K-State looks to take Middle Tennessee Invitational

Sophomore outside hitter Bryna Vogel spikes the ball during the Varney's Invitational vs California on Sept. 4, 2015 in Bramlage Coliseum. (Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

After only losing one set in the 2015 Varney’s Invitational last weekend, K-State takes their 5-1 record to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for the Middle Tennessee Invitational.

The Wildcats bring in a .296 hitting percentage along with a 14.83 kills per set average. Brooke Sassin has produced 10 or more kills in the last three matches in Manhattan and is the first Wildcat to have double-digit kills in the first six matches since 2009.

After capturing the Varney’s Invitational Most Valuable Player, Katie Brand’s double-double performances have put her at four for the start of the season, the most among Big 12 players.

Along with Bryna Vogel leading the Big 12 with 72 digs, K-State looks to come out victorious in another non-conference tournament and continue their red-hot start.

Virginia Commonwealth, Friday 4:30 p.m.

VCU has not shown consistency with their 2-5 record. The Rams have lost three straight matches and their lone two wins have come against Austin Peay and William & Mary. In those five defeats, VCU got swept in four of those, including falling to Iowa State 0-3.

Averaging 11.12 kills per set, the Rams score a majority of their points off of assists, averaging 10.44 assists per set. VCU struggles in offensive efficiency, producing an attacking percentage of .189 in seven games.

While VCU could give K-State a run for their money, the Wildcats high offensive efficiency will be too much for the Rams to handle.

Seattle University, Saturday 10:00 a.m.

After sweeping the Molten Classic and dethroning Cal 3-0 in Berkeley, California; the Redhawks have lost three straight matches and have a record of 3-3 heading into Murfreesboro. Seattle went to the Idaho classic last week and went three matches without a set victory.

Although the Redhawk’s offense has declined with a .188 hitting percentage, Seattle’s defense gives them the upper hand on their competition. They have held their opponents to a .124 attacking percentage in six games and out-blocked their opponents by producing 55 blocks compared to 39 from the opposition.

Having a kill average of 11.6 kills per set, Seattle has four players that are averaging over two kills per set. The diversity and strong defense will give the Redhawks an evenly matched up contest against K-State.

Middle Tennessee State, Saturday 7:30 p.m.

The host team comes into their home tournament as the team with the worst record participating, starting with a record of 1-6. After being victorious in a close match against Bowling Green 3-0 at home, the Blue Raiders have lost five straight matches, getting swept in two of those contests.

Middle Tennessee State’s offense was abysmal the last seven games, producing a hitting percentage of .173. Their defense was not much better, allowing opponents to produce an attacking percentage of .238.

Chelsea Ross has averaged 4.92 kills per set and averaged 2.44 digs per set to go along with .36 blocks per set.

43 more errors than their opponents, the Blue Raiders are going to rely heavily
on Ross if they plan on not getting dominated on their home court.