Coach has high expectations for young K-State volleyball team 

K-State Alumni Communications and K-State Athletics Communications  

Kansas State University volleyball enters this year coming off a 22-win season in 2014 and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. (Photo: K-State Athletics Communications)

They may be a young team with lots of newcomers, but they know how to work together and support each other on the court. The Kansas State University volleyball team kicked off the year with a strong six-match winning streak and will next face off against West Virginia on Oct. 10 and Oklahoma on Oct. 16. 

This season, the Wildcats returned eight letterwinners and 11 total players from last year’s squad, including its top three players in kills as well as its starting setter and libero. With no seniors on its roster, the youthful group is made up of four juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen. It marks the first time since 2011 that K-State will not have any seniors on the court.

Despite the youth of her team, head coach Suzie Fritz is confident about the season. K-State enters this year coming off a 22-win season in 2014 and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

“I have high expectations all the time. I think we have to consistently exceed (expectations),” Fritz said. “I don’t care about what other people think where we’re going to be. I care a lot about getting them as far as they can get and, in some ways, exceeding their expectations. That’s the challenge — where they think they are. It’s not about what I think most of the time. It’s about getting them beyond where they think they can be.”

The most experienced Wildcat of the group is redshirt junior Katie Brand, who has played in a team-leading 221 sets and started every match over the past two seasons (60 matches). For the first time since 2012, K-State also had multiple players — Brand and Kylee Zumach — named to the All-Big 12 preseason team. Zumach became the only Big 12 Freshman of the Year in K-State history last year after a debut season where she broke the school’s freshman record for kills with 412. 

Though K-State has seen some loses in close matches to Wisconsin, Arkansas and Creighton this season, the team isn’t done fighting. They defeated Baylor 3-0 on Sept. 26. 

“We’re really excited to see what this team can do this year,” Brand said. “We were pretty young last year, even though we lost four seniors that were huge parts of our team. We feel like we have been able to fill those roles (from last year’s departures), and those people that were really young last year have really stepped up this year.”

Follow K-State volleyball at http://www.kstatesports.com/sport/w-volley
 
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