Wildcats look for 7-0 start

By Brady Bauman

The Kansas State volleyball team is ranked No. 22 in the country, and out of the 20 sets the Wildcats have played so far, they’ve lost just two of them.

Not surprisingly, K-State has started the season 6-0 with more opportunities to keep that record perfect in great supply this week.

The Wildcats will play four out of the next five nights, with every match at Ahearn Field House. The tournament begins for the Wildcats tonight at 6 against Missouri State.

K-State will then play Thursday at 7 p.m. against St. Mary’s. 

The Wildcats will take a break Friday night, while St. Mary’s and Utah State play each other at 5.

The Cats will then conclude the tournament against Utah State on Saturday night at 6.

Although K-State has swept opponents in every match except one, head coach Suzie Fritz hasn’t been engrossed in the team’s success so far.

“Yes, we are starting pretty far ahead,” she said Tuesday night. “But, we have everybody back — we are supposed to be further along.

“We measure ourselves a lot less in wins and losses, then the general public would. We measure in how it feels when we play.”

Fritz continued that there have been things to work on for the team, despite the hot start.

“We’ve been working on defense this week,” she said. “We haven’t like the numbers opponents have been putting up in some statistical categories.

“We look it at (our start) differently. We’re happy about it, but that would be the expectation.”

Through six matches, K-State has out killed opponents 245-180 and has out-done the competition in attack percentage .256 to .134.

The Wildcats have been even better on the serve, as K-State has totaled 28 serving aces so far, while opponents have managed only 11.

“We think there are things we can be doing better,” Fritz said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done — don’t get wrong, we’re trying to win matches, but we have a responsibility to get better as we go.

“There are a few things we are doing well. One is serving, and putting on that pressure. Passing is something we feel good about right now, but we want to see our team take more advantage of the pressure we can put on. If we are able to serve them in a bad situation, then the opportunity to create points should increase.”

Fritz said playing so many matches in the non-conference season, or preseason as the team calls it, can be a grind, yet beneficial. Other aspects, like practice, have become somewhat limited though.

“I love practice — it’s my favorite part, and where we make the biggest differences,” Fritz said. “What is hard in preseason is that we don’t get in enough practice for me. We’ll use these matches as opportunities.

“We want the wins. We’re grinding it out, and that’s what’s preseason is for.”

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