The Kansas State (22-10) volleyball team has made its' way to the Aloha state and will take on the Pepperdine Waves (24-6) in the round of 16 for the NCAA volleyball championships Friday night at 9 PM CT in Hawaii.
The Wildcats advanced to the sweet 16 after defeating No. 2 Nebraska last weekend in Lincoln. The thrilling five-set match was the first win for the Cats on the road against a ranked opponent since 2003. Also joining the Waves and Cats in this regional semifinal are the USC Trojans and Hawaii Rainbow Wahine. Pepperdine comes in ranked No. 15 while USC is No. 7 and Hawaii is No. 10. The Cats find themselves with some perennial powers in this regional semifinal.
Wildcats head coach Suzie Fritz has had tournament success in her 11-year career thus far at Kansas State and is appearing in her eighth NCAA tournament in that time. She's currently 9-7 all-time in the NCAA tournament and has notched seven 20-win seasons in her career. via kstatesports.com
"I think they just need to do what got them here. I do not think that we have the time to all of the sudden reinvent the wheel. I think that we have progressively gotten better, which is a source of tremendous pride for me as their coach. I think we just need to do what we have done that got us to this point."
The Cats are led offensively by sophomore middle-blocker Kaitlynn Pelger. She leads the team with 490 kills on the season with a .309 hitting percentage, and her average of 4.15 kills per game puts her second in the Big 12 currently. She's also second in the Big 12 with .28 aces per game and tenth in blocks per game with 1.01. Junior middle-blocker Alex Muff currenrtly sits sixth in the Big 12 with 1.10 blocks per game.
After the win against Nebraska Pelger talked about the support from the Wildcat fans of their historic victory in Lincoln. via kstatesports.com
"When we got back into the locker room, we had a lot of tweets, Facebook messages and text messages. They were so excited. It is just so great to have the support from everyone."