Pelger, Brand earn All-Big 12 honors



Two Kansas State volleyball players were honored with Big 12 awards on Monday, as Kaitlynn Pelger was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and Katie Brand was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.

Staff photo by Sarah Midgorden
(Kansas State’s Kaitlynn Pelger (17) puts a shot back over the net against Iowa State this past Saturday at Ahearn Field House. Pelger was named to the All-Big 12 First Team on Monday).

Pelger becomes only the second Wildcat in program history to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team three times in a career.

Brand, the Big 12’s Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year, is only the second Wildcat to be named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team and first since Pelger was selected in 2010.

Pelger, a rare middle blocker who plays all six rotations, was the only player in the Big 12 to finish in the Top 10 for kills per set, aces per set and blocks per set in conference-only matches. The senior averaged 3.07 kills per set (10th in the Big 12), 0.35 aces per set (3rd) and 1.07 blocks (9th). She also finished fifth in the conference in Big 12 matches with 3.99 points per set.

Pelger completed her career ranked second on K-State’s career lists in points (1,879), third in kills (1,511), seventh in aces (131) and eighth in blocks (424). The two-time AVCA All-America honorable mention selection also earned three Big 12 Player of the Week awards this season, giving her a program-record eight conference weekly honors in her career.

Brand led all Big 12 freshmen with 10.06 assists per set in conference-only matches, becoming the first Big 12 freshman to average 10 or more assists per set since 2010. The setter also finished ninth among all Big 12 players with 0.26 aces per set in overall matches.

Staff photo by Sarah Midgorden
(Kansas State’s Katie Brand sets up a shot for the Wildcats against Iowa State on Saturday at Ahearn Field House. Brand was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team on Monday).

Brand finished the 2013 season with 1,056 assists, 250 digs, 95 kills, 87 blocks, 27 aces and 169 points after playing in all 105 of K-State’s sets this season. The blocks, kills and points totals for the Grand Island, Neb., native are the most by a K-State setter since 2007. Brand is only the third K-State freshman to have 1,000 assists in a season and first since 1998.

K-State has garnered 43 All-Big 12 selections — third-most in conference history — and 31 since head coach Suzie Fritz took over the program in 2001.

All-Big 12 honors were selected based on a coaches’ vote. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

The Wildcats wrapped up their season with a sweep of No. 25 Iowa State on senior night this past Saturday. K-State finished the season with an 18-11 overall record and 6-10 mark in Big 12 play.

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