K-State Captures 23rd Straight Home Opener, Sweeps Green Bay




2-2 (0-0 HORIZON)

3-1 (0-0 Big 12)

Megan Powers: 7 kills, .238%
Jillian Bauer: 17 digs, 1 ace
Lydia DeWeese: 3 kills, 4 blocks

Brooke Sassin: 11 kills, .250%, 3 digs, 2 blocks
Bryna Vogel: 7 kills, .600%, 7 digs
Katie Reininger: 7 kills, .429%, 5 blocks

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5
Green Bay 16 18 14 -- --
K-State 25 25 25 -- --

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Behind five different players registering at least five kills, K-State opened its 2015 home schedule with a sweep of Green Bay (25-16, 25-18, 25-14) at the Varney’s Invitational in Bramlage Coliseum on Friday.

The victory stretched K-State’s winning streak in home openers to 23, with the last four wins all being sweeps. The Wildcats (3-1) also improved to 8-0 all-time in Bramlage, with each of the eight wins being in straight sets.

Leading the way for the Wildcats offensively was junior Brooke Sassin, who reached double-figures in kills for the fourth time this season with 11. The outside hitter has paced K-State in kills in each match this season.

As a team, K-State hit .298 to Green Bay’s .019, with sophomore Bryna Vogel registering seven kills on 10 attempts and one error for a career-high .600 hitting percentage. Redshirt junior Katie Reininger matched Vogel with seven kills on a .429 clip while also adding a team-best five blocks. The middle blocker has now hit .333 or higher in four consecutive matches, a first for her since September 19-27, 2014.

Redshirt junior Katie Brand piloted the Wildcat offense with 31 assists on 40 of K-State’s 44 kills. The setter added four kills of her own, one short of her season-high, as well as seven digs and four blocks.

K-State never trailed in the first and third sets, with the help of a defense that held the Phoenix (2-2) to a -.091 and .000 hitting percentage, respectively. In the opener, the Wildcats tallied five of their eight blocks in the match and forced Green Bay into nine total attack errors against its six kills. 

In the third, as the Phoenix burned both of its timeouts after K-State jumped out to a 13-3 lead, three different Wildcats had three kills each to make up most of K-State’s 13 kills in the set. In addition to Reininger and Sassin, freshman Zsofia Gyimes was clean on her six attempts, dropping in three of her career-high five kills on the day.

Fellow freshman Alyssa Schultejans also posted a career-high as the outside hitter had four aces, helping the Wildcats reach nine in that category. Schultejans had two aces each in the second and third, with her stint at the service line in the second helping the Wildcats climb out of a brief 15-14 deficit. After Green Bay used a 4-0 burst to pull ahead of K-State, the Wildcats called a timeout before siding out on a kill by Schultejans, one of her six in the match. The point by Schultejans ignited a 6-0 spurt for the Wildcats, with one of her aces being a part of the stretch.

Redshirt sophomore Mattie Batchelder registered a career-high in aces as well as the defensive specialist had three. Two of the trio aces came in the first set.

K-State continues the Varney’s Invitational on Friday evening in a 7:30 p.m. match against Cal, which came back to beat UNLV in five sets in the first match of the tournament on Friday morning.

The last time the Wildcats lost their first home match of the season was 1992 (L, 1-3 vs. Toledo).

The Wildcats have won 18 consecutive regular season home matches against non-conference opponents. K-State’s last loss during the regular season against a non-conference opponent at home was on September 3, 2011 vs. BYU (0-3).

K-State has 26 aces this season, averaging 1.62 per set.

Redshirt freshman Sami Flattum made her K-State debut, hammering in two kills on 10 attempts.