Wildcats headed to NCAA Volleyball Tournament; help cheer on the 'Cats at Lincoln, Neb., event

K-State Athletics Communications

The Kansas State University volleyball team is headed to the NCAA Tournament. (Photo: K-State Athletics Communications)

For the second straight season, the Kansas State University volleyball team will head to the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats face in-state rival Wichita State in the first round on Friday, Dec. 4, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

K-State is one of four teams in the Lincoln sub-regional played at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. No. 4 national seed Nebraska and Harvard match up on Friday following the K-State-Wichita State contest, which starts at 4:30 p.m. Winners from Friday will advance to the second round contest, set for 7 p.m. Saturday.

Help cheer on the 'Cats at a pre-game party at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at Longwell’s, located in the Railyard at 350 Canopy St. #100 in Lincoln. Order a variety of  beverages, appetizers, sandwiches and other menu items, and celebrate with members of the Lincoln Area K-State Club.

K-State is making its fourth appearance in the postseason tournament over the last five years and 16th all-time,

“[We're] just elated,” said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz about earning a spot in the 64-team field. “We feel like we deserve to be there, but at the same time, there were some things that got away from us in the last few matches. [We have] been wonderfully resilient. They have won the matches they are supposed to win, and I believe we have gotten better as we went. We are good enough to be one of the best of 64.”

This year will be K-State’s fourth straight trip to Lincoln to open postseason play. Last year, the Wildcats faced No. 20 Utah in the first round while they took on Northern Iowa in 2012. The Wildcats and Shockers (26-8, 15-3 MVC) last met in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, with K-State taking the match in straight sets. The Wildcats eventually advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals that year after trumping No. 2 Nebraska on its home court in five sets.

The Wildcats (17-11, 9-7 Big 12) finished this season winning eight of their last 12 matches, a span that included its longest conference winning streak since 2003. K-State won six in a row from Oct. 24-Nov. 18 and finished tied for fourth in the Big 12 standings.

The K-State roster is one of the youngest across the country as it has no seniors and just four upperclassmen. The Wildcats have featured no seniors on their roster just four times since 1977, with the last being 2011.

“It’s a program expectation [to make the NCAA Tournament],” Fritz said, “and there are some [of us] that do not know what to expect. Sometimes it takes getting there, seeing it, feeling it, having that opportunity. There’s no question the experience of getting in and being able to play at that level – be one of just 64 teams – will be impactful for them going forward in their careers.”

K-State is 14-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 11-4 in the first round. 

Fans can stay up-to-date on ticket information for the first/second rounds in Lincoln on http://www.k-statesports.com/.

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