This Week in K-State Sports: Tennis starts season as volleyball, soccer and football start Big 12 play

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(Illustration by Marshall Sunner | Collegian Media Group)

Soccer:

The soccer team (5-4-0) is coming off another impressive win over the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (4-5-1).

Led by junior forward Marisa Weichel, K-State was able to put up 15 shots in the first 20 minutes of play, with the first goal of the match coming off of the foot of Weichel.

Sophomore Porter List scored her first-ever collegiate goal during the match, helping secure the Wildcat’s 2-0 victory.

The Wildcats looks to build off of Sunday’s win as Big 12 conference play begins. K-State will take on Texas on Thursday, Sept. 23, followed by Texas Tech on Sunday, Sept. 26.

“There’s a lot of positives,” head coach Mike Dibbini said to K-State Sports after Sunday’s win. “I think the biggest positive to us right now is that we are going into conference play with a winning record. We showed a lot of character through non-conference, a lot of road games, a lot of road wins, finally winning at home. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think for the most part I see a lot of positives.”

K-State’s game against the Texas Longhorns is a 7 p.m. home game at Buser Family Park. Broadcast of the match being provided by the Big 12 Network on ESPN+.

The team then travels to Lubbock, Texas, to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 1 p.m. next Sunday, with broadcast provided by the Big 12 Network on ESPN+.

Golf:

While the men’s golf team takes a break this week, the women stay busy competing in their home opening tournament on Monday and Tuesday this week.

The Wildcats will host the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational, led into battle by junior Haley Vargas and freshman standout Remington Isaac.

Vargas finished with her best individual round (67), best 36-hole score (141) and tied her best 54-hole score (216) this past week at the Sam Golden Invitational.

Isaac opened her season by carding a 1-over par 217 — good for a tie for 37th place. Her impressive third round boosted her score, finishing 3-under par 69 in the final 18 holes.

“The team and players with the best mentality will be on top of the leaderboard come Tuesday,” head coach Kristi Knight said to K-State Athletics.

The Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational is free and open to the public. Live scoring can be found at golfstat.com.

Tennis:

The women’s tennis team opens its season this weekend at the Ole Miss Invite in Oxford, Mississippi.

K-State has six returning letter-winners, including senior All-Big 12 selections Karine-Marion Job and Maria Linares.

Job earned Big 12 honors in singles and doubles play this past season, while Linares earned recognition for her work in the doubles competition.

The team finished the 2020 season with a 7-12 record, finishing 2-7 in Big 12 play.

The time for the tournament has yet to be announced but will take place all weekend, Friday through Sunday.

Volleyball:

The volleyball team hopes to continue its success as the team sits on an eight-game win streak.

Sophomore Aliyah Carter carded her sixth double-double of the year with 15 kills and 13 digs as the Wildcats closed non-conference play in Omaha, Nebraska, this past weekend.

“l think we did what we needed to do in the preseason,” head coach Suzie Fritz said to K-State Athletics. “We had opportunities to win every match we were in, would’ve liked to have gotten one or two more, to be honest. I think we did what we needed to do to position ourselves to be ready and prepared for Big 12 play.”

The team is also getting great production from redshirt junior Holly Bonde, junior Sydney Bolding and senior Haley Warner.

Warner sits just behind Carter with 12 kills as Bolding and Bonde hold seven and six kills of their own, respectively. Bolding has two aces on the year as well.

The volleyball team opens Big 12 conference play against Baylor at home this weekend at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Both games will be available on the Big 12 Network on ESPN+, with radio broadcast provided by News Radio KMAN.

Football:

The 3-0 Wildcats, now ranked the 25th best team in college football, is led by sophomore quarterback Will Howard as the team travels to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to take on the 3-0 Oklahoma State Cowboys to open Big 12 play.

Howard, stepping in for an injured Skylar Thompson, had a career day against Nevada this past Saturday, throwing for 123 yards and 1 touchdown and carrying the ball for 56 yards and two scores on the ground.

Howard wasn’t alone, as running backs Deuce Vaughn and Joe Ervin also found the endzone.

Vaughn, who finished the day with 127 rushing yards and a score, has now rushed for over 100 yards in his past five games as a Wildcat — sitting at fifth all-time in school history in the fastest number of games to reach 1,000 career rushing yards.

Ervin also had his share of the workload, carrying the ball 11 times for 82 yards and a score.

Defensively, K-State looks as dominant as ever, with Daniel Green, Cody Fletcher and Russ Yeast playing big parts in the first three wins of the season.

Head coach Chris Klieman looks to start 4-0 for the first time in his career at K-State, facing Mike Gundy in Stillwater this Saturday.

The game is set to kick off at 6 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium, with broadcast provided by the Big 12 Network on ESPN+ and the K-State Sports Network.

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