Cats Open 2022 Season Friday at K-State Invitational


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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State officially opens its 2022 volleyball season Friday at the K-State Invitational, as the Wildcats will take on Sam Houston, NC State and Florida A&M over two days at Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State, who opens the season at home for the first time since 2012, will begin its campaign with a Friday doubleheader against the Bearkats (12 p.m.) and Wolfpack (7:30 p.m.). The weekend concludes Saturday at 12:30 against 2021 SWAC champion Florida A&M.

The Wildcats earned a five-set victory over Wayne State last Friday in its lone exhibition match of the preseason. In the match, Elena BakaAliyah Carter and Ava LeGrand each registered double-doubles.

The Wildcats are coming off a season in which they qualified for their 18th all-time NCAA Tournament, and 13th under 22nd-year head coach Suzie Fritz. It marked K-State’s first postseason bid since the 2016 season.

The team retains seven letterwinners from the 2021 squad, including starters in Sydney Bolding, Carter, Kadye FernholzLoren Hinkle and Mackenzie Morris. K-State also added six newcomers, including five freshmen and one transfer in Baka.

All three contests during the opening weekend will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with radio coverage on News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM). Fans can stream Rob Voelker’s call all weekend online at or on the K-State Sports app.

Tickets start at $5 when purchased in advance online at, by calling 800-221-CATS or by stopping by the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at Bramlage Coliseum.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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