KSU’s Brand earns Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Week

Kansas State volleyball earns its first national ranking of the season.

MANHATTAN, Kan. – After being the only player in the Big 12’s top-10 for both blocks and digs per set last week, K-State volleyball’s Katie Brand was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for the period ending October 25, the conference office announced.

Brand averaged 4.83 digs and 1.33 blocks over K-State’s pair of matches last week as she ranked third and tied for fifth, respectively, in the two categories. The setter had a total of 29 digs and eight blocks – along with 64 assists (third in the Big 12) and eight kills – over six sets.

The redshirt junior finished with three blocks and a match-high 15 digs in K-State’s loss to No. 2 Texas last Wednesday. With the help of Brand, K-State snapped the Longhorns’ seven-match streak of hitting above .300 in a Big 12 contest.

Brand then contributed 14 digs and five blocks in a sweep of Texas Tech last Saturday, with both totals finishing tied for the most in the match among all players. The defense of K-State, meanwhile, held the Red Raiders to a .178 hitting percentage, which was the fourth time over the last five matches the Wildcats had limited their opponent to an efficiency below .200.

The weekly honor is Brand’s second career defensive award and third overall. She was named the Big 12’s top defensive player on October 13, 2014 and most outstanding rookie on September 16, 2013.

Two Wildcats have earned defensive player of the week honors twice this season as junior libero Kersten Kober garnered the award on October 5.

Under head coach Suzie Fritz, the Wildcats have earned 42 Big 12 player of the week awards, including 15 over the last three seasons.

The Wildcats start the second half of their Big 12 season on Wednesday at West Virginia. First serve between K-State (12-8, 4-4 Big 12) and the Mountaineers (5-15, 0-7 Big 12) is at 6 pm ET. The Wildcats won the first meeting of the season, 3-0, on October 10 in Manhattan.

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