Wildcats, Sooners to Battle in Norman tonight

MANHATTAN, Kan. (Kansas State Athletics) – K-State hits the road to face Oklahoma in a Big 12 match at McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla. The Wednesday night battle is set for 6 p.m.

The Wildcats (11-8, 2-4 Big 12) are coming off back-to-back losses at the hands of #1 Texas and TCU. The Cats went to five sets with the Horned Frogs on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.

Senior Elena Baka collected 17 kills at a .333 pace to lead K-State. The outside hitter added four block assists for 20 points on the night. Junior Aliyah Carter contributed 14 kills (.192), two aces, and five blocks.

As a team, the Cats tallied a season-best 18 blocks in the match. Sydney Bolding tied her season-best output of eight blocks at the net. Senior setter Loren Hinkle dished out 42 assists for her eighth consecutive 20+ assists match while junior Mackenzie Morris boasted 17 digs.

Oklahoma (11-7, 1-5 Big 12) has dropped its last three matches and is 6-2 when playing at home this season. The Sooners are one spot below K-State in the Big 12 standings.

OU leads the all-time series 58-37-1, which began in 1975. The Cats are 15-28 when playing in Norman while head coach Suzie Fritz is 24-18 in her career against Oklahoma.

Saturday’s match will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and the ESPN app. Fans can also listen to Emma Wiley on News Radio KMAN (93.3FM) with online audio available at K-StateSports.com/watch and the K-State Sports app.

MATCH #20
K-STATE (11-8, 2-4 BIG 12) at Oklahoma (8-9, 3-3 BIG 12)

Wednesday, Oct. 19 // 6 p.m. // McCasland Field House // Norman, Okla.
Watch: Big 12 Now on ESPN+ // ESPN app
Radio: News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM) // Emma Wiley
Listen: K-StateSports.com/watch // 1350KMAN.com
Live Stats

K-STATE AT A GLANCE

  • K-State travels to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Wednesday night.
  • The Wildcats are coming off their second five-set Big 12 defeat, coming at the hands of TCU on Saturday.
  • K-State hit .204 as a team with 48 kills while TCU swung at a .263 hitting percentage with 67 kills.
  • Baka led the Wildcats with 17 kills (.333).
  • This was her seventh match leading the team in kills.
  • Hinkle tallied 42 assists, her sixth 40+ performance.
  • K-State collected a season-best 18 team blocks (30 assists, 3 solo).
  • Bolding matched her season-high of eight blocks.
  • Morris has turned in at least 15 digs in six of the last seven matches and holds sole possession of third place in K-State history with 17 20-dig matches in her career (rally-scoring era).
  • The Wildcats have not lost in straight sets at home this season.
  • K-State sits second in the Big 12 with 192.5 blocks and with a 2.71 per set average.
  • The Cats lead the conference with 1.79 average aces.
  • The eight three-set wins tie the most by the Wildcats since eight during the 2018 season.
  • Against Iowa State, Myers averaged 4.50 kills per set and was tabbed Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Oct. 04.
  • It marked the first honor of Myers’ career and the first conference weekly award by any Wildcat this season.

SCOUTING OKLAHOMA

  • OU (11-7, 1-5 Big 12) enters Saturday one place behind K-State in the Big 12 standings.
  • The Sooners have lost their last three matches, including a 1-3 drop to Iowa State at home.
  • Oklahoma is 6-2 at McCasland Field House this season.
  • OU’s sweep of West Virginia on Oct. 1 was its only Big 12 home win.
  • The Sooners are last in the conference with a 1.41 opponent average ace pace.
  • Their offense is powered by sophomore Megan Wilson, who sits fifth in the Big 12 with 224 blocks and a 3.67 average.
  • The Kingwood, Texas, product tops the conference with 0.61 aces per set (37 total).
  • Libero Callie Kemohah is the conference leader with 304 digs (4.75/set).
  • Sophomore Payton Chamberlain owns a 9.63 assist average, ranking fourth in the Big 12.
  • Freshman Morgan Perkins was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Sept. 20.
  • The Rosharon, Texas, native has paces the Sooners with a .415 hitting percentage and a 1.31 block average.
  • Oklahoma sits fourth in the Big 12 with a team hitting percentage of .262 (824 kills).
  • The Sooners raked up a conference third-highest 1.47 aces per set (94 total).

INSIDE THE SERIES

  • Oklahoma leads the all-time series K-State leads the all-time series 58-37-1, which began in 1975.
  • The Wildcats are 15-28 on the road against the Sooners.
  • K-State’s last victory at McCasland Field House was last year on a 3-1 victory (10/2/2021).
  • The two teams split the series in 2021 where OU took a 3-1 home win (10/1/21).
  • The Wildcats and the Sooners are 5-5 in the last ten matches.
  • Head coach Suzie Fritz is 24-18 in her career against the Sooners.

IN DA CLUB

  • With her 20 digs against Kansas (Sept. 24), K-State junior libero Mackenzie Morris joined the 1,000-digs club.
  • She became the seventh Wildcat to play her entire career in the rally-scoring era to reach career dig No. 1,000.
  • Additionally, Morris is the fastest player in program history (rally-scoring era) to reach the milestone, doing so in just 63 matches.
  • Earlier this season, Morris set a career-high with 25 digs against UCF and produced three straight 20-dig outings – the longest such stretch of her career.
  • Morris has carded at least 17 digs in eight of her last nine matches.
  • The junior was held to her lowest output against the Longhorns with six digs.
  • Her 22 digs against Iowa State equaled the highest total in a three-set match in the Big 12 this season (Zoe Fleck, Texas).
  • The Dallas native now owns 17 career matches with at least 20 digs, as she now has sole possession of third place in program history.
  • At 4.11 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 four active players in the Big 12 with at least 1,000 career digs (third among active Big 12 athletes).

ACE ACE BABY

  • After recording six aces against TCU, K-State has racked up 127 service aces, ranking first in the Big 12 and tied for 37th nationally with a 1.79 average.
  • Sydney Bolding added three aces against the Horned Frogs, bringing her season total to 31 and landing third in the conference.
  • Bolding has eight matches with multiple aces and has equaled her career high of four aces three times this season.
  • The senior has at least one ace in the last six matches to help her sit fourth in the Big 12 ranks with a 0.46 average.
  • Elena Baka is second on the team and sixth in the league with 25 aces while Loren Hinkle is ninth at 17 aces.
  • Six times the Cats have eclipsed the 10-ace mark, including in back-to-back matches at the UCF Challenge with 11 against Syracuse and a season-high 12 vs. North Florida.
  • The 12 aces were the most in a three-set match since the 2007 season and were tied for fourth-most in the rally-scoring era.
  • It was the first time K-State produced back-to-back matches with at least 10 aces since 2007.
  • Last season, K-State finished with 10 or more aces just twice.
  • Additionally, the six matches with 10 or more aces are the most since a rally- scoring-record seven matches in 2007.

BAKA BREAKS THROUGH

  • Senior transfer Elena Baka has had an immediate impact through 19 matches with the Wildcats.
  • Playing six rotations, Baka leads the team in total kills with 199, needing one more to eclipse the 200 mark for the season.
  • She pairs this with 25 aces.
  • The Saint Mary’s transfer set a career-high with 19 kills against UCF on the way to her second straight all-tournament team selection.
  • Baka has led K-State in kills seven times this season and finished as the team leader in digs twice.
  • She has a team-leading six double-doubles on the season.
  • Her 25 aces are fifth-most in the Big 12, as she has served up multiple aces eight times – including in each of K-State’s first five contests.

BOLD BOLDING

  • Senior middle blocker Sydney Bolding is off to a fast start for K-State in 2022, averaging 1.90 kills per set with 1.33 blocks per set and 31 aces.
  • The senior’s hitting .309 hitting percentage tops the Wildcats for the season.
  • Bolding three times has produced four aces this season, including in K-State’s conference match against Iowa State and four coming in the first set alone against St. Thomas.
  • The four aces matched a career-high, as she has seven matches with multiple aces this season (two such matches last season).
  • Her 31 aces match the most by a Wildcat middle blocker since Zsofia Gyimes’ 31 in 2018.
  • The record for a K-State middle blocker in the rally-scoring era is 37 aces, done by Lauren Goehring (2001) and Kaitlynn Pelger (2013).
  • She was named to the Rambler Challenge All-Tournament Team, her second all-tournament team selection after also being voted to the K-State Invitational All-Tournament Team.
  • Bolding, who missed the first three weeks of the 2021 season due to injury, turned in a season-high eight blocks against Kansas City.
  • She repeated the feat on Saturday versus TCU, tallying eight block assists.
  • The Pickens, South Carolina, product has eclipsed double-figure kills six times this season and has hit .350 or better eight times, including a career-best .588 at Rice.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • K-State has won the opening set in 15 of 19 outings to begin the campaign, going 10-5 in those matches.
  • The Wildcats are unbeaten (9-0) when hitting at a higher hitting percentage and are 9-1 when producing more kills than their opponents.
  • Additionally, the Cats are 8-2 when they have limited their opponents to a hitting efficiency under .200.
  • The Wildcats’ 3-0 over Kansas City marked the 200th sweep under head coach Suzie Fritz.
  • Fritz collected her 200th career home win against Missouri on Sept. 7 and is 13 away from her 400th career win at the helm of the Wildcats.
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