Wildcats open home slate against UMKC


The No. 23 K-State women’s volleyball team will look to return to form tonight in its home opener. The Wildcats (0-2) are scheduled to face the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos (2-2) at 7 p.m. in Ahearn Field House.

The Wildcats are coming off an exciting weekend in Omaha, Neb., where they lost two tightly contested matches against No. 11 Minnesota and No. 16 Michigan in the Runza/AVCA Showcase. However, the losses caused minimal damage for K-State in the American Volleyball Coaches Association coaches poll, as the Wildcats dropped just one spot from their preseason rank.

Senior outside hitter Kelsey Chipman said the team couldn’t be any happier to be playing in front of its home crowd.

“It’s always nice to play at home because Ahearn is such a nice atmosphere,” said Chipman, one of two seniors on the team.

Prior to tonight’s match, K-State has faced off against UMKC 30 times. The Wildcats have dominated the series, winning 27 meetings, including a span of 25 straight victories dating back to November 1977.

The Kangaroos are coming off an appearance at the Best Western Sycamore Classic in Terre Haute, Ind., where they split their first four matches of the year. UMKC, a member of the Summit League, is led by a pair of sophomores, middle hitter Brittany Fossier and outside hitter Kelsey Knoche. Knoche leads the team in kills with 3.27 per set.

The Wildcats will counter with a pair of outside hitters. Junior JuliAnne Chisholm and redshirt-freshman Kathleen Ludwig had strong performances in the weekend tournament, tallying 34 and 26 kills, respectively.

Chipman said the team would use this early portion of the season as an opportunity to build experience for the young players and newcomers.

“It’s a learning process,” she said. “We’re really young. Day by day, we try to get a little better at certain things that we know we need to [improve on].”

This is the only home match for K-State until Sept. 8, as the Wildcats will spend the weekend in Provo, Utah for the BYU Invitational.