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K-State Set for Opening Weekend at Morgan Family Arena

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By Kansas State University Athletics

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State opens its 2023 home schedule with the official unveiling of the Morgan Family Arena on Friday as the Wildcats take on the Omaha Mavericks at 6:30 p.m. CT.Following the match with the Mavericks (0-3), K-State will host the 87th meeting between the Wildcats and No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0) at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3.

The Cats home opener versus Omaha will feature the official unveiling of Morgan Family Arena on Friday, Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m. CT.

K-State fans are invited to attend a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally dedicate and open the Morgan Family Arena and Morris Family Olympic Training Center prior to the Wildcats’ home opener at 3 p.m. outside the northwest doors of the arena.

The Wildcats are coming off a perfect 3-0 weekend after defeating Portland State, San Diego State, and Cal State Fullerton. After dropping the opening set, K-State won nine straight sets to take the preseason tournament crown with Aliyah CarterSydney Bolding, and newcomer Izzi Szulczewski earning all-tournament recognition.

Friday marks the 20th meeting between K-state and Omaha with the Wildcats leading the all-time series 13-6, including a 6-1 record at home. K-state is 9-1 in the last 10 matches against the Mavericks.

Nebraska leads the series 82-4 since its start in 1975. In 2011, the Wildcats upset then ranked nationally second Nebraska to advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in a five-set thriller (25-22, 22-25, 31-29, 22-25, 15-11).

Both contests will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and the ESPN app.

With the Nebraska match sold out, single match tickets to the remaining 12 home matches are now available through the K-State Athletics ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS and www.kstatesports.com/tickets. Tickets start at just $8 when purchased in advance.

K-STATE AT A GLANCE

  • K-State heads into week two action of non-conference play with matches against border foes Omaha and Nebraska, starting with Omaha on Friday
  • Sunday’s meeting between the Wildcats and Cornhuskers marks the 87th match in school history.
  • The Wildcats are coming off a perfect 3-0 weekend after defeating Portland State, San Diego State, and Cal State Fullerton.
  • First-year head coach Jason Mansfield became just the second coach in K-state history to start his career 3-0; joined Jim Moore who started 4-0 in 1994.
  • Friday’s match features the first-ever contest in Morgan Family Arena.
  • Senior outside hitter Aliyah Carter joined the 1,000-kills club as she became the 19th player in school history to reach the milestone.
  • Starting libero Mackenzie Morris grasped her 1,300 dig in Portland, becoming the sixth player in school history to generate 1,300 digs; fifth in the rally scoring era.
  • K-State is in its 50th season of Wildcat Volleyball, posting an overall 896-709-12 record.

SCOUTING OMAHA

  • Omaha is in its fifth season under head coach Matt Buttermore, who has led the Mavs to an overall 72-44 (.612) record.
  • The Mavericks are 0-3 with a set victory against Texas A&M in their season opener
  • Omaha helped Nebraska make history Wednesday night as the state matchup was attended by 92,003 people, making it the largest attended women’s sporting event in history.
  • As a team, UNO is hitting .062 against opponents with 89 kills (8.9 per set). Defensively, the Mavericks are collecting 10.7 digs per set and 1.6 blocks per set.
  • UNO finished the 2022 campaign 20-11 with run in the first round of the NIVC Tournament
  • Nine newcomers joined the Mavs roster this season giving the team an even split of returners and new players.
  • Graduate Student Caroline Meuth returns for her second season with the Aggies after leading the team and placing third in the conference with 508.5 points and 439 kills. She also had 25 double-digit kills matches, topping out with 30 kills vs. Tennessee.
  • Redshirt junior Molly Brown is the team’s top returning blocker, having finished second on the team with 92 total blocks in 2022.
  • Senior Lauren Hogan led Texas A&M with 311 digs last season, recording three matches with at least 20 digs and getting a season-high 24 vs. No. 16 Kentucky.
  • The Mavs were selected to finish third in the Summit League Preseason Poll with senior middle blocker McKenna Ruch and junior outside hitter Shayla McCormick named to the league’s Preseason Players to Watch List

INSIDE THE SERIES

  • K-State leads the all-time record 13-6 since the series start in in 1975.
  • The Wildcats are 6-1 at home with a current five-match winning streak, including a 3-1 win in the last meeting on Sept. 18, 2021.

SCOUTING Nebraska

  • Nebraska moved to fourth in the latest AVCA/Taraflex Coaches Top 25 Poll after opening the season 3-0.
  • Nebraska made history Wednesday night as the state outdoor matchup against Omaha was attended by 92,003 people, making it the largest attended women’s sporting event in history.
  • Nebraska freshman outside hitter Harper Murray was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday. She averaged 3.67 kills per set with a .343 hitting percentage. She also posted 2.33 digs per set and totaled six blocks, five aces and four set assists.
  • UNL, now 4-0, is led by 31st-year head coach John Cook.
  • The San Diego alum has led the Huskers to an overall 660-98 (.871) record during his 24 seasons at the helm of the program which includes four national championships in 2000, 2006, 2015 and 2017.
  • The Cornhuskers’ defense leads the nation in opponent hitting percentage as they limit team’s to hit just .031.
  • Nebraska returned two AVCA All-Region selections with outside hitter Merritt Beason and middle blocker Bekka Allick.
  • Libero Lexi Rodriguez was a uninmous selection to the All-Big Ten Preseason Team as the Huskers were picked second in the preseason poll behind Wisconsin.
  • Nebraska ended last season 26-6 (16-4 Big Ten) and second in the Big Ten, advancing to an NCAA regional semifinal before falling to Oregon in five sets.

INSIDE THE SERIES

  • The Cornhuskers lead the all-time series 82-4 with a current two-match win streak since the series start in 1975.
  • Nebraska is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings against K-State.
  • K-State is 1-38 when taking on Nebraska at home.
  • Nebraska won the final meeting 3-1 at home with scores of 25-17, 27-25. 11-25, and 25-22.
  • In one of the historic battles between the two programs, K-State defeated nationally-ranked second Nebraska 3-2 to knock off the Huskers in the NCAA Tournament and advance to its third Sweet 16.

THE WEEKEND REVIEW

  • The Wildcats led off the season with a perfect 3-0 record for the third consecutive season
  • K-State was crowned the Hotel Vance Rose City Showdown tournament champions after taking down tournament host Portland State, San Diego State, and Cal State Fullerton
  • Wildcats opened the Mansfield era with a four-set win in the first-ever match with Portland State
  • Three wildcats earned all-tournament honors with Izzi SzulczewskiAliyah Carter and Sydney Bolding
  • The Cats allowed just seven points in set one against Cal State Fullerton, nearly matching a program record (6) in the rally-scoring era
  • Mackenzie Morris became the sixth player in school history to generate 1,300 digs; fifth in the rally scoring era
  • Aliyah Carter became the 19th player in school history to reach 1,000 career kills
  • Wildcats hit an incredible .532 against San Diego which ranks second in school history in the rally-scoring era; fourth overall
  • The win against SDSU was the first .500+ three-set match since Sept. 6, 2013 against Southern Illinois

A NEW HOME

  • K-State proudly announced the unveiling of Morgan Family Arena for the upcoming 2023 season.
  • Opening day: Sept. 1, 2023, vs. Omaha
  • Morgan Family Arena will host 13 regular season games for the Wildcats along with a neutral game between Rice and LIU at the K-State Invitational
  • The all-volleyball inclusive arena is the third home of Wildcat volleyball joining the Bramlage Coliseum and Ahearn Field House
  • K-State is 404-208-5 all-time when playing at home

A NEW ERA

  • Jason Mansfield is in his first season at the helm of the Kansas State volleyball program.
  • Mansfield is just the second coach in K-state history to start his career 3-0; joined Jim Moore who started in 4-0
  • Mansfield was appointed as the ninth head coach on Dec. 27, 2022.
  • Compiled over 480 victories as an assistant coach with stints at Stanford, Illinois, and Washington
  • The 2004 Stanford squad won the national championship, while the Cardinal advanced to the Final
  • Four six times in 14 total NCAA Tournament appearances with Mansfield on staff.
  • Joining Mansfield on the sideline in his first season are associate head coach Steve Astor, and assistant coaches Fiona Fonoti and John Dunn.

HONOR ROLL

  • Three Wildcats collected all-tournament honors for their performances at the Hotel Vance Rose city Showdown in Oregon with Alliyah Carter, Izzi Szulczewski, and Sydney Bolding
  • Aliyah Carter and Sydney Bolding each represent K-State on the 2023 Preseason All-Big 12 Team
  • The preseason selection marked the third for Carter as she was named a unanimous selection in 2021 and 2022.
  • Sydney Bolding was the lone representative in the All-Big 12 Second team last season while Shaylee Myers was named to the All-Rookie Team
  • Mackenzie Morris was tabbed the Big 12 Volleyball Scholar Athlete of the Year for her outstanding 4.0 GPA.
  • Both Kadye FernholzLoren Hinkle and Morris earned a spot on the 2022 Academic All-Big 12 First Team while Molly Ramsey was tabbed second team.
  • Morris was named a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 29 while Myers earned Rookie of the Week recognition on Oct. 4

MACK ATTACK

  • Senior libero Mackenzie Morris became the sixth player in school history to generate 1,300 digs; fifth in the rally scoring era.
  • Her 20 digs in the season-opening win against Portland State marked her 20th 20-dig match
  • Morris joined the 1,000-digs club last season versus Kansas on Sept. 24.
  • Additionally, Morris is the fastest player in program history (rally-scoring era) to reach the milestone, doing so in just 63 matches.
  • The Dallas native owns 20 career matches with at least 20 digs, as she now has sole possession of third place in program history.
  • At 4.19 digs per set, she is currently one of just two players in the rally-scoring era to average over 4.00 digs per set (Angie Lastra, 4.37).
  • Morris is one of just five active players in the Big 12 with at least 1,300 career digs (third among active Big 12 athletes).

GOING BOLDING

  • Sydney Bolding, the 2022 blocks leader will return for her final season in 2023.
  • Bolding produced 141.0 of the Cats 285.0 blocks last season, ranking 38th overall in the nation in the category and 30th in blocks per set (1.32).
  • The Senior middle blocker Sydney Bolding continues to be a threat at the net for the Wildcats as she ranks fourth in the league and 33rd nationally with 1.60 blocks per set
  • The senior’s hitting .486 hitting percentage is second-best on the team, behind Kadye Fernholz at .542
  • She was named to the Rose City Showdown All-Tournament Team, her third all-tournament team selection.
  • She has over 300 career kills and 200 career blocks in her two years at K-State.

BRICK WALL

  • K-State picked up where it left off last season as the Wildcats continue to impress at the net, averaging a conference fourth-best 3.05 blocks per set.
  • The team’s 30.5 total sits 44th in the NCAA while the average ranks 24th nationally.
  • The Wildcats collected a season-best 13.0 blocks in the season opener versus Portland State.
  • Sydney Bolding led the Cats with 16.0 blocks during opening weekend, along with a match-high eight in the weekend finale against Cal State Fullerton.  against the Red
  • Her eight-block performance is the second-most in any three-set match of any Big 12 team this season.
  • Kadye Fernholz is on pace to joining the program’s 400-block club as she is just seven blocks away from reaching 300.
  • Fernholz has registered 100-plus blocks the past two seasons and recorded eight in the opening weekend.
  • Bolding is 64 total blocks away from her 300th career block at K-State

THE ROAD TO TAMPA

  • The Wildcats will face a challenging 2023 schedule on their road to their first NCAA Tournament
  • appearance since 2021.
  • Ten of K-State’s 2023 opponents competed in the 2022 NCAA Tournament
  • Four members of the Big 12 were featured in the AVCA Preseason Poll with four receiving votes.
  • K-State has eight matches against nationally ranked programs from the AVCA Preseason Poll, including preseasons contests against No. 5 Nebraska and No. 23 Rice.

UP NEXT

  • K-State will head to Nashville, Tenn., for the Lipscomb Invitational at Allen Arena.
  • The Wildcats will face UT Martin Friday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. before facing tournament host Lipscomb at 6 p.m. Sept. 9.
  • Saturday’s match against Lipscomb will be streamed on ESPN+
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