COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M volleyball team puts its undefeated home record on the line again as the Aggies play host to 17th-ranked Kansas State Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
The Aggies improved to 6-6 overall, including 1-1 in the Big 12 Conference and 5-0 in home matches after a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Oklahoma Sunday in College Station. The win snapped A&M’s three-match losing skid, as well as a four-match losing streak against the Sooners.
K-State is 11-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 after sweeping Colorado Saturday in Manhattan, Kan. The Wildcats’ only losses this season were at then-No. 25 Purdue, 3-1, on August 30 and a 3-1 home loss to No. 2 Nebraska on Sept. 17.
It will be “Volleyball Camper Appreciation Night” at the Holler House on Wednesday, and any children wearing a 2008 A&M volleyball camp T-shirt will be admitted free. In addition, it will be Junior Aggie Club Night with inflatables and games in front of G. Rollie from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and free popcorn for JAC members who attend the match. Furthermore, A&M volleyball posters will be given away, and the team will hold an autograph session after the match.
Live coverage of the A&M-K-State match will be broadcast on AggieAthletics.com, with Matt Simon calling the play-by-play.
Junior outside hitter Mary Batis, who had a career-high 22 kills in the win against the Sooners, leads the Aggies with 3.55 kills, 3.24 digs and 3.94 points per set for the season. Junior outside hitter Sarah Ammerman is second on the squad with 3.10 kills, 0.20 aces and 3.48 points per set. Senior Kelsey Bryant, who has moved to the middle blocker position for the first time in her collegiate career while senior middle Jillian Phillips (1.33 bps) is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in her lower right leg, is hitting a team-high .311, and senior middle blocker Darla Donaldson leads the active players with 0.93 blocks per set. Junior setter Kristen Schevikhoven ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 10.14 assists per set.
As a team, A&M is hitting .218 and averaging 13.51 kills, 0.88 aces, 14.72 digs and 2.10 blocks per set. Opponents are hitting .200 and averaging 12.49 kills, 1.05 aces, 15.28 digs and 1.93 blocks per set.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
• K-State enters its first Big 12 road match of the season 11-2 overall, including 1-1 in the Big 12, after defeating Colorado, 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-19), Saturday in Manhattan.
• The Wildcats hit .387 against the Buffaloes, K-State’s second highest hitting percentage of the season. It also was K-State’s seventh sweep of the year.
• The Wildcats, who moved up one spot to No. 17 in this week’s CBS/BSNAVCA Top 25 Poll, lead the Big 12 and rank eighth in the nation with 13.38 assists per set and ninth in the country with 14.33 kills per set. In addition, senior middle blocker Megan Farr leads the league and ranks third in the national statistics with a .450 hitting percentage. She is hitting .529 in Big 12 matches only.
• K-State returns four starters from last year’s team that went 23-9 overall, placed third in the Big 12 with a 14-6 mark, and ranked No. 16 in the final poll after advancing to the NCAA regional semifinals.
• The Wildcats were picked to finish third in the Big 12 according to a preseason vote of the league coaches. In addition, three players, all seniors, were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team: middle blocker Megan Farr and outside hitters Rita Liliom and Nataly Korobkova.
• Liliom has reached double figures in kills in every match this season. She ranks second in the Big 12 with 4.27 kills per set for the full season. Korobkova is 10th in the league with 3.12 kps.
• K-State returns home to host Baylor on Saturday.
• Suzie Fritz (Florida Atlantic ‘94) is 158-73 in her eighth season as head coach at K-State.
THE A&M-K-STATE ALL-TIME SERIES
• K-State has won the last two meetings and leads the overall series, 14-11, since the teams first met in 1981. A&M, however, holds a 9-3 record against the Wildcats in matches played in College Station.
• K-State, 11-1 against the Aggies in Manhattan, is 14-10 against A&M in Big 12 matches only after sweeping the two-match season series last year.
• Last year, then-18th ranked K-State topped A&M, 3-1 (23-30, 30-24, 30-27, 30-23) in College Station on Sept. 28. The teams met in Manhattan on Nov. 7, and the 12th-ranked Wildcats narrowly held off the Aggies, 3-2 (30-19, 30-27, 30-32, 28-30, 15-10).
• In the most recent meeting, Sarah Ammerman and Mary Batis led A&M with 19 and 18 kills, respectively, and Kelly Stanton added 11 kills and a match-high eight blocks. Setter Kristen Schevikhoven had 56 assists and a career-high seven blocks as A&M posted 15 blocks for the match. Batis led the Aggies with 18 digs, and Schevikhoven and Jen Moore also reached double figures with 13 and 11, respectively.
Nataly Korobkova had 27 kills, a season-high by an A&M opponent, as KSU tallied 92 kills to A&M’s 69. Megan Farr added 20 while hitting at a .529 pace, to lead the Wildcats to a .303 hitting percentage for the match. Kelsey Chipman pitched in 15 kills. Libero Angie Lastra had 29 digs, the most by an A&M opponent in 2008, and Chipman led the Wildcats with eight blocks.
AGGIE QUICK HITS:
• Jennifer Banse’s career-high 24 digs against Oklahoma was the most digs in a match by an A&M player since former libero Holly Clay had 28 at Texas Tech on Oct. 22, 2005.
• Mary Batis recorded 24.5 points against Oklahoma to surpass 1,000 points for her career. She now has 1012.5 total points, ranking third in the A&M records. Batis, who leads the Aggies with 3.94 points per set, needs 122.5 points pass Christi Hahn (2003-06) for third place in the career records. Laura Jones (2002-05) is A&M’s all-time career leader with 2,346.5 points.
• Sarah Ammerman also is quickly approaching 1,000 career points, needing only 31 more to reach the milestone. She is currently second on the team with 3.48 points per set and ranks sixth in the A&M career records with 969. Ammerman needs only 4.5 points to move ahead of Kendra Felder (2001-05), who ranks fifth in the A&M career records.
• The Aggies have had four different liberos in the last two matches. Freshman Chelsea Ringel played libero in the first two sets at Iowa State, and junior Dylan Faulkner played the position for the first time this season in the third set against the Cyclones. Junior Jennifer Banse played libero for the first time this season in the first set against Oklahoma, and freshman Kelsey Black was the libero for the first time in her career in the next four sets. Both Banse and Black recorded career highs in digs against the Sooners with 24 and 22, respectively.
• Senior middle blocker Darla Donaldson is the only A&M player to have played in every set this season. Donaldson, setter Kristen Schevikhoven and outside hitters Mary Batis and Sarah Ammerman have started every match this season.
• Mary Batis had a career-high 22 kills against Oklahoma. Her previous high was 21, which she had accomplished four times.
• A&M’s win against No. 16 BYU on Sept. 6 was the Aggies’ highest ranked victory since upsetting No. 9 Texas on Oct. 16, 2004, in College Station. Prior to the BYU match, A&M’s most recent win against a ranked opponent was against No. 22 Minnesota on Sept. 2, 2006, at the Billiken Invitational in Saint Louis.
• A&M played four matches against ranked teams during the pre-conference schedule and went 1-3 against those teams. No other Big 12 team played more than three matches against a ranked opponent during the pre-conference season. K-State faced only one ranked opponent in the preseason, a 3-1 loss at then-No. 25 Purdue on August 30.
• A&M’s match at Kansas State on Oct. 29 will be televised by FSN Kansas City. Match time is 7 p.m. at the Ahearn Field House in Manhattan.
• Aggie head coach Laurie Corbelli is 333-150 in her 16th year as head coach of the Aggies and 433-256 in the 23rd season of her head coaching career. She is A&M’s winningest coach in terms of total victories and ranks second for winning percentage. Corbelli is 10-14 against K-State in her head coaching career.
• Countdown to 1,000 kills: Mary Batis and Sarah Ammerman both are on pace to surpass 1,000 career kills this season. Batis, who had 377 kills last year, needs 104 to join the 1,000 Kills Club. She leads the team with 3.55 kills per set. Ammerman, who is averaging 3.10 kills per set, posted 447 kills in 2007 and is currently 154 kills shy of the 1,000 kill milestone.
Twelve former players are members of the 1,000 Kill Club. The most recent member was Laura Jones (2002-05), who is A&M’s all-time kill leader with 2,064.
• Reunion set for Oct. 17 weekend: Many of A&M’s former players will be converging on College Station on Friday, Oct. 17 for a volleyball reunion weekend. Activities include the Big 12 match against Baylor, Friday at 6:30 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum, as well as A&M’s football game against Texas Tech on Saturday. For more information, call the Lettermen’s Association at 979-846-3024.
• A&M faces tough schedule: Nineteen of A&M’s 30 regular-season are against teams that advanced to the 2007 NCAA tournament, including a total of five matches against regional finalists BYU, Nebraska and Texas. A total of 12 matches are against teams that advanced to at least the second round of the NCAAs, and 10 matches will be against teams that ranked in the 2007 final Top 25 Poll.
A&M is slated to play 12 matches against teams ranked in the 2008 preseason Top 25 — two matches each against Big 12 teams No. 3 Texas, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 14 Kansas State and No. 18 Iowa State, in addition to non-conference foes Minnesota, BYU, LSU and San Diego, ranked No. 16, 20, 21 and 22, respectively.
The Aggies hit the road Saturday to take on the Colorado Buffaloes. First serve is at 6:30 p.m. (7:30 CDT) at the Coors Events Center. The Buffs are 7-4 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12. They have a bye on Wednesday.
AGGIES ON THE INTERNET
Free video streaming of all 14 A&M home matches will be available at AggieAthletics.com. In addition, audio broadcasts of 19 matches, both home and away, are slated with Matt Simon providing the play-by-play. Simon will call the action for all Wednesday and Sunday matches and selected Saturday matches.