It was an incredible night at Morgan Family Volleyball Arena last night as your Kansas State Wildcats (14-10, 8-7) took down No. 3 Texas (18-4, 13-1) in straight sets 25-22, 25-22, 25-21, to claim their first victory over the Longhorns since 2003, ending a 39-match losing streak, and handing the defending national champion Longhorns their first Big 12 loss of the season. K-State was led by yet another impressive outing from Aliyah Carter, as the senior outside/opposite hitter registered a match-high of 20 kills out of K-State’s 45 as a team. Carter’s 20 kills ties for fifth at K-State in the rally-scoring era for total kills in a single three-set match, and also marks the Wildcats’ first 20-kill three-set match since her 23 kills against Wayne State in 2021.
It was the fourth-straight win, and straight-sets sweep, over a ranked foe at home, with their last loss in Manhattan coming in September. The 12-straight set winning streak at home sets a new program record against ranked foes. It also marked the fifth win over a ranked team, including taking a match from #18 Baylor in Waco in early October, and the first Top 5 win for new head coach Jason Mansfield as he continues to re-elevate the program.
Next up, the home finale this weekend as the Cats face Texas Tech on Friday at 6:30pm and Saturday at 4:30pm. Both matches can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
The week may have started on a sour note for the TangCats, but it got a lot better yesterday as consensus top-50 high school prospect David Castillo signed his official National Letter of Intent to play for the Cats next season. Castillo is originally from Bartlesville, OK, where he played for former K-State guard Clent Stewart, before transferring to Wichita’s
basketball recruit factory Sunrise Christian Academy for his final prep season. Castillo is also 2-time gold medal winner with USA Basketball, winning the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup.
Back on the court, K-State returns to action on Friday as the take on Bellarmine at 7pm CST from Bramlage Coliseum. The Knights could be tough, but are coming off a 91-57 loss to Washington on Monday, and are in the midst of a 4-game road trip to open the season. If you can’t make it to Manhattan, the game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
We’re still in the thick of things in the season, but that doesn’t mean that guys aren’t already thinking about their future. To that end, senior standouts Cooper Beebe and Ben Sinnott have accepted invitations to the Reese’s Senior Bowl this coming February. The Senior Bowl event has been very kind to the Wildcats, helping to elevate the NFL Draft stock of Tyler Lockett, Cody Whitehair, and Russ Yeast among several others.
On the field, the Cats get back to action on Saturday, as the face Baylor for Fort Riley Day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Kickoff is set from just after 2pm CST, and if you can’t make it to Manhattan, the game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
Other Recruiting/Early Signing Period
It wasn’t just the TangCats that picked up a signed NLI yesterday.
Jeff Mittie and the K-State women’s basketball team announced the signing of Finley Ohnstad, a 6’1 wing/forward from Lakeville South High School in Elko New Market, MN. Ohnstad is a three-time All-South Suburban Conference selection and earned All-Metro honors in 2022-23 as she averaged 18 points per game. She spurned “hometown” Minnesota, where both her parents played basketball, to come south and join the Wildcats.
Mike Dibbini and the SoccerCats added 10 student-athletes for the upcoming season, featuring four Kansans, three from Missouri, and one each from California, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
Grant Robbins and the men’s golf squad announced three signings for 24-25, with Fionn Dobbin from Northern Ireland, Erik Sabelstrom Holmberg from Sweden, and Tyler Strong from Olathe, KS signing their NLIs for the Cats. Dobbin is a member of the Irish National Team, and rated the No. 2 player in Ireland and 75th overall in the U18 Euro Golf Rankings. Sabelstrom Holmberg is a member of the Swedish National Team where he helped his home country win the 2023 European Boys Team Championship. Strong was named the 2023 Kansas Junior Player of the Year by Central Links Golf, while he currently ranks as the third-best player in the state and 180th nationally by Junior Golf Scoreboard. He also won the 2023 Kansas Junior Amateur and qualified for the 2023 US Amateur.
No official release yet, but Pete Hughes and the BatCats singed a baker’s dozen, including 9 pitchers and four infielders for the 2024-25 season. As with any baseball class, it will be interesting to see how many of those 13 make it to Manhattan, as the MLB Draft is no stranger to claiming high school prospects before they hit campus.