Don’t look past this Wildcat volleyball team

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Junior setter Katie Brand sets the ball for junior middle blocker Katie Reininger during the volleyball game against Baylor University in Ahearn Field House on Sept. 26, 2015. (George Walker | The Collegian)

Baylor barely had enough time to get off the bus, see Aggieville and grab a bite to eat before the Wildcats sent them packing back to Waco, Texas after a straight set win for K-State Saturday night in Manhattan.

The Bears had played a fairly soft schedule but were still 11-2 in the young campaign going into Saturday night’s match.

But there’s one secret that opponents need to know about K-State.

This team is dangerous.

They have strong hitters in sophomore Bryna Vogel, junior Katie Reininger, freshman Alyssa Schultejans and junior Brooke Sassin. On Saturday night, these four accounted for nearly 80 percent of the team’s kills in the match.

Libero junior Kersten Kober will get to just about any ball that is hit her way.

Toping off the list is junior Katie Brand. One of the best setters in the country, Brand was selected to compete for the United States National Collegiate Volleyball Team this past off-season.

The depth of this K-State team still stands strong even after starter and All-American Honorable Mention outside hitter Kylee Zumach went out with what appears to be a season-ending injury.

Another thing that this team has on their side is team chemistry, and they’re very selfless. After Saturday night’s win, Reininger’s first words after being told she led the team in kills were about how good her teammates were.

“When you have a middle player that has a good game, it’s because you have a really good setting, really good defense and good passing,” Reininger said following the match. “It shows the team played really well, too.”

When the Wildcats are on the court, they are as supportive to one another as a team can be. This shows the great leadership from the coaching staff, and it shows that the players are bought into the system and want one another to succeed.

The Wildcats’ record can be very deceiving at 9-5 as they have played anything but a cupcake schedule.

All of their loses have come to teams that are over .500 at the current moment including three teams that are either receiving votes or ranked in the national poll.

“We haven’t been playing poorly, but have just gone through a gauntlet of really good volleyball teams,” head coach Suzie Fritz said in a press conference following the game.

With no seniors on this team, the future looks good in this already very successful volleyball program at K-State.

The Wildcats will take on TCU on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas at 3 p.m. as they look to win their first true road game of the year.

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