Volleyball Sets Sights On Sunflower Showdown

Oct. 30, 2008


Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Rivalry week continues for the Kansas volleyball team as they travel to Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Nov. 1 to take on in-state foe Kansas State. The Jayhawks, who are 10-11 overall and 4-8 in the Big 12 will face off with the 16th-ranked Wildcats (19-4, 9-3 Big 12) at 7 p.m. at the Ahearn Field House.

Free live stats for the contest is available on the Kansas State Athletics website at www.k-statesports.com. In addition, fans can access live video streaming on the website for a subscription fee. Rob Voelker will be calling the action on 1350 KMAN radio.

About Kansas

Kansas broke a two-match skid with a 3-2 victory over Missouri on Wednesday, improving to 4-8 in the Big 12 and 10-11 overall. Sophomore Karina Garlington ranks fifth in the league averaging 3.63 kps during conference play. Nicole Tate, who is in her first season running the KU offense, is fifth in the Big 12 in assists, averaging 10.04 per set. Defensively, sophomore Melissa Manda leads the team with 3.16 dps, which is ninth in Big 12 contests.

Head coach Ray Bechard is in his 11th season as head coach of the Jayhawks with a 171-155 overall record.

Scouting Kansas State

Coming off a three-set victory over Texas A&M on Wednesday, Kansas State comes into the match third in the Big 12 with a 9-3 league record and 19-4 overall mark. The Wildcats have lost just once in Manhattan this season, a conference match with No. 2 Nebraska. Senior Rita Liliom leads the team in kills, averaging 3.82 kps, which ranks second in the Big 12. Sophomore Lauren Mathewson leads the team in digs with 4.04 dps in league play, sixth in the Big 12. The Wildcats are second in the league in service aces and third in hitting percentage and assists.

Kansas State is coached by Suzie Fritz, who is 166-75 in her seventh year as head coach of the Wildcats.

Series History

Kansas State holds a 56-34 edge in the all-time series with Kansas, including a 24-9 advantage in Manhattan. KU has dropped its last four contests to the Wildcats and have won just twice since the 1995 season – back-to-back wins in 2005 and 2006.

Last Meeting With the Wildcats

LAWRENCE, Kan. — In front of a sellout crowd of 1,300, the Kansas Jayhawk volleyball team fell to No. 17 Kansas State in five sets (22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 18-25, 15-9) at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The Jayhawks, who extended a match against a ranked opponent for the third straight time, matched K-State point-for-point in the last 10 points of the fifth stanza, but the Wildcats’ healthy lead built in the opening of set five kept the Jayhawks well out of reach.

Garlington led the Jayhawks with 17 kills on the night, while senior Natalie Uhart tallied eight and junior Brittany Williams chipped in with seven. Garlington also totaled a career-high five blocks. Freshman Nicole Tate recorded a double-double with 43 assists and 14 digs.

Kansas State’s Natalya Korobkova led all players with a then-season-high 20 kills.

Grieb vs. The Wildcats

In KU’s last meeting with Kansas State, defensive specialist Melissa Grieb served 10-straight points for the Jayhawks in set four and tallied a personal-best five service aces.

Attendance Leaders

Once again, Kansas volleyball continues to be among the nation’s leaders in average home attendance. The Jayhawks are currently 37th in the country averaging 923 fans per contest at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Player Notables

» KU libero Melissa Manda has a team-high 13 matches with double-digit digs. The sophomore is ninth in the league with 3.12 dps.

» Melissa Grieb dug up 21 balls against Missouri topping her previous personal best (20) set at Missouri earlier this season.

» Outside hitter Karina Garlington is fourth in the Big 12 with 3.80 kps. She has notched 10 or more kills 17 times this year, including seven of her last eight outings. Garlington also has five double-doubles on the season.

» Since returning to the Kansas lineup during conference play, outside hitter Jenna Kaiser has recorded double-digit kills in six of her 11 matches played.

» Defensive specialist Katie Martincich has notched double-figure digs in five of her last seven matches.

» Savannah Noyes leads the team with a .338 attack percentage in Big 12 matches, seventh in the conference. She has six matches of hitting .400 or better. The 6-3 blocker also tied a personal-best six assists against Missouri Wednesday.

» Setter Nicole Tate is fifth in the conference averaging 10.09 aps. She leads the team with eight double-doubles and has four in the last five matches. Tate also notched the league’s second most single match assists this season with 64 at Wyoming on Sept. 12.

» Kansas middle blocker Natalie Uhart dug up a personal-best eight balls against Missouri and notched her sixth contest of double-figure kills with 12.

Up Next

Kansas welcomes Colorado to Lawrence on Wednesday, Nov. 5. Match time with the Buffaloes, who recently upset No. 2 Nebraska, is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Upcoming Promotions

Wednesday, Nov. 5 is middle school night at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. All middle school students can get into the Kansas vs. Colorado match for just $3. In addition, KU volleyball players will be available to sign autographs after the contest.