The preseason Big 12 women’s basketball coaches poll is out, and Jeff Mittie’s peers have high expectations for the Wildcats entering the 2023-24 season. K-State has been picked to finish 4th, behind Texas, Baylor, and KU and ahead of Oklahoma who finished in a tie with Texas for the Big 12 regular season title last season. Kansas State will have to play three of those four teams twice this season, getting saddled with home-and-home’s with UT and OU in addition to KU. But even the game against Baylor won’t be easy, as the Cats will have to face the Bears in Waco this season.
Those expectations are bolstered by the return of super-senior Ayoka Lee, who missed all of last season recovering an old injury that required surgery right before the season started, as well as fellow super-senior Gabby Gregory. Fittingly, both Gregory and Lee were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team, with Gregory being a unanimous selection and Lee making her third appearance on the preseason list. They were joined by junior Serena Sundell, who made the preseason list as an honorable mention.
The Cats get into action in a little less than month, with a season-opening exhibition against Pitt State on November 3rd, followed by the regular season opener against Presbyterian on Monday, November 6th.
It’s wasn’t the best week opener for the team, but K-State’s Carla Bernat was able to snag the individual title at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational while leading her squad to a third-place finish overall at K-State’s home tournament. Sam Houston won the tournament with a +19 883, followed by BYU with a +23 887 and K-State with a +26 890. The top three were the only squads to finish under 900 strokes. K-State’s top 3 golfers finished 1 (Bernat), 2 (Remington Isaac), and T4 (Napua Glossner), but the next-best finishers were T16, T21, and T24, which was not quite good enough to match the more consistent scores of the Bearkats and Cougars.
The SoccerCats finally snagged their first Big 12 victory of the season on Thursday night, also notching Coach Mike Dibbini’s 300th career victory in the process, as the beat Big 12 newcomer Houston 1-0 at Buser Family Park. The Cat’s lone goal came in the 23rd minute, and a corner kick from Porter List found the head of Jazmin Brown, who punched it in near the left post. With the win, the Cats improve to 3-8-3 on the season and 1-4-1 in Big 12 play to put K-State all alone in 11th place in the 14-team standings. With the addition of teams, the top 10 teams now advance to the Big 12 championships, and K-State will have every opportunity to move themselves into that group of 10 with matches against WVU (currently the 10th-place team), Iowa State (13th), and KU (14th) still looming.
Next up, the Cats head west to face Big 12 #3 BYU in Provo, with a Monday night tilt set for 6pm CT on ESPN+.
It took a full five sets, but the VolleyCats were able to overcome a 0-2 deficit to to pull off an amazing upset of #18 Baylor in Waco on Thursday night. The win marked the first Top 25 win under new coach Jason Mansfield, as well as K-State’s first win over Baylor since 2018. The Cat’s were led offensively by star hitter Aliyah Carter with a match-high 19 kills, while also notching an impressive match-high 20 digs to lead the Cats defensively on the way to her 20th-career double-double. The win boosts the Wildcats to 9-5 on the season and 3-2 in Big 12 play. It’s a quick turnaround, as the Cats and Bears square off again tonight in Waco at 7pm CT on ESPN+.
Your defending Big 12 champs are in Stillwater tonight for a
stupid rare Friday night Big 12 conference game. We’ll have your game thread later this evening for the 6:30pm contest, which can be seen on ESPN proper (and online via WatchESPN). Jon Morse has your full How to Watch details for tonight’s game.