The Kansas State volleyball team, with postseason play in mind, announced its schedule for the 2021 spring schedule on Monday.
After a strong push during the fall, a push that saw the team be ranked No. 10 in the country in the final AVCA Poll, K-State will play seven more matches in the spring to help boost its stock for an NCAA Tournament birth.
In those seven matches, the Wildcats will face off against in-state foe Wichita State twice, Wayne State (Neb.) twice, Creighton, Texas State and Saint Louis.
“After completing a productive Big 12 schedule in the fall, our goals for the spring schedule included many factors: first, the health and safety of our athletes,” head coach Suzie Fritz said to K-State Athletics. “Second, the evaluation of available non-conference opponents and, lastly, opportunities to qualify and prepare for the NCAA Tournament. We are pleased that we were able to put together a seven-match non-conference schedule that accomplishes these objectives.”
Following a home-and-home affair with the Shockers on Feb. 25 and Feb. 27, the remaining matches will all be played at Bramlage Coliseum.
“Additionally, we have the opportunity for six of those seven matches to be played at home in Bramlage Coliseum,” Fritz said. “The team is ready and excited to get back to work and finish what we started in the fall. We’re hopeful to put an exclamation point on what has been a productive, but challenging, season for our team thus far.”
K-State is not ranked in the spring portion of the AVCA Poll but is receiving votes. If the spring season goes well, K-State will look to snag a bid to the 48-team national tournament field which will be announced on April 4. The field will have 30 automatic conference qualifiers with 18 at-large bids.
“Assuming we continue to progress and improve through the spring, this team deserves to be a tournament team based on our finish in the Big 12 and our performance during the fall,” Fritz said.
The NCAA has not announced specific criteria for bids. The reduced field will likely play at pre-determined sites.
In the fall, K-State was led by four offensive players who recorded over 100 kills in the 16-match slate — freshman Aliyah Carter led all players with 228 kills. Freshman Mackenzie Morris led the team with 256 digs and 22 aces.
The Wildcats finished third in the Big 12, its best finish since 2008.
In the spring, attendance inside of Bramlage Coliseum will still be at 15 percent. Fans can attend matches free of charge. Six of the seven matches will be broadcasted on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with the game at Wichita State to be streamed straight to ESPN+. All games will have radio coverage through KMAN.
Feb. 25: vs. Wichita State, 6 p.m., Big 12 Now/KMAN
Feb. 27: @ Wichita State, 6 p.m., ESPN+/KMAN
March 4: vs. Texas State, 6 p.m., Big 12 Now/KMAN
March 14: vs. Saint Louis, 2 p.m., Big 12 Now/KMAN
March 20: vs. Creighton, 6 p.m., Big 12 Now/KMAN
March 27: vs. Wayne State, 4 p.m., Big 12 Now/KMAN
March 28: vs. Wayne State, 6 p.m., Big 12 Now/KMAN