MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Sports) – For the first time since the 2007 season, the Kansas State volleyball team will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, as announced by the NCAA Sunday night.
K-State (20-9, 9-7 Big 12), the No. 14 overall seed in the bracket, makes its third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats will face Lipscomb of the Atlantic Sun in the first round on Friday with first serve scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT.
“Excited,” head coach Suzie Fritz said after the team’s selection was announced. “I thought our strength of schedule would hold up, it would give us an opportunity, at minimum. Excited so much for this group not just to get to the postseason but be able to play the first two rounds at home is a big deal.”
The Wildcats will make their fifth appearance in the postseason tournament over the last six seasons and their 17th in program history. K-State is one of four teams in the Manhattan sub-regional played at Bramlage Coliseum. Ohio State and Missouri State will match up 5 p.m., and the K-State-Lipscomb contest will follow. Winners from Friday’s matches will advance to the second round and meet at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
“I think we are as confident as we have been,” added Fritz. “Being healthy is a big deal this time of year headed into the postseason and right now I think we are both. We have seen everything we need to see to be good and be prepared for the tournament.”
This will be K-State’s sixth time hosting the opening rounds of the postseason tournament and fifth time under Fritz.
The Wildcats finished in a fourth-place tie in the Big 12 standings for the second straight season, the first time K-State has finished in the conference’s top four in back-to-back seasons since 2007-08.
K-State is 14-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including an 11-5 record in the first round. Fritz is 9-11 (.474) in the NCAA Tournament, including a 6-5 (.545) mark in the first round.
K-State has faced Lipscomb once, winning in three sets back in 2006. The Cats have never faced a team from the A-Sun in the postseason.