The Kansas State volleyball team reported to fall camp on Friday, to begin preparation for the 2013 season.
After training for and participating in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, in July, K-State is already ahead of schedule in training for the upcoming season. The Wildcats return four starters and 10 letterwinners from a squad was 21-9 and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the ninth time in the last 12 years.
“Our expectations don’t really change from year to year,” K-State coach Suzie Fritz said. “We want to be in the top third of the Big 12. This is an interesting year for us because we graduated four starters in pretty key positions, but we also have six seniors returning who have been in roles for a great amount of their career.
“We were able to get some of the growing pains out during the Russia experience. They have to transition into more contributing roles, and they think they’re ready.”
Seniors Courtney Cook (outside hitter), Dakota Kauffman (outside hitter), Tristan McCarty (defensive specialist), Kaitlynn Pelger (middle blocker), Lilla Porubek (outside hitter) and Courtney Traxson (outside hitter) form the six-player senior class. Pelger was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big 12 team, while redshirt-freshman Katie Brand was named the league’s co-Preseason Freshman of the Year.
K-State begins the season in Las Vegas for the UNLV Invitational, Aug. 30-31, as the Wildcats face Portland, Cal State Fullerton and UNLV. The Wildcats open its 13-match home schedule on Sept. 6-7 when they host Southeast Missouri State, Southern Illinois and Siena in the K-State Invitational.
Fritz, the winningest coach in K-State history, has a 238-136 (.636) overall record in her 12 years as the head coach, while she has tutored 11 All-Americans, 16 all-district performers and 40 All-Big 12 honorees in her 16 total years on staff.
Associate head coach Jeff Grove enters his 15th season with the program, while assistant coach Jeff Hulsmeyer is beginning his fifth year at K-State.