Thursdays at The Salute

Thursdays at The Salute

It’s a football bye week, and I’ve probably already said all I need to about last week’s win over Texas Tech, so how about turning our attention today just south of Bill Snyder Family Stadium to what’s happening in Ahearn Field House. Kansas State Volleyball is on a roll, and if you haven’t started paying attention, get in on it early.

Take last night for example. Two programs that have created a rivalry over the past few seasons in women’s volleyball. The Cyclones started out the season receiving votes in the top 25 poll, while the Wildcats had to fight to get there. No more votes for the ‘Clones, but the Cats are sitting just outside the rankings as we speak. A hard fought game in set 1, as Katie Reininger dominates with 8 kills (yes, 8 in just the 1st set!). K-State wins it 25-23.  In the 2nd set Iowa State never had a prayer as K-State ran away with it 25-12. After the break the Cats may have lost a little focus, fall behind early and end up losing the set 23-25 despite taking a late lead. But then, the turned it right back on, winning the 4th set 25-14 to complete the victory over Iowa State and winning their third match in a row.

Freshman outside hitter Kylee Zumach

Freshman outside hitter, and 4 time Big 12 Rookie of the Week, Kylee Zumach

Katie Reininger was the star last night, but she’s not doing it alone by any means. You’ve heard the name Kylee Zumach, and rightfully so. She’s won 4 of the last 5 Big 12 Rookie of the Week awards, saying on Twitter recently that she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t motivated by all the people that said she wasn’t good enough. She’s set to be a star in her time in Manhattan.  She may be a freshman, but only Kaitlynn Pelger has more Big 12 weekly awards in the history of K-State volleyball than Zumach does in her young career1.

And then there’s Brooke “the a” Sassin2, getting kills like she has no remorse. She anchors a front line of hitters that have tremendous defensive skills as well. Going into last night’s match K-State was 3rd in the nation in blocks. The stats are still coming in from mid-week games, but they certainly didn’t hurt their standings with 14 more against Iowa State.

And getting the ball to them is returning sophomore Katie Brand. At 6’1″ she’s tall for a setter, which gives a unique advantage to get some kills of her own.

The Big 12 is as tough as it gets at the top of the conference, with undefeated #2 Texas out in front, but K-State is poised to take a run at the top after a disappointing year in 2013. This year started out with another great non-con, but there’s something different about these team. They’ve brought an energy that we haven’t seen in Ahearn for a couple years. And they have the type of youth that has Susie Fritz’s team set to be good for a long time.


  1. Pelger has 8, so while Zumach is only halfway there, at the rate she’s going, it could happen this season! []
  2. Ok, fine, I made that nickname up, but it should really catch on. []

About The Author

Founder & Chief Saluter

Mike is a '00 graduate of Kansas State University and holds season tickets for Football and Men's & Women's Basketball. He lives in Kansas City, but stays loyal to his Chicago sports (Bulls & Bears & Hawks & Sox). He's a social media marketer by day and dreams in purple at night.

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