of Elite Status

D. Scott Fritchen dedicated today's K-State Sports Extra to K-State's own Loren Alivia Hinkle. She has been a steady contributor to her teams.

Loren joined the program in the 2019 season, serving as DS/Libero for three seasons. Beginning in 2022, her role changed to DS/Setter. We're fortunate to have her for a 5th season currently, and she has collected some impressive stats along the way. It should also be noted that she's made multiple appearances on the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. This is especially impressive, as she has majored in microbiology and biochemistry! I believe her present goal is to be a physician's assistant.

Loren's Sports Extra is linked in the first paragraph. D. Scott reports,

"She is 19 shy of 1,000 career digs, which would put her in the Double-Grand Club. She would become just the ninth player in K-State history to reach 1,000 in two statistical categories. She reached 1,000 assists in 2022, and currently has 1,305 in her career. She also has 122 service aces."

A theme of D. Scott's update on Loren is how she is serving as a leader. A look at her entry in the university directory this semester shows her also with a major in Leadership Studies. Loren said,

"Honestly, despite all the numbers, I'm probably most proud of how far I've come as a teammate and as a person. Comparing myself to my freshman and sophomore self, I'm proud of how I've been able to communicate with people, and step into a leadership and mentor type of role with younger players."
On 10/22/22, Loren recorded her 100th ace! If Loren collects 19 more digs (therefore, 1,000 total), she'll be the fourth Volleycat with 1,000 digs and 1,000 assists, along with K-State greats Gabby Guerre, Caitlyn Donahue and Katie Brand. As of today, she has 981 digs. The team has at least 8 more matches. 19 ÷ 8 = 2.375 digs per match needed to hit 1,000. I think we all know she's going to get there! Regardless, we've gotten to cheer for a truly great K-Stater for five seasons. I'm sure that Loren will do excellent work in whatever profession she chooses.
October 20, 2023  K-State Sweeps OU in the Teams' Last Regular Meeting
Farewell, Sooners. Have fun in the SEC. Whatever...

Our Volleycats looked progressively stronger as tonight's match went on. The outcome was (KSU/OU): 25-23, 25-18, 25-15. Of course... if not for a questionable review that led to a net violation in what would have been the last play of the match... KSU would have taken both matches. It was a fun match to follow on my iPhone, and the Mansfield brothers are now tied in head-to-head competition.

On offense, the Cats hit .313, via 44 kills, to OU's 39. The Cats prevailed in points, 58 to 45.5. Aliyah Carter had a big night, leading with 16 points and 15 kills. Aniyah Clinton recorded 13.5 points and 12 kills. Next in points was Sydney Bolding, with 11.5 and 7 kills. She hit a spectacular .667. (And... she had 4 aces!) The team scored 25-23 in set 1. Set 2 was odd, with a comfortable score of 25-18, but the Cats only hit .270. Things really clicked in set 3, however, with team hitting of .448 leading to a 25-15 score, and the sweep of the match. I felt that the team did a very nice job of passing the ball, and playing together. Izzi Szulczewski had a great night, with 37 assists. Also, she hit 1.000, via the kill she recorded.

On defense, Mackenzie Morris led with 11 digs, Aliyah Carter had 7, Liz Gregorski had 6, and Izzi Szulczewski had 5. Kadye Fernholz and Brenna Schmidt had 3 block assists. Have I mentioned that Kadye hit .571?

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"The theme of the day was to be resilient, and I'm really proud of them for executing that. It's the first time that we've lost the first match of a weekend - and had to compete the next day - and I just loved the resilience they showed throughout the day, in preparing for this team. OU does a lot of things that are a little unorthodox, that they are good at, and so I think playing them last night prepared us for today. We opted to a 5-1 offense tonight with Izzi, and moved Aniya to the left, and I thought our team played well together. I'm really proud of what they did here."

"We needed just a little bit more passing. With Symone Sims being in the back, I thought she did a great job with that. That was really the main idea behind it. While it's little easier to be in rhythm with one setter, we've had so many great wins in the 6-2. It was a tough decision to make the change, but I think it worked out well, and the offense looked solid tonight."

Regarding the upcoming visit from BYU (18-3, 7-2), Coach said,
"BYU is a consistently strong program, and Heather Olmstead has done an exceptional job with them. They're a team you have to beat, because they're not going to beat themselves. Facing them twice in a tough matchup will be a challenge, but with a couple of days off, we'll put in the work this week to prepare. I'm really excited. Besides Nebraska, they're the best team we've faced so far, making it an exciting week ahead."

Here's the official match recap.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .313 44 58 6 37 8
OU .255 39 45.5 6.5 28 0
October 19, 2023  OU 3, KSU 2 / Down to the Wire
K-State had a strong start, winning sets 1 and 2 by nice margins (KSU/OU: 25-15, 25-19, 15-25, 20-25, 14-16), but let the match get away in set 3. Ultimately, KSU had the match won, but Coach Mansfield's little brother pulled a yellow card after the victory. The second referee reviewed a play at the net, and reversed the play at match point. The NCAA's net rule is a bit complex, and isn't the easiest thing to understand, but video showed no sign that our player actually touched the net.

Aliyah Carter's name came up often during the match. She led the Volleycats with 15 kills and 17 points. She did have 11 hitting errors, and .080 hitting, as a result. Sydney Bolding contributed 12 points and 7 kills, and she had very solid .308 hitting. Aniyah Clinton was third in points production, with 11. Aniyah had 9 kills and .238 hitting. Brenna Schmidt hit .333. Loren Hinkle, Liz Gregorski and Sydney Bolding had 2 aces. Izzi Szulczewski had 24 assists, and Loren Hinkle added 13.

On defense, Sydney Bolding had 6 block assists, and Aliyah Carter had 4. Mackenzie Morris - no surprise - led all players with 21 digs, and Aliyah Carter added 10. Loren and Izzi each had 7 digs.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"Certainly a disappointing loss. I felt we played extremely well in the first few sets; however, their offense picked up pace in the last few sets, even though we started clicking in the third and fourth set, but struggled slowing them down. In the fifth set, I liked the way we battled back. We had match point, and unfortunately didn't close it out. They executed a couple really nice plays at the end. Adjustments are going to be important for tomorrow. Their outside hitters played really well tonight, and we need to do a better job slowing them down."

Here's K-State's match recap. Let's get those Okies tomorrow night!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
OU .195 57 80.5 14.5 60 9
KSU .125 43 61.5 10.5 59 8
October 14, 2023  Cats Lose a Close One to Big 12 Leader Central Florida
It was UCF 3, Kansas State 2 in Orlando this afternoon. Set scores were (UCF/KSU): 25-16, 18-25, 26-24, 16-25, 15-7. So... considering the Cats' two winning sets, and the 24-26 set three score, K-State lost this match by three points. Furthermore, if points in the box score determined the outcome, K-State would have won by 6 points. The Cats led in kills: 52-49, hitting: .199 - .154, assists: 48-42, and blocks: 11 - 7. They sure were competitive!

Aliyah Carter led all players with 22 kills, had solid .348 hitting, and 23 points. Shaylee Myers had 10 kills, and Aniya Clinton had 8, with impressive .357 hitting. Izzi Szulczewski had 19 assists, and Loren Hinkle had 18.

A case could be made that the match was lost on service errors, as the team had 18 total.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"Congratulations to UCF on a hard-fought match. The atmosphere was great, and they just played a little better in more key moments than we did, but I'm proud of how we fought in set two, three and four. We had a lot of adversity, that I thought we handled really well tonight as a team. Aliyah was really disciplined tonight, especially offensively. Her and Shaylee were in a lot of tough situations that I thought they handled courageously. Lots of positives to take from this match. We know where we need to improve, and we will get back into the gym and walk towards those things."
Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
UCF .154 49 63 7 63 7
KSU .199 52 69 11 59 6
October 12, 2023  Mackenzie Morris is #35 in Division I in Digs Per Set
This is from the NCAA stats site, posted today. Mackenzie has 4.75 digs per set currently. The reigning Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year is always out there, gettin' it done!
October 13, 2023  Sydney Bolding is #7 in Division I in Blocks
Sydney's high standing the Blocks Per Set is direct from the NCAA stats site, as posted on October 11. Her 1.50 blocks per set is only slightly exceeded by five above her on the list, with #2, Asjia O'Neal from Texas at 1.55.
October 11, 2023  K-State Volleycats 3, Iowa State Tornadoes 0
What an awesome match! I'm sad that we don't get to see our team again for one-half month. (Next home action is 10/26 and 10/27, vs. Brigham Young.) Set scores for this glorious sweep were 25-20, 25-16, 25-18. Attendance was listed as 2,578. Student fans received some freebees, and they turned out well on this nice October evening.

Kansas State Volleyball (10-6, 4-3) is now in 6th place in the 13-team Big 12 race. Central Florida and Texas are both at 6-0.

Speaking of attendance... tonight's official attendance of 2,578 is higher than the average of any season in the past 24 years. (I've kept track of it on this page.) The highest average attendance in that span of two dozen years was 2,366, in Ahearn Field House in 2014, when the Volleycats went 22-9. Katie Brand, Kylee Zumach and Kersten Kober were on that team. (link)

It seemed like a bit of a slow start in set one. ISU had their best hitting (.152) in that set, but the Cats did have their best hitting (.276). There was no doubt in the next two sets. Everything was clicking, vs. our 25th-ranked friends from the north. Partway into set two, fans knew we were going to win the match, and the set two score was 25-16.

For the full match, on offense, Kadye Fernholz led with spectacular .571 hitting, but she only got 7 attempts. Sydney Bolding had excellent .538 hitting, and 8.5 kills. Aniya Clinton led with 12 kills, and she had impressive .348 hitting. Izzi Szulczewski had 18 assists, and Loren Hinkle had 11.

On defense, Mackenzie Morris led all players with 21 digs. Blocks were a bit lower than usual (8 total), but the Cats were playing a ranked team.

Here's the official recap.

Coach Jason Mansfield's comments:

"Last week marked a big step forward for our team, both in training and with the impressive victory against Baylor on the road. This win boosted our confidence, confirming that we can stand strong against great teams. Although we played really well in the first two sets, they came out ready to play in the third, but we found a way to win the final set. I believe the expectations have risen. Even against Iowa State, a consistently strong team, we scouted thoroughly, and proved that we can compete with anyone, when we play our game. Achieving this at home - and maintaining such consistency - was pretty special."

"For a while, there were talks about improving our performance in the first set. Instead of just talking about it, we shifted our focus to doing it. The goal is to consistently perform well from the beginning. We aim to avoid going down 0-1, and strive to play at our best. It's an impressive stat, and motivates us. We're committed to keep it going."

"We've seen a glimpse of what we can be offensively. Certainly in the Baylor match, but TCU and West Virginia as well. When we're running the 6-2 with three attackers in the front row, we effectively control the ball, making us a tough offense to stop. I thought we had really good performances from all of our attackers tonight, and both setters played a crucial role in setting them up."

"I've said it before, I believe Steve Astor, our associate head coach, is the best defensive coach in the country. He puts us in great positions to be successful. Our players are really good at following game plans, understanding the tendencies of the other team, and what we need to do to try to slow them down. It's about making plays, and tonight, the players executed not only the game plan but also adapted to unexpected situations."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .248 38 52 8 53 6
ISU .110 36 44 6 48 2
October 6, 2023  Kansas State Loses to Baylor in a Close Match
K-State was unable to provide two Ls to Baylor in Waco today, but have a look at how close the teams were in stats. Baylor won, 3-1, with set scores of (BU/KSU): 29-27, 25-20, 16-25, 25-17. Somehow, the set scores showed more margin than team stats.

Baylor had 57 kills, to the Cats' 52. Hitting was very close: Baylor .236, KSU .224. Baylor had 4 more aces, but 2 more errors. The Cats had 1 more block, and 1 more dig. Baylor had 3 more points. K-State was strong in winning set three (25-16), hitting .276 to Baylor's .054. To be fair, Baylor hit .313 in set four, vs. the Cats' .108.

Middle blocker Sydney Bolding is the lead story in the official match recap, as she recorded her 300th block. Kadye Fernholz also reached 300 career blocks this season.

Aliyah Carter had 21 kills and .255 hitting. Aniya Clinton was solid, with 9 kills and .250 hitting, and Shaylee Myers also had 9 kills. Back to Sydney Bolding... she had 6 kills, and excellent .357 hitting.

Our setters split the duties, with Izzi Szulczewski recording 25 assists, and Loren Hinkle with 23.

Mackenzie Morris led all players with 17 digs, Liz Gregorski had 10, and Loren Hinkle had 9.

Coach Jason Mansfield's post-match comments:

"Both Loren and Izzi ran a really good offense in both matches, and Aliyah took a lot of good swings against a good defensive team, getting a lot of kills in a variety of ways."

"Our defense continues to keep us in matches. I thought Mackenzie was really spectacular again, in the back row. Sydney getting her 300th block is special. She continues to change the game. Opposing offenses have to adjust, and try to attack away from her."

"I'm really proud of how we came to play in the first set. These back-to-back matches are both physically and mentally tough, but I thought we showed up tonight after last night's battle. Baylor tried some different serves and tactics on offense that we struggled to adjust to in the first two sets. The third set was more in line with how we know how to play, and we had our chances in the fourth. I truly believe we grew a lot as a team this week, and I'm excited to get back in the gym and keep trying to find ways to be better."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Baylor .236 57 69 10 61 7
KSU .224 52 66 11 62 3
October 5, 2023  Kansas State Gets a W at Baylor in Five Sets
The media guide says our Cats hadn't defeated Baylor since 2018. It was time. Somehow, Baylor, 7-7, 1-3 Big 12 is ranked #18 in this week's AVCA Poll. Regardless, the Volleycats ended the five-year losing streak. Set scores were (KSU/BU): 25-18, 25-14, 22-25, 21-25, 15-13.

Looking at the box score, the Cats surpassed Baylor in kills, hitting % (.214 to .096), assists, aces, blocks, digs and points! The Cats also prevailed in service errors, 15 - 8, and that was part of the reason for five sets.

Ironically, several of the Cats with the highest hitting percentage produced single-digit kills. Sydney Bolding hit a spectacular .455, and had 6 kills. Kadye Fernholz hit .286, and had 5 kills. On the other hand, Shaylee Myers hit a solid .297, and had 14 kills. Aliyah Carter led all players with 19 kills, while hitting a modest .105. Izzi Szulczewski had 29 assists, and Loren Hinkle had 23.

On defense, Aliyah Carter led with 20 digs, libero Mackenzie Morris had 18, Loren Hinkle had 12 and Liz Gregorski had 11.

It's going to be fun and interesting to see what happens in the return match on Friday night!

Coach Jason Mansfield told the media,

"The biggest challenge was going into a hostile environment, knowing that the other team was going to be really good, and they were. We had a productive week of practice, and knew this weekend was going to be challenging, so I was really proud of the way that we played the first few sets. I think that was the most consistent volleyball we've played all season, especially to start the match, but we did it in two sets. So that was pretty incredible. While they're a very strong team that makes impressive plays, I thought we stayed consistent and played well, even after they stepped up in the third and fourth sets. For us to win in five, similar to how we beat TCU a couple weeks ago, is awesome. To know that we can achieve this, especially on the road against a great team, makes us really proud of the girls."

"(Aliyah Carter) keeps battling. What impresses me most about Aliyah is her fearless approach. She doesn't fixate on the last play, whether good or bad. Tonight was a testament to that. She played aggressively on offense and excelled in the back row. Playing at a high level is crucial for us to beat great teams, and her 19 kills and 20 digs tonight were pretty spectacular."

"Credit to my associate head coach, Steve Astor. I believe he's the best defensive coach in the country. He consistently prepares us for every match, and our defensive strategy slowed down a highly efficient offensive team. Holding them to a .096 hit percentage speaks volumes about our defense. Twelve blocks and 81 digs are impressive, but we need to replicate this performance tomorrow night. They'll make adjustments for tomorrow, but defensively, we need to our hang our hat on who we are as a defensive team."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .214 62 79 12 81 5
Baylor .096 49 58 6 73 3
November 2, 2023  Aliyah Carter: K-State Athlete of the Week
Aliyah is recognized for 10 kills and 2 aces in the sweep of WVU. Also, in the Cincinnati match, she had 17 kills and 11 digs, for a double-double. Here's the announcement.
September 30, 2023  Bearcats 3, Wildcats 1
Before addressing match results, I'd like to extend my personal thanks to Coach Jason Mansfield, Deputy A.D. Jill Shields and Brian Smoller for the briefing and Q&A session - held in the Shamrock Zone - prior to the match. It was similar to WBB's Nachos with Nick. It was very interesting, and much appreciated. I was quite pleased to hear that there will be more of these, along the way.

The first meeting of these Big 12 teams was interesting. Look at the closeness in several statistical categories: The teams each had 48 kills. KSU had one more ace. UC had 12 blocks, to KSU's 10. UC had 66 points, to KSU's 63. UC had 45 assists, to KSU's 43. The critical difference in this match is that UC had 19 hitting errors, and KSU had 30. (Again... both teams had 48 kills.)

On offense, Aliyah Carter led with 17 kills, while Brenna Schmidt and Izzi Szulczewski both hit .500, and Kadye Fernholz hit .222. Izzi had 29 assists, by the way. Both teams have 8-5 season records.

On defense, Sydney Bolding had 6 block assists, and Aniya Clinton added 5. Libero Mackenzie Morris had 16 digs, Aliyah Carter had 11 and Izzi Szulczewski had 10.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"I thought Cincinnati played extremely well. We knew what they were capable of, having seen some really good things on film from them offensively. I thought [Zeta] Washington did a great job. She's a tough player to stop, [Abby Walker] as well. We knew going in that those two attackers were going to be tough. I thought they played great defense. Their libero [Carly Skrabak] had 22 digs, and out-dug us by seven. I think that's probably where the match was won; our inability to slow them down offensively at times was a decisive factor."

(on staying composed)
"It's happened a lot. I think that we know that losing one set is not losing the match, and we've come back from that before. We did it last weekend against TCU. I liked the girls' mentality. After we lost the first set, I thought we responded really well in the second, with how we wanted to play. It's difficult when you are going down 0-1 as much as we have this month, but I'm proud of how we battled."

(on creating momentum in tough sets)
"We're trying to move on from good plays, bad plays, celebrate, focus on the next play, and try to be great on the next play because that's all that matters. Just reminding them sometimes... when things are getting tough, and we're feeling down, that we can do it. Let's move on to the next play."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
UC .204 48 66 12 72 6
KSU .118 48 63 10 65 5
September 27, 2023  The Volleycats Sweep West Virginia
The audience for Chris Klieman's weekly radio show was paying close attention to the festivities in Hugginstown, via ESPN+. We did listen to Coach, however, and we sang Happy Birthday when he entered the Powercat Sports Grill.

A fun fact about tonight's action is that the Cats led in every statistical category that didn't include "error" in its name. Here's the official match recap.

On offense, there was some very efficient work. Brenna Schmidt hit an awesome .615, from 8 kills. Shaylee Myers had 11 kills, hitting .417. Kadye Fernholz and Sydney Bolding both hit .500. Aliyah Carter wasn't at her most efficient, but she collected 10 kills, and led with 13 points. Loren Hinkle had an awesome 23 assists, and Izzi Szulczewski delivered 16 assists.

On defense, libero Mackenzie Morris contributed a team-high 15 digs. For some reason, blocks were unusually low tonight: 10 assists and 1 single.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"Any win you get in the Big 12 is tough, especially on the road. I thought we showed a lot of grit in that first set, staying with them, and finding a way to win with some great setting choices and defense. We haven't won the first set in a while, so it was nice to be up 1-0. I thought the rest of the match we stayed consistent, which I was really proud of. Hitting over .300 is what we're capable of doing. I thought Sydney and Brenna showed what they can do, if we pass well and get them the ball. Shaylee managed really well offensively tonight, and kept attacking a variety of ways."

Let's all stuff the Morgan Arena on Saturday at 4:30 P, when Cincinnati comes to town. Maybe now that they're in the Big 12, I'll learn how to spell Cincinnati. (Ns vs. Ts)

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .324 46 57 6 40 5
WVU .213 40 45 4 39 1
September 22, 2023  K-State (7-4) Handles TCU in Five Sets
Long-time K-State play-by-play announcer Dev Nelson used to call games like this a "double-barrel double-dip deep-dish dilly." Whatever you want to call it, the Volleycats prevailed, 3 - 2, with set scores of (KSU/TCU) 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-27, 15-13, before a crowd of 2,565. It was the program's 900th victory. There were lots of kids present, as they have no school on Saturday. After the match, I said to my fan friends that I think this W will be valuable to the Cats. The crowd was supportive, they defeated a good team, they got behind a few times, but found a way to win, as Jack Hartman used to say.

There were some interesting stats. Both teams had unremarkable hitting (KSU .175, TCU .150). However, KSU hit .532 vs. San Diego State, and .323 vs. Tennessee-Martin. KSU had 85 points, while TCU had 83. Team blocks and assists were almost equal. Kills were, too: KSU 62, TCU 57. Aliyah Carter led with 18 kills, and Aniya Clinton had 17 kills. Meanwhile, Brenna Schmidt was most efficient, hitting .357, and Kadye Fernholz hit .267.

On defense, libero Mackenzie Morris led with 30 digs, and Izzi Szulczewski and Loren Hinkle had 12 digs.

Coach Jason Mansfield (comparing and contrasting the two TCU matches) said,

"Last night's match was just not us. We made a lot of mistakes, but I'm truly proud of the team today for coming back, putting in the work, and believing that we can do better. We had a solid game plan last night; however, we didn't execute on our side of the net. I'm proud of our resilience, even though we let the first set slip away. In the fifth set, we were down 13-10, but we fought through it. I feel genuinely proud of them.

It feels great. This is what we've needed this season – playing a quality opponent, battling, and finding a way to win. It feels like we've lifted a weight off our shoulders. We defeated a strong team, and it shows that we can play great without needing to be perfect. It's all about competing in every play.

Izzi and Loren are both outstanding setters. They contribute significantly to our team, and we're blessed to have two incredible athletes in the setting position. I thought both of them battled and ran a solid offense, putting our attackers in great positions tonight."

Did you see what just happened? At the start of tonight's write-up, I quoted legendary K-State Basketball coach (16 seasons) Jack Hartman's phrase, "found a way to win." Later, I discovered that Jason Mansfield summarized tonight's match with "finding a way to win."

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .175 62 85 12 86 11
TCU .152 57 83 20 82 6
September 21, 2023  Cats Swept by TCU to Start Big 12 Competition
K-State (6-4) trailed almost the entire match - although keeping TCU (8-4) on alert most of the time - with an outcome of (KSU/TCU) 20-25, 16-25, 23-25, before a crowd of 2,698 in Morgan Family Arena. It's interesting to note that TCU barely prevailed over KSU in kills, 38 to 36. We kept seeing a close race in that stat through much of the match. On the other hand, KSU had 24 hitting errors, to TCU's 15. In defense, KSU prevailed slightly on digs, 45-41. But... TCU had 14 blocks, to the Cats' 6. Here's the official game recap.

Individually, Aliyah Carter had 15 kills, hitting .216. Sydney Bolding had 7 kills, with solid .375 hitting. Aliyah led the Cats with 15.5 points. Libero Mackenzie Morris led with 14 digs. A concern was blocks, I would say (KSU 6, TCU 14), and hitting efficiency (KSU .115, TCU .223).

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"We weren't as consistent from the service line as we need to be. Their 14 blocks in three sets are not going to get the job done. We have to clean up our attacking and serving, but I thought we had chances in the first and third sets. So, I'm proud of how we came out after the five-minute break, and competed with them throughout the whole third set."

Let's pack Morgan Family Arena for the September 22 match! It's a 6:30 P first serve. While the Cats did lose one set by 9 points, they were within 5 points and 2 points on sets 1 and 3. As Mitch Holthus likes to say, let's put... the hammer... down!

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
TCU .223 38 54 14 41 2
KSU .115 36 43 6 45 1
September 19, 2023  The Return of Aliyah Carter's Competitive Spirit
D. Scott Fritchen's K-State Sports Extra today is focused on Aliyah, our senior outside hitter. Coach Jason Mansfield talks about how competitive she is. We knew that. She was the 2020 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, on the AVCA Midwest All-Region First Team two times, was All-Big 12 First Team two times, and has been Academic All-Big 12 First Team. She's currently 16th all-time in K-State career kills. Finally, she's one of four current Big 12 players with 1,000 kills. Finally, Part 2: She's returning for a 5th season. Be sure to have a look at the complete Sports Extra.
September 16, 2023  Rice Defeats K-State in Three
A year ago today, the Cats played Rice in Houston, and lost in five sets. Rice hit .235, and KSU hit .187.

Today, attendance was listed as 2,095. K-State Football was in Columbia, playing MU, and a number of fans were over there.

Rice (6-4) is RV in the latest AVCA poll. They hit .231, and KSU (6-3) hit .079. Set scores were (Rice/KSU): 25-15, 25-23, 25-21. Rice either prevailed in - or equaled - KSU in every statistical category.

It wasn't the Cats' best day in hitting. Hitting, by set, was 1: .023, 2: .178 and 3: .038. Shaylee Myers led the Cats with .261 hitting, with 7 kills. Kadye Fernholz hit .200, with 5 kills. Sydney Bolding hit .118, with 6 kills. Aliyah Carter, hitting .042, did turn in a team-high 11 kills and 14.5 points. (recap)

Izzi Szulczewski had 23 assists, and she had the Cats' second-most digs, with 12. Mackenzie Morris had 16 digs, and Loren Hinkle added 11.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"I think it shows our character - and how competitive we are - that we're not going to fight. (???) Yeah proud of - of how we battled. It's a really good team, you know, really good team that didn't play their best last night, and or yesterday, but I knew that they are very talented and they have the opportunity to be really good. And they stepped up and made a lot of plays. So yeah, we got to keep battling. We got to keep fighting for every point. You know, compete is a core value of ours, and we've got to find a way to make more plays."
Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Rice .231 47 63 14 73 2
KSU .079 35 47 10 60 2
September 14, 2023  K-State 3, Long Island 0
Our Volleycats improved to 6-2 with a sweep, and set scores of 25-20, 25-11, 25-10. Stats categories of note were (KSU/LIU): Points 54-20, Kills 37-16, Digs 42-31, Blocks 10-4 and Assists 35-14.

K-State stats leaders on offense included Aniya Clinton with 11 kills (from .304 hitting), Izzi Szulczewski with 20 assists, and Aliyah Carter with 8 kills (.200 hitting). Izzi was very efficient with her 3 kills, hitting .750, and Brenna Schmidt had 4 kills, hitting .667. Sydney Bolding was third highest with 9 points, from 4 kills, 1 ace and 4 blocks. She hit .273.

On defense, Mackenzie Morris led all players with 12 digs, and Izzi Szulczewski added 5 digs. Sydney Bolding led all with 4 blocks.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"Just like us, LIU is a program that is trying to build, and they have a lot of youth on their team. I think their coach is doing a good job of getting them to compete. They certainly did that in the first set. I was proud of the fact that we got a lot of people in, and multiple people stepped up. We're still searching to be better in the first set, but I love how we performed midway through that first set, and the rest of the match. It's been our focus the last couple of matches, but we're searching, and we're certainly capable of being better."

Next up is Rice, on Saturday, Sept. 16 at high noon. As of Sept. 14, Rice is 4-5, and they're RV in the AVCA poll. It should be noted that the Owls were competitive vs. #6 Texas this week, losing 25-16, 25-21, 26-15. Anyway, bring your radios and/or your phones to follow the Football Cats while you cheer for the Volleycats.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .253 37 54 10 42 7
Long Island -.047 16 20 4 31 0
September 12, 2023  Volleycats on Twitter
Near the bottom of the left-side navigation column of the main page, are links to players' Twitter accounts, as well as K-State Volleyball and the Big 12. There's a bunch of good stuff on the @KStateVB account. You'll find videos, player shout outs, action photos, match updates, etc.
September 9, 2023  K-State Loses in 5 Sets to Lipscomb
So close. Lipscomb prevailed over K-State in their invitational in five sets, with set scores of (Lipscomb/KSU) 25-17, 25-18, 19-25, 17-25, 17-15. Set five was frustrating to follow via live stats, as the lead changed repeatedly, and sometimes minutes passed between score updates. Then (see the box score below), hitting % was very close, points were 103 - 100 in favor of Lipscomb, blocks were equal, and digs were 65-63 in favor of Lipscomb. Lipscomb did have 10 more kills, and 7 more service aces.

On offense, Sydney Bolding was very effective for the Cats, hitting a team-high .588. She had 12 kills. Aliyah Carter had 17 kills (a season high), hitting .351, and Aniya Clinton had 13 kills, hitting .250. Izzi Szulczewski had 32 assists, and Loren Hinkle had 13. Sydney and Aliyah were named to the all-tournament team.

On defense, Mackenzie Morris led with 20 digs, and Aliyah Carter and Izzi Szulczewski each had 14 digs.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"I want to start off by congratulating Lipscomb. They are a great program - with a winning tradition - who played extremely well tonight, especially the first two sets. I'm proud of how the girls battled back and competed in the final three sets. We gave ourselves a chance to make an epic comeback being down 0-2, Lipscomb just made a couple more plays in the end. We'll learn from this, and get better from it.

Aliyah and Sydney were very consistent in both matches this weekend for us, both hitting for high percentages. They took some big swings tonight, and continue to make big plays in key moments. They are both working really hard on their game during the week, and I think it is paying off."

Here's the match recap.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
Lipscomb .267 67 103 9 65 12
KSU .296 57 100 9 63 5
September 8, 2023  K-State Sweeps Tennessee-Martin
Kansas State Volleyball, now 5-1, turned in a solid victory in Nashville tonight, with set scores of 25-14, 25-12, 25-13. I wasn't able to listen to coverage, as I was in the Morgan Family Arena for an Ahearn Fund event... a self-guided tour of the volleyball and training facilities. Here's the official game recap.

The Volleycats doubled UT-Martin in kills, 41 - 20, far surpassed them in blocks, 14 - 3, and dominated in aces, 11-2.

Aliyah Carter led the match with 9 kills, Aniya Clinton had 7, Shaylee Myers had 6. Sydney Bolding and Kadye Fernholz each had 5. Izzi Szulczewski was most efficient, hitting .750, followed by Sydney Bolding, with .667. Liz Gregorski recorded 5 aces, and Aliyah Carter had 4. Izzi Szulczewski led the match, with 24 assists!

On defense, Sydney Bolding led with 7 blocks. Aniya Clinton and Shaylee Myers had 4 each. Libero Mackenzie Morris had a match-high 18 digs, and Izzi Szulczewski had 9 digs. Loren Hinkle and Liz Gregorski added 6 digs. Kadye Fernholz reach 300 career blocks this evening.

Coach Jason Mansfield said,

"We wanted to come into this match aggressive and have a chance to be physical against this team. I was really proud of us weathering the storm a little bit in the first set, and being consistent for the rest of the match. ... We want to be road warriors, and be great on the road, so getting these wins is a big deal, however we can do it. To be consistent the way we were tonight, I think is a big deal."

Next up is the host team, Lipscomb, on 9/09 at 6:00 CDT.

Team Hitting Kills Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .323 41 14 50 11
UT Martin -.031 20 3 42 2
September 5, 2023  'It was very electric and special'
D. Scott Fritchen has a "must-read K-State Sports Extra, focused on the first match in Morgan Family Arena, which ended in a 25-21, 25-23, 25-23 sweep of Omaha, on September 1.
September 3, 2023  Nebraska Volleyball Comes South for a Visit
The line for this match formed at least two hours before the doors opened, as a considerable number of fans of #4 NU came to support their team. Cat fans were there early, too, because of general admission seating. Nebraska prevailed, with set scores of 25-21, 25-15, 25-19, but especially with sets 1 and 3, there was a feeling of hope, as those sets were only lost by 4 and 6 points.

Last week, I dug into K-State Volleyball's media guide, and compiled the numbers. I knew Nebraska takes volleyball very seriously, and they're a tough opponent, but I wanted exact numbers. I chose 1990 for a starting point. From then - to our encounter with NU today - the totals are NU 43, KSU 4. A very fun evening was on 12/02/11, when Nebraska was ranked #2 in the AVCA poll, and hosting an NCAA regional. K-State knocked 'em out of the tournament! Big picture, vs. Nebraska... the all-time series, according to one source, stands at NU 81, KSU 4.

Nebraska's blocks were certainly a big part of their win, and that's nothing new. They recorded 12 blocks, and the Cats had 7. That was a factor in the Cats' .056 hitting. K-State's recap points out that NU's opponents currently have the lowest combined hitting percentage in Division 1.

Mackenzie Morris had 12 digs... a match high. Izzi Szulczewski continues to be a very solid contributor. She had 23 assists, 2 kills, an ace and 5 digs. Aliyah Carter led with 9 kills and 12 points, and she tossed in a couple of aces! Sydney Bolding was 2nd in points, with 9. She led the Cats in blocks.

Jason Mansfield said,

"I think we have high expectations and so disappointed but that the crowd was amazing again. So I loved that. I think you want to play the best teams to figure out where you're at. ... I thought we made a lot of really good plays that I haven't seen us make in matches. ... I thought to start the third set and be aggressive and make plays was awesome."
Mackenzie Morris, Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year, said,
"It's so amazing just to see all the support we're getting. And I think it's huge for our team and just the program in general. I didn't feel a difference from playing an unranked opponent and ranked opponent. Just super exciting for us."

Here's K-State Sports' official recap.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Aces
NU .277 42 56 12 3
KSU .056 31 41 7 2
September 1, 2023  K-State Sweeps Omaha... Next up: Nebraska!
The occasion was the first intercollegiate match in Morgan Family Arena. Seating capacity in the arena has been billed as 3,000 to 3,100. Attendance was listed as 3,044, and the crowd came in enthusiastic and eager to check out the new facility, which definitely has numerous state-of-the-art features.

Omaha came in 0-4, but they were a competitive opponent. Set scores were 25-21, 25-23, 25-23, with 52 points for the Volleycats, and 46 for Omaha. Digs were close: 54 for K-State, and 48 for Omaha. K-State, however, prevailed in hitting (36 kills to 32, and .179 to .080).

On offense, Kadye Fernholz led in efficiency (.500), while Aliyah Carter (who had a double-double) led in kills (14), and she led with 14.5 points. Shaylee Myers hit .263, and Aliyah hit .250. She recorded 9.5 points.

On defense, Mackenzie Morris had 20 digs, Aliyah Carter had 10 and Loren Hinkle had 7. (By the way, it was great to have Loren, our 5th-year player, back in action! She had a boot on a foot in the first two matches, but was back in action!)

Izzi Szulczewski had a major role, with 25 of the team's 33 assists. Add to that 6 digs, 2 kills and an ace! Oops! Add to those a solo block!

Coach Jason Mansfield was very positive about numerous aspects of the first match in the Morgan Family Arena. He said,

"Oh, I think it was great. I don't think the day was too much. I think we were very excited for this day to come." Of the players, he said, "They showed me that they can improve, and growth is a big deal in our program, and they've improved the last couple of weeks. Some of them have improved in the last nine months. And they've shown me they're tough. You know, we've been in some pretty tough situations so far this season, where we've been down, and the other team is playing really well and they're making us play hard volleyball and we have to play better and we have."

Finally, be sure to have a look at the photo gallery.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .179 36 52 10 54 6
Omaha .080 32 46 5 48 9
August 30, 2023  Rice Match Time Change (and More)
K-State Volleyball announced today that the Sept. 16 home match vs. Rice has been changed to noon, to accommodate travel. Here are lots of details on the upcoming weekend (vs. Omaha and NU), plus the Invitational, Sept. 14-16. Be there, or be counted absent!
August 29, 2023  Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Morgan Family Arena: Sept. 1
Here's a detailed announcement of the ribbon cutting event at 3:00 P.M., followed by the match vs. Omaha, with first serve at 6:30 P.M.
August 28, 2023  K-State Goes Unbeaten in Rose City Showdown
Here's a report from the Manhattan Mercury.
August 27, 2023  K-State Sweeps Cal State Fullerton
Izzi Szulczewski had a pleasant return to her home state of Oregon, as she and the Volleycats - defeating Call State Fullerton - won the Hotel Vance Rose City Showdown, 25-7, 25-21, 25-13. And... Jason Mansfield and staff began their K-State tenures 3 - 0. Here's the official match recap.

All-Tournament recognition included three Cats, Sydney Bolding, Aliyah Carter and Izzi Szulczewski, whose names came up constantly during coverage of the matches. Of the three, Coach Mansfield said Aliyah has been focused on being consistent, Izzi "adds so much value to our team," and Sydney was "dominant in every match, and I believe she is one of the best middles in the country..."

Before going farther, I want to give a shout out to Loren Hinkle. After the last home match last November (a win vs. Texas Tech), I asked Lauren Ramatowski if we'd get to keep Loren and Sydney for one more season, and she cheerfully replied, "Yes!" Loren is wearing a boot currently. She's meant so much to our program as a libero (and setter last season), and I wish her the best as she recovers. (She collected her 100th ace last October, among many other contributions.)

How about some fun facts?
   •  Liz Gregorski had 12 kills.
   •  Izzi Szulczewski had 24 assists.
   •  Sydney Bolding hit .700, and our MB had 8 blocks.
   •  Mackenzie Morris, Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year, reached 1,300 digs today.
   •  The Volleycats outhit Cal State Fullerton, .400 to .011.
   •  The Volleycats prevailed in blocks, 12.5 to 1.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .400 40 59.5 12.5 37 7
CSF .011 23 26.0 1 36 2
August 26, 2023  K-State Sweeps San Diego State
The Volleycats improved to 2 - 0 in the invitational at Portland State, and recorded some very nice stats in the process. Set scores were (KSU/SDSU) 25-14, 25-13, 27-25. Our Cats certainly prevailed in hitting, .532 to .243, and 49 to 30 kills.

Aliyah Carter led with 14 kills, hitting .500, and led with 17.5 points. Aniya Clinton had 10 kills, hitting .571. Shaylee Myers had 9 kills, hitting an excellent .643. Kadye Fernholz was very efficient. Her 7 kills came from .875 hitting.

Izzi Szulczewski is having a memorable visit to her home state. She delivered 38 of the Cats' 42 assists. Izzi was also second in digs, with 8, and libero Mackenzie Morris had 14 digs.

I asked Izzi a couple of weeks ago how to properly pronounce her name. It's three syllables. Say them as "SHULL," "CHESS" and "SKEE." Put a little accent on the second syllable, and there you go!

Here are K-State's match recap and box score.

Next up for the Cats: September 1 is a big day. It begins with the ribbon cutting for the brand new Morgan Family Arena, on September 1 at 3 P.M., with the match beginning at 6:30 P.M.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .532 49 61 9 28 7
SDSU .243 30 37 4 21 5
August 25, 2023  K-State Wins Match #1, vs. Hosts Portland State
Your Kansas State Wildcats are undefeated! The Cats had a slow start in set 1, but they dug in and prevailed 4-1, with set scores of (KSU/PSU): 15-25, 28-26, 25-20, 25-16.

There are definitely changes this season: a new arena, a new court, an entirely new coaching staff, and new match coverage. Out of habit, I turned on the radio 30 minutes before first serve, expecting to hear the voice and excellent coverage of Bryan Smoller. All I heard on KMAN was the Royals. Having heard and posted that some coverage would be on ESPN+, I scrambled and subscribed, and was able to watch and follow the match on my iPhone. I fear that we may not have radio coverage anymore, which leaves me very sad (and irritated). I was also sad that the great Loren Hinkle... back for a fifth season... is in a boot, and couldn't play tonight.

Hey! Before we go farther, how about a shout out to Aliyah Carter, who tonight became the 19th Volleycat to record 1,000 career kills!

Various Cats stood out, some in efficiency, and some with impressive stats totals. Liz Gregorski and Aliyah Carter led with 10 kills each. Kadye Fernholz was very efficient, hitting .385 for her 7 points. Sydney Bolding hit a solid .312 on the way to 7 kills, and Shaylee Myers had 7 points. Aniya Clinton's .235 hitting resulted in 6 kills.

Although she's a setter, playing her first match as a Cat, Izzi Szulczewski hit .600, had two service aces and led with 41 assists!

Middle blockers Kadye Fernholz and Sydney Bolding had 6 blocks each.

Setter Izzi Szulczewski recorded 22 digs, and Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year Mackenzie Morris (4.000) had 20 digs. Aliyah Carter had 10 digs.

Here are the links for the box score and detailed stats. Up next is San Diego State on August 26, at 3:00 P CDT.

Team Hitting Kills Points Blocks Digs Aces
KSU .176 50 68 13 73 5
PSU .166 58 67 5 84 4
August 23, 2023  Brand New Everything!
@KStateVB has posted video of the Volleycats checking out their new Teraflex™ court. You will see snow angels, a cartwheel and slides. This synthetic floor makes it possible to slide more than wood, and it also provides some cushioning.
August 22, 2023  Morgan Family Arena Court Revealed / Ribbon Cutting Planned
K-State Sports announced today a ribbon cutting for the new arena. It's set for Friday, Sep. 1 at 3 P.M., by the northwest doors... to be followed by the first match, vs. Omaha, at 6:30 P.M.

There will be two practice courts. Their location is uncertain to your webmaster at this time. As you can see from the photo (click to enlarge), there's only one court. Time will tell! (The announcement link above has a lot of information about the new facility.)

August 22, 2023  Morgan Family Arena Features a Teraflex™ Floor
Teraflex™ is a vinyl floor product that is described as resilient, and meant to prevent injuries. It allows an appropriate degree of sliding. It provides shock absorption, by way of its foam backing. (link)
August 18, 2023  K-State Is the 'Right Spot' for Izzi Szulczewski
Here's a must-read K-State Sports Extra. (Thanks, D. Scott!) Izzi Szulczewski is our new junior setter, who transferred from Oregon State - after three seasons - when their coach retired. Izzi had some very nice stats and accomplishments there, including a triple double. She was All-Pac 12 last year. Now, this month, Izzi will be playing in Portland, Oregon (August 25-27), before she plays here!
August 17, 2023  Wildcats Unveil 2023 Broadcast Schedule
The Volleycats are headed for ESPN+, which intends to carry every home match this season. Reportedly, a ESPN+ subscription is $9.99 per month, and $99.99 per year. (K-State announcement link)
August 14, 2023  Volleyball Seasons Tickets and the Nebraska Match Are Sellouts!
K-State Volleyball announced today the exciting news that Morgan Family Arena season tickets are sold out. Capacity for the arena is listed as 3,100. The announcement linked here has lots of interesting and important information. For example, it covers amenities, special events, promotions, special ticket deals, and more. Considering all the promotions being planned, a percentage of tickets from the 3,100 seats must have been set aside.
August 11, 2023  K-State Players Bought in to Coach Jason Mansfield
Aliyah Carter told The Mercury that it only took one practice for her to buy in to Jason Mansfield and his approach. Aliyah is one of 11 returners to KSUVB, and Coach Mansfield has two transfers from other Power 5 schools. Manhattan Mercury link
August 8, 2023  Volleyball to Open Mansfield Era in Brand New Facility
Here's an article in the Mercury, with pictures of the court, and some players.
August 8, 2023  New Stuff for the Volleycats
In this Twitter video, the Cats display their latest stuff, including shoes, bags, lavender caps, jackets, hoodies and water jugs. Ava LeGrande has informed Lebron James that if he comes to a match, she'll sign shoes for him.
August 4, 2023  K-State Volleyball Holds Media Day
August 25 is coming... the day of the first match (vs. Portland State). Be sure to check out this coverage of K-State's Media Day.

The first home action is vs. Omaha on Sept. 1. Our old rivals, Nebraska, will visit on Sept. 3. The Morgan Family Arena has two courts, a team room, a weight room and film room. The Volleycats return 11 players, and Coach Mansfield is very pleased about that. He says we have depth at every position. He said that of the new Big 12 opponents, BYU will likely be the toughest. Houston was great last year. (Oh, my... they went 30-4, and they have returners.)

I'm really looking forward to the intrasquad scrimmage, at 2 P.M. on August 12, at Morgan Family Arena!

July 28, 2023  Hide and Seek
Posted yesterday... and already with 5,000+ views, it's the Volleycats playing Morgan Family Arena Hide and Seek. We don't know who won - or if anyone won - but a good time was had by all, just like when they were throwing axes in Aggieville in May. There's lots of whispering, screaming and maniacal laughter. Don't miss this. (Twitter video)
July 25, 2023  Morgan Family Arena Preview & Scrimmage on August 12
The Volleycats will have a scrimmage in their new arena on August 12 at 2:00 P.M. Here's the announcement.
July 21, 2023  NCAA Tournament 2023 Details Set
Our pals at the NCAA have released their Power 10 teams for the new season, a summary of the 2022 tournament, and details on the 2023 tournament.
July 13, 2023  K-State Earns a 13th Straight USMC/AVCA Team Academic Award
This award is for a team GPA of 3.30 or higher, and it's the program's 21st time to receive this recognition. Kadye Fernholz, Loren Hinkle and Mackenzie Morris - with their 4.000 spring GPAs - played a major part. And... Mackenzie is the reigning Big 12 Volleyball Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Kadye's majoring in Elementary Education. Loren brought in perfect grades, while majoring in Life Sciences, Pre-Physician Assistant, Biology and Leadership Studies! Mackenzie's a star student in Accounting and Leadership Studies.

July 11, 2023  Sydney Bolding and Aliyah Carter: Preseason All-Big 12
K-State Sports announced today that Sydney, a senior MB (returning for another season) and Aliyah, now a senior OH, are preseason All-Big 12. I recall asking Lauren Ramatowski on Nov. 23, after Senior Night vs. Texas Tech (a W for the Volleycats at 3-2) if seniors Sydney and Loren Hinkle might come back for an encore season. I was delighted that the answer was an enthusiastic yes.
July 10, 2023  Big 12 Volleyball Preseason Poll
The soon-to-disappear Texas Burnt Oranges - for the 13th straight time - are at the top of the Big 12 preseason poll, having gotten 12 of 13 first-place votes. K-State is at #7 of the 13 in the poll. WVU captured the last place, having finished 7-22 / 0-16 Big 12 in the 2022 season. (Big 12 preseason awards link)   (Big 12 poll link)
July 7, 2023  Volleycats Tour the Morgan Family Arena (Facebook)
The Cats are clearly pleased and excited. It appears that the first match will be vs. Omaha, on September 1, with first serve at 6:30 P. The last encounter with Omaha was at their house, in September 2021. The Cats prevailed, 3 - 1. (recap)   team photo, with Wade and Brenda Morgan)   (tour video link)
July 7, 2023  Volleycats Tour the Morgan Family Arena (Twitter)
The construction fences got taken down on about July 1, and today the Volleycats ventured into the arena to check it out. The arena has a capacity of 3,000 seats. K-State's home attendance - spanning 13 matches - was 1,293, so at the present, it seems that there will be enough seats. (Tweet 1: walking tour) (Tweet 2: photos)
June 29, 2023  Kadye Fernholz Tells Why She Chose K-State
Apparently the Princeton Review has named K-State as its #10 school for making an impact. In this brief video, Kadye Fernholz explains why she chose - and likes - K-State and Manhattan.
June 7, 2023  Volleyball Super Powers
Here's a fun Twitter video. The topic is Super Power Preferences. The setting looks for all the world like Ahearn Field House, but it's close shots. Aliyah Carter wants to fly. Loren Hinkle wants to be invisible. Sydney Bolding wants to teleport. Mackenzie Morris says being invisible would be cool. Q: Why did Aliyah call Mackenzie Mary?
May 21, 2023  John Dunn: New Assistant Coach for the Volleycats
John Dunn is headed our way as an assistant. He's been a grad assistant and assistant coach at Washington, and has had several other experiences with the sport, including high school, club and college. (announcement link)
May 16, 2023  K-State Volleyball Announces 2023 Schedule
Here are links to the Volleycats' 2023 schedule press release, and the 2023 Schedule and Results page.
May 16, 2023  Big 12 Schedule Announced
Here we have the Big 12's schedule announcement and schedule grid
May 12, 2023  Izzi Szulczewski Transfers from Oregon State
Izzi Szulczewski is a 5' 7" setter, and she is signed! Coach Mansfield said, "I've been watching Izzi play since she was 15 years old, and ever since the first time I saw her compete, I've wanted to coach her. Her passion, skill, athleticism, leadership and experience will add so much value to our team. We are so excited to get her to K-State, and help her grow as a player and as a person." (announcement)
May 5, 2023  Volleycats Throw Axes at Innocent Boards
The video story begins with a photo of our volleyball heroes, Aliyah Carter and Loren Hinkle, looking very happy and innocent, but what have they been up to? They've been hurling axes at perfectly innocent boards. Apparently this activity is available at 1220 Moro St. in MHK. I'd better be on alert when I have my monthly visit to the Campus Barbershop, at 1206 Moro St. Check out video of this mischief.

In my screen capture of the video, you see a small image of Johnny Kaw, over Aliyah's shoulder. I got the joke, but thought of Paul Bunyan, the giant mythical lumberjack. I created a controversy by referring to Johnny Kaw (whose statue I hadn't seen recently) as Paul Bunyan. Johnny Kaw carried a giant scythe, to harvest crops, while Paul Bunyan worked on wood, as did the Volleycats in this story.

May 5, 2023  Aliyah Carter: Volleyball Is Just Part of the Story
D. Scott Fritchen has an excellent K-State Sports Extra... a profile on our star OH, Aliyah Carter, who's heading into her senior year in the fall.
April 29, 2023  K-State Volleyball's Spring 2023 Exhibition Matches
K-State Volleyball has 11 returning players. Coach Jason Mansfield announced K-State's spring exhibition schedule on March 8. Here's an update, with the outcomes:

Date Day Opponent Location First Serve Score
March 25 Sat. Wichita State Wichita 2 P.M. W: 3 - 2
April 22 Sat. Minnesota Indianola, Ia. 1 P.M. W: 3 - 2
April 29 Sat. Omaha Omaha noon W: 3 - 1
April 28, 2023  K-State Volleyball Adds Liz Gregorski
Coach Jason Mansfield announced today the addtion of Liz Gregorski, a 5' 11" OH. She is transferring from the University of Wisconsin, after four seasons there. Wisconsin grabbed four Big 10 Championships - and the program's first NCAA National Championship - in 2021. Welcome to Liz, our new Volleycat!
April 12 , 2023  Quinn Roche: Director of Volleyball Operations
K-State Volleyball announced today that Quinn Roche is joining Jason Mansfield's staff. Quinn will focus on recruiting efforts, as well as managing the team's travel and summer camps.

She was a grad assistant at the University of Washington for the 2022, with similar responsibilities as she will have here. For two years prior, she worked in marketing and promotions for multiple sports.

Quinn graduated summa cum laude in business from Washington last year.

March 6, 2023  Suzie Fritz: Associate Head Coach at Arkansas
I'm pleased to announce that Coach Fritz has been offered a new opportunity, while sad that she will no longer be with us. She has much to offer the Razorbacks. Arkansas head coach Jason Watson knows Suzie well. He was her assistant and associate head coach in 2000 and 2001, before moving on to BYU. I wish Suzie well in her new position, and certainly thank her for her excellent service to K-State Volleyball for so many years! (announcement link)
February 27, 2023  Aliyah Carter on Black History Month / Overcoming Challenges
Aliyah has a nice, positive Twitter video on how her teammates have been supportive of her. Aliyah's dad has also been very helpful.
February 22, 2023  K-State Sends Three to U.S. Women's National Team Open
Mackenzie Morris, Aliyah Carter and Shaylee Myers are heading to Colorado Springs this weekend, for the U.S. Women's National Team Open at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center. K-State Volleyball's release has lots of details, and links to follow.
February 13, 2023  Morgan Family Arena Preview
I'm not sure how this was produced. It's mostly architects' renderings of the interior of the facility. It does give a sense of what it will look like, as well as some of the amenities. (video link) The Feb. 1 video below shows our current players walking around in the actual building. They seemed to be very excited about it!
February 1, 2023  The Volleycats Get a Tour of the Morgan Family Arena
The arena's exterior seems to be very nearly complete. The interior has a way to go. A few players, dressed up in construction jackets and helmets, got a tour today. I've been told that there are lots of amenities in this facility. We appreciate the generosity of Ward and Brenda Morgan! (Twitter video)
January 26, 2023  Jason Mansfield Looks to Be the Next Stellar K-State Hire
Learn about Coach Mansfield's experiences and goals in this profile in the Collegian. Jason has a variety of experiences working with eventual national champions, Olympians and All-Americans. He wants to inspire his players, and have them believe in themselves. Players he's worked with had great attention to details, and were intentional in their approaches. He wants players to learn and grow. To conclude, Jason has been involved in seven Final Four teams. We look forward to exciting things to come!
January 13, 2023  Jason Mansfield Adds Steve Astor and Fiona Fonoti to Staff
It was announced today that our coaching staff has expanded.

Steve Astor will be Associate Head Coach. He's been at Pepperdine the last three seasons, as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He has 20 years of coaching experience, including clubs, high school and college.

Fiona Fonoti is from Hawaii. She will be Assistant Coach. She played for Nebraska, then she coached at WVU and ISU. At NU, she played in three Final Fours, and in the 1995 national championship match. She was an AVCA All-American, and three-time First Team All-Big 12. Fiona got quite a shout-out from Christy Johnson-Lynch (ISU head coach) this week. It's in the announcement linked here.

January 4, 2023  Jason Mansfield Introduced as Volleyball Head Coach
And now... Jason Mansfield is officially K-State's coach. Via this link, you'll find thorough coverage (from K-State Athletics) of the introduction event, which took place in Football's Team Theater, in the Vanier Complex. From the link provided, you'll be able to watch and listen to the event. A transcript of remarks - plus a Q&A - is provided.

This just in on Jan. 5: Coach Mansfield asks fans to pack the Ward and Brenda Morgan Arena. (YouTube video)

Don't miss D. Scott Fritchen's excellent K-State Sports Extra, Mansfield Ready to Lead K-State into New Era. You'll learn all kinds of details about Jason's background, his teams' accomplishments and his goals.

Speaking of miss, I somehow missed this next one for three days. It's the great Brian Smoller, interviewing Coach Mansfield on his introduction day. (video link)

January 4, 2023  Fresh Start: K-State Introduces New Coach Jason Mansfield
Here's the link to the announcement in the Manhattan Mercury. It will probably require an online subscription. Coach Mansfield was introduced in the Team Theater in the Vanier Sports Complex this afternoon. There were comments from Gene Taylor and Coach Mansfield, and questions were taken from media representatives.

We learned that Jason interviewed online, and this introduction event marked his first trip to MHK. I was impressed and appreciative that after the formal event, and most people had left, Jason approached me and my friend Denver to meet us and visit. He has about two decades of coaching experience. Included in that experience is coaching club teams, which I believe he said can involve about 60 to 90 matches per year!

K-State players were not present for the event. I can understand that being there with the media could result in some questions that might be awkward to answer at this time. My understanding is that there has been some interaction with them online, but they have not yet met in person. Since it's still winter vacation, they may not currently be in MHK!

January 3, 2023  K-State to Formally Introduce Jason Mansfield on Wednesday
Here's the announcement of the plan for the formal introduction of Jason Mansfield, which will be in the Vanier Complex.
December 27, 2022  Jason Mansfield Is the New Coach of the Volleycats
Jason is an assistant at Washington, and is headed to MHK. He's been part of seven NCAA Final Fours, and a national championship. Here's the announcement from K-State Athletics. I'm adding a number of announcement articles to the media page on this site.