Televised match could break volleyball’s losing streak


With a ninth straight loss on the line, the volleyball team returns to Manhattan for a match, and the cameras are rolling.

Tonight, K-State (9-15, 3-10 Big 12 Conference) hosts the Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-19, 1-12) for their second meeting of the season. But this time, Fox Sports will be televising the event live.

Neither team is on fire right now, as both are stretching out grueling losing streaks; the Wildcat team has eight losses under its belt, and the Red Raiders are sitting on seven.

Early last week, Texas Tech’s head coach, Trish Knight, resigned after two years in her position and a 5-44 overall record. Beth Falls moved from assistant coach to interim head coach and will lead the Red Raiders for the rest of the year. Falls has been with the program as an assistant coach since 2006.

Texas Tech’s only conference win this season was over Kansas in early October, when it ended a 64-match conference losing streak with a five-game victory. K-State and Texas Tech met for the first time this year in September, ending in a pure sweep by the Wildcats for its second conference win and most recent three-game win. The Red Raiders have not beaten K-State since 2004, and they can lay claim to only eight of the 33 matches between the two schools.

At the last matchup in September, senior outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm hit a season high with 19 kills and a .286 hitting percentage. She has had some ups and downs recently, but general consensus favors another top night for the team captain and star hitter.

Junior middle blocker Amanda Dowdy is the leading player for the Red Raiders. As the new holder of the record for most kills in a five-game match — 37 against Colorado this year — Dowdy is fourth in the conference for average kills per game with 4.00. The only K-State player on that top-10 list is Chisholm, who has 3.07. The two have similar hitting percentages.

For the Wildcat defense, senior libero Lauren Mathewson’s name is still buzzing in the air. In last Wednesday’s match against Iowa State, Mathewson recorded 18 digs, enough to move her into second all-time at K-State for career digs. So far this season, her top performances have lined up her for another record of best individual season. She is currently at 10th with 390, but the next spots are not far off. This is her third ranking in the category, as her 2008 and 2009 seasons are ranked fifth and fourth, respectively.

First serve is set for 7 p.m. in Ahearn Field House. Fans not attending the match can watch live on Fox Sports Kansas City or Fox College Sports or listen on the radio from KMAN-AM 1350.