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Wildcats Look to Bounce Back against TCU in 7 pm Match on Saturd - KOAM TV 7

Wildcats Look to Bounce Back against TCU in 7 pm Match on Saturday

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Press Release

First Serve

K-State (12-3, 0-2) looks to record its first Big 12 win ofthe season when it takes on TCU (12-5, 1-2) on Saturday, October 5 in AhearnField House in Manhattan, Kan.

 

The 7 pm match will be shown live by K-StateHD.TV on FoxCollege Sports, with Brian Smoller (play-by-play) and Liz Wegner-Busch(analyst) calling the game. The match can also be heard on the radio on KMAN1350 or online at k-statesports.com.

 

Rob Voelker will call the match for the audio feeds.Pre-game show is only available on k-statesports.com while the entire match canbe heard both on radio and online. For in-game updates, @kstate_gameday willprovide scores and stats via Twitter while live stats can be tracked onk-statesports.com.

 

Last Match

K-State was swept by in-state rival Kansas in the SunflowerShowdown on Wednesday, October 2 in Manhattan. The first two sets requiredextra points as the lead changed eight and seven times in the first and secondsets, respectively. Kansas, though, won 31-29 in the first and 26-24 in thesecond. The Jayhawks finished the Wildcats off with a 25-19 victory in thethird to clinch the match.

 

TCU enters Saturday's match coming off its first win in theBig 12 season after defeating West Virginia 3-1 in Forth Worth on October 2.The Horned Frogs dropped the first set, but TCU persevered with three straightwins. West Virginia beat K-State on Friday, September 27 in both teams'conference openers.

 

Opening Act

K-State engaged Kansas in the Wildcats' longest first setsince 2011 on Wednesday. K-State was outlasted by Kansas 31-29 in the October 2first set. The last time K-State and its opponent combined for 60 or morepoints in a first set was September 28, 2011 at Missouri. The Wildcats beat theTigers in five sets during the 2011 match.

 

K-State is 8-7 in first sets this season and has outscoredits opponents 342-331 in the opening set of a combined 15 matches.

 

Chip Off the Ol' Block

Junior middle blocker Taylor Johnson tied for the team leadin blocks on Wednesday, tallying five blocks over the three sets. Over her lastthree matches, the Grand Island, Neb. native has 23 blocks in 10 sets, givingher an average of 2.3 blocks per set. Johnson is second in the Big 12 with a1.37 block per set average over the entire season. In just Big 12 matches,Johnson has a 2.0 blocks per set average, also good for second best in theconference.

 

Johnson entered the week 27th in the nation in blocks perset. She has five or more blocks in six matches this season, including fourtimes in her last six contests.

 

Block Party

Although they fell 0.5 a block from recording double-digitteam blocks for the sixth straight match on Wednesday, the Wildcats have stillnotched nine or more blocks in each of their last eight matches. K-State istops among Big 12 teams with 2.81 blocks per set, besting Kansas (2.78) for thetop spot on the blocks leaderboard. While Johnson leads the Wildcats in blocks,other big block contributors include redshirt freshman Katie Brand, who isaveraging 1.29 blocks in Big 12 games, and Kaitlynn Pelger, who is averagingone block per set this season. Pelger and Brand have 55 and 45 blocks,respectively, for the season.

 

Three's Company

Gina Madonia, one of the more effective servers for K-Stateas of late, set a career-high with three aces in the match against Kansas.Prior to Wednesday, Madonia never had more than one ace in a single match. Thejunior defensive specialist is fourth on the Wildcats with eight aces thisseason, five of which have occurred in the last three matches. Madonia is tiedfor third among Big 12 players with 0.57 aces per set in conference matches.

 

Deck of Aces

Including a season-high 12 aces against Saint Louis onSeptember 21 in the Arkansas Invitational, the Wildcats have tallied 28 acesover their last four matches. Prior to the stretch, K-State had 26 combinedaces over its previous seven matches. The Wildcats are third among Big 12 teamswith 1.32 aces per set. Three Wildcats rank in the Big 12's top 10 for aces perset: Kaitlynn Pelger (4th, 0.39), Katie Brand (8th, 0.30) and Tristan McCarty(10th, 0.28).

 

Career Aces

With the addition of two aces on Wednesday, Kaitlynn Pelgermoved closer to the top 10 on K-State's all-time career kills list. The seniormiddle blocker has 116 career aces, which is two shy of tying Kristin Martin(1986-89) for 10th on the all-time list. Mary Kinsey (1984-87) holds K-State'sall-time career aces record with 175. Pelger has at least one ace in threestraight matches and in four of her last five contests.

 

Career Kills

After recording 11 kills on Wednesday, Kaitlynn Pelger movedinto fifth place on the Wildcats' career kills list, passing Shawnee Call(1,337 from 1985-88). Pelger enters Saturday 47 kills shy of matching YolandaYoung (1,394 from 1993-96) for fourth on the all-time list. Pelger is averaging2.77 kills per set this season, and she has double-digit kills in fourconsecutive matches and in six of her last seven matches.

 

Fantastic Four

Courtney Traxson had 10 kills on Wednesday, which was herfourth match of the year in which she tallied double-digit kills. The fourdouble-digit kill efforts tie her career-high for most in a season. The senioroutside hitter had four double-digit kill matches four times in each of the2011 and 2012 seasons. Traxson has 16 kills over the last two matches, givingher an average of 2.29 kills per set over the span.

 

Rare Streak

K-State has lost its first two games of the Big 12 schedulefor the first time since 2009 when the Wildcats started conference play bylosing six consecutive matches. K-State has lost five straight Big 12 matchesdating back to last season. The last time the Wildcats lost five consecutiveconference matches was when they were defeated eight times in a row fromOctober 6-30, 2010.

 

In Ahearn

Ahearn Field House, home of the K-State volleyball program,has proven to be one of the toughest places to play. The Wildcats are 294-155-5(.648) all-time inside the nearly-63 year old structure. Over the last twoseasons, K-State is 26-7 (.788) in Ahearn Field House, including a 4-1 markthis season. Under head coach Suzie Fritz, K-State is 131-49 (.728) at home,including a 75-42 (.641) home record in the Big 12 since 2001.

 

The Other Purple

TCU enters tonight's match with a 12-5 record and 1-2 markin the Big 12. TCU entered Big 12 play with an eight-match winning streak, butlosses to Texas and at Kansas started TCU's conference season in a 0-2 hole.The Horned Frogs are 2-3 in road matches this season, including losses toGeorgia and Marquette in addition to the defeat in Lawrence.

 

Senior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan is the main source ofoffense for TCU. The Houston, Texas native is averaging 2.97 kills on a .363hitting percentage. She had 19 kills in the Horned Frog's victory over WestVirginia earlier in the week. Igodan has an average of 3.7 kills per set overthree Big 12 games.

 

TCU runs a 6-2 offense, with the setters being Alexia Heistand Trisha Langley. Heist, a sophomore from El Paso, leads the duo with 6.0assists per set.

 

TCU is fourth among Big 12 teams with a .249 hittingpercentage, but opponents are turning in a .216 hitting percentage, thesecond-highest in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs are last in the conference – onespot ahead of K-State – in digs per set with 13.18.

 

Working for…

Prentice Lewis is in her 12th season as head coach of theTCU volleyball program. Lewis has won over 200 games while at TCU since 2001,and she piloted the program to its first NCAA Tournament in 2009. Prior to TCU,Lewis as an assistant coach with Florida from 2000-01, Oregon in 1999 and UCIrvine from 1996-98. Lewis played volleyball collegiately at Long Beach State,helping the 49ers to four Big West Conference championships and the 1993national championship.

 

The Series

K-State and TCU have only faced each other twice enteringSaturday's match, with both contests resulting in Wildcats wins during the 2012season. The Wildcats swept TCU in Fort Worth on October 13, 2012 and also sweptthe Horned Frogs on November 10 in Manhattan. The win against TCU in Novemberwas the Wildcats' last Big 12 victory before they slid into the currentsix-match losing streak.

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