Following its loss to No. 1 Nebraska Wednesday, you might think the K-State volleyball team would need a break.
But it won’t get any easier for the Wildcats on Saturday night at 7 when they play No. 7 Texas at Ahearn Field House.
The Wildcats (13-4) didn’t choose to play two top-10 teams in the same week before the season. The Big 12 Conference schedule is simply computer-generated based on different criteria.
“It’s random,” said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz. “It’s computer-generated based on the fact that you try to keep the Wednesdays in geographic proximity. So it’s computer-generated based upon a series of criteria.”
It might work out to the Wildcats’ advantage to have drawn two tough opponents in one week, as they will get a break next week when they have a bye on Wednesday.
“We get two ranked teams, but at the same time our bye week comes next Wednesday,” said Fritz. “If we can get through this week and we can power through this week, then we will get a little rest and recovery going into Iowa State next Saturday.”
The bye week comes at a good time for the Wildcats, who have played a competitive schedule thus far, including three tournaments before conference play started.
“Some teams choose maybe not to play two matches in one day, some teams choose to just play single matches,” Fritz said. “We felt like, with this team, we wanted as many competitive experiences we could get to try and prepare us for the league.”
The off day next week will give the Wildcats time to get refreshed before they start another block of Big 12 matches.
“Recovery is such an important part of being healthy, and staying healthy is such an important part of being successful,” Fritz said. “This bye week comes at a good time for us to get some rest, get our legs back.”
K-State struggled in the first two games against Nebraska on Wednesday.
Fritz said Nebraska exposed the Wildcats slow start and made them look bad in the early matches.
“We don’t have the luxury of starting like we started in that match,” said Fritz. “That is a team that can make you look bad in a hurry if you don’t come out with effort, enthusiasm, execution early in the match.”
Texas is 9-3 on the season and ranked No. 7 in the nation.
The Longhorns have won the last seven matches against K-State and nine of the last 10 meetings to lead the overall series 17-7.
K-State last beat Texas in a home match during the 2003 season.