Texas to put conference streak on the line against 16-1 Kansas State


Elisabeth Dillon


Nicole Dalton sets up a play for Texas. The Longhorns will face their biggest challenger for the Big 12 crown this weekend in Manhattan. The Wildcats have only dropped one match this season.(Daily Texan file photo)

Sara Beth Purdy

Fresh off another Big 12 match sweep, the No. 9 Longhorns head to Manhattan, Kansas to face No. 14 Kansas State on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Last weekend the Longhorns swept TCU at home to bring their Big 12 conference record to 5-0 and season record to 12-3. They have yet to lose a set against a Big 12 opponent and are ranked first in the Big 12 by two games over Kansas.

The Wildcats are fresh off a sweep of fellow Big 12 opponent No. 22 Iowa State at home.  They are 16-1 on the season and 3-1 in conference play. Their only conference lost came at the hands of Oklahoma who was on a five game winning streak when they swept Kansas State in Manhattan.

Last season, the Longhorns went 2-0 against the Wildcats, sweeping them 3-0 in Manhattan before taking the series 3-1 in Austin. Texas is 27-7 against Kansas State. The Longhorns are a favorite not only to win this match-up against Kansas State, but also to win the Big 12 conference.

Directly after the game against TCU midweek on Wednesday, the Longhorn’s junior outside hitter Bailey Webster admitted that they were already looking forward to going on the road to Kansas State on Saturday.

“We are excited to continue,” Webster said. “Kansas State is a really good team.”

Webster, last season’s Big 12 Player of the Year, has been on fire all season.  Against TCU, Webster recorded 12 kills and hit an impressive .647. So far this season, she has 121 kills and is hitting .290.

Junior setter Hanna Allison hit over 2,000 assists against TCU, making her only the 11th person in Texas history to do so. She recorded a double-double with 10 digs and 36 assists. Her career assist total is 2,025.

The Wildcats are led by Junior middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger who has been dominating all season. Against Iowa State on Wednesday, Pelger had 16 kills with a .556 hitting line. Pelger leads Kansas State with 216 kills on the season while hitting .379.

This is the third time that head coach Jerritt Elliott has opened Big 12 play with a 5-0 record, the other two seasons came in 2004 and 2009.

Printed on Friday, October 5, 2012 as: Horns face best Big 12 team yet