Following two straight tournament victories, along with two more nonconference wins over the past two weeks, the VolleyCats are now number 26 in the American Volleyball Coaches poll. Iowa State, ranked #25 for the second straight week, received 96 points and is 6-4 on the year. K-State, with a slightly easier slate, has gone 12-1 and earned 78 points this week.
K-State participated in four invitationals this year. The team went 3-0 at the UNLV invitational to begin the year, going 3-2 in each match. The Wildcats swept three matches at the K-State Invitational, went 2-1 at the Cal Tournament two weeks ago, and then won both matches at the Razorback Invitational this past weekend.
K-State began the Razorback Invitational by sweeping Arkansas 25-23, 25-18, 25-17. The squad then beat St. Louis 3-1, going 25-19, 25-11, 20-25, 29-27. After leaving Fayateville, the VolleyCats stopped in Springfield, Missouri to take on Missouri State on Sunday before heading home. Head coach Suzie Fritz recorded heer 250th career win on Sunday, as K-State swept the match 25-17, 25-21, 25-17.
The recent success of K-State’s team has paid off for both the team and on an individual basis. Olathe native Kaitlynn Pelger was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week following a week in which she ranked in the top ten in both average blocks (1.8) and average digs (3.5) per set. Pelger was second in blocks and 10th in digs, making her the only player to rank in the top 10 in both.
The Wildcats will take on the Italian U-23 team on Tuesday in a exhibition match before Big 12 play starts against West Virginia. Italy will be participating in the FIVB Women’s U23 Volleyball World Championship in Mexico October 5-12, using the match as its own tune up. K-State is no stranger to international competition, having represented Team USA in Russia this summer, and anyone who can make the match in Ahearn on Tuesday should. Exciting to be able to watch K-State take on such a high-profile opponent.