After a two-year hiatus, the K-State volleyball team was able to get back to the NCAA tournament last season, where the Wildcats pulled one of the biggest upsets in school history, defeating the Cornhuskers in three sets on their way to a Sweet 16 berth.
This season, the Wildcats once again were able to get back to 20 wins and the NCAA tournament before falling to the Northern Iowa Panthers on Nov. 29. Much of this had to do with the senior leadership on the team, as the Wildcats had five seniors who all played a huge role in the team’s resurgence. Here is a look at the seniors.
Moving from outside hitter to defensive specialist and then to setter, Donahue finally found her position, and had a great senior year that saw her named All-Big 12 First team. She finished the season with 11.63 assists per set, which ranked second in the Big 12.
Donahue, while only standing at 5 feet 9 inches, will be remembered for her incredible athleticism and her fearlessness attacking the net against much taller opponents.
Muff, a two-time co-captain known for her defensive talents, became a complete player her senior year, showing an ability to be a dominating force on the offensive end of the net. However, defense was her staple, as she led the Big 12 with 1.39 blocks per set.
Joining Muff as a two-time co-captain, Ludwig finished the season with the third most kills per set on the team, with 2.32. While she did not have the most statistics, her leadership and passion on the court is what truly made her an asset to the team.
Kabalis tied with Donahue for the most sets played on the season at 103, while leading the team in digs with 322. The junior college transfer from Western Nebraska only played two seasons for the Wildcats, but was a key defensive player who was pivotal to getting the ball to the offense.
While Boehler did not get a lot of playing time, she tied for the team lead with a perfect serving percentage. She transferred from Missouri Southern State after her freshman year, where she moved from outside hitter to defensive specialist.
While this senior class was talented, the cupboard is not bare as there are many experienced players returning. First team All-Big 12 middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger will be back, and will be joined next season by a talented group of outside hitters in Courtney Traxson, Lilla Porubek and Dakota Kaufman. With defensive specialists Gina Madonia and Tristan McCarty and the new setter Katie Brand, look for head coach Suzie Fritz’s bunch to be competing for another 20-win season and another tournament berth next year.