K-State Outlasted by Creighton in Five-Set Loss




8-4 (0-0 Big 12)

6-7 (0-0 Big East)

Alyssa Schultejans: 20 kills, .340%, 3 blocks
Katie Brand: 57 assists, 24 digs, 6 kills, 3 blocks
Katie Reininger: 13 kills, 10 blocks

Jaali Winters: 25 kills, .322%, 9 digs
Marysa Wilkinson: 13 kills, .429%, 2 blocks
Maggie Baumert: 38 assists, 5 digs, 4 blocks (3 sets)

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5
K-State 25 25 23 24 13
Creighton 22 22 25 26 15

OMAHA, Neb. – K-State was able to capture the first two sets on Sunday, but Creighton rallied from behind in front of its home crowd to beat the Wildcats, 3-2 (22-25, 22-25, 25-23, 26-24, 15-13), at the Creighton Classic in D.J. Sokol Arena.

K-State (8-4) used nine of its season-high 13 blocks in the match to help capture the first two sets, but the offense of the Bluejays (6-7) came out of the intermission, behind a setter change to Maggie Baumert, to hit .299 over the final three sets. 

The loss for the Wildcats was their first to Creighton since 1980 as it snapped their six-match winning streak against the Bluejays. It also stretched their overall losing streak to three, which is the first time since 2010 that K-State has dropped three consecutive non-conference matches.

K-State was even with Creighton at the 23-23 mark in the third and led 23-20 in the fourth as well as held match point at 24-23, but both sets fell in favor of the Bluejays. In the fifth, the Wildcats led at 9-7, but Creighton scored eight of the final 12 points to complete the comeback.

The match, K-State’s fourth five-setter of the season (1-3), featured 43 ties and 17 lead changes.

All-tournament selection Katie Brand recorded a double-double with 57 assists and 24 digs, her second 20-20 double-double of the season. The redshirt junior, who also added six kills and three blocks, is the first Wildcat with multiple 20-20 double-doubles in a campaign since 1999.

Freshman Alyssa Schultejans led the K-State offense with a career-high 20 kills on a .340 hitting percentage, her third effort over the last four matches with a .300+ clip. Half of the freshman’s kills came over the final two sets, when she had 10 kills on 22 swings (two errors).

Junior Brooke Sassin tallied her sixth straight double-double and team-best ninth this season with 16 kills and 16 digs. 

Katie Reininger powered the K-State block as the redshirt junior notched 10 stuffs, her second career match with double-digit blocks.  The middle blocker also added 13 kills for her second career double-double.

The first set belonged to Reininger early as she was clean on her first four attempts while also contributing three blocks. The middle blocker finished the set hitting .625, tallying five kills and four blocks. The last of each in both categories helped the Wildcats take a 23-20 lead late in the set. The Bluejays, though, were able to pull within a point following a kill and K-State attack error, but one of Creighton’s two ball-handling errors in the set was followed up by the second of Schultejans’ two kills over the final five K-State points to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the match.

K-State had to cool a Creighton offense that was errorless on its first 10 attacks in the second, dropping in seven kills and forcing the Wildcats to burn both of their timeouts by the 9-5 mark. Behind four blocks, the K-State defense held the Bluejays to a .161 clip (7k-5e-31att) over the remainder of the set.

Offensively, outside hitters Sassin and Schultejans took over for K-State in the second, combining for 12 of the Wildcats’ 17 kills. A kill by Schultejans out of a Creighton timeout made it 17-15, extending the Wildcats’ 6-0 run that tied it up at 17-all. Later, with the score at 20-20, Sassin contributed three kills over K-State’s last five points to help clinch the set.

In the third, Creighton once again came out firing with a new setter, hitting .727 on its first 11 attacks to open up a 10-8 lead. The Bluejay advantage eventually swelled to 15-11, but K-State pulled back in and eventually led at 20-18 following a kill by Bryna Vogel. The Bluejays then scored four straight, with the help of two kills by Lauren Smith, but a dump kill by Brand tied it at 22-all and then a kill by Reininger evened it 23-all. Creighton, though, closed it out when they converted their first set point of the day with its only block of the set and first since the 11-10 mark in the first.

K-State held a 23-20 lead late in the fourth, but Creighton was able to tie it up at 23-all with a block, kill and Wildcat attack error. The Wildcats sided out, though, with Reininger’s 12th kill of the day, giving the Wildcats match point at 24-23. Nevertheless, Creighton used two kills by Jaali Winters, who had a match-best 25 kills in the contest, to help it score three consecutive points and force the match to a fifth set.

A 5-1 run by K-State in the fifth gave it a 9-7 advantage and forced Creighton to burn both of its timeouts. The second halt in momentum flipped the favor back to the Bluejays as they came out of the break with a block and two Winters kills to make it 10-9. K-State was never able to narrow the gap any closer than one point for the remainder of the set, as Winters’ final kill capped the match.

With Creighton being K-State’s final non-conference opponent of the regular season, the Wildcats will now open up Big 12 play on Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. contest at KU.

K-State dropped to 1-2 all-time at Creighton. The Wildcats, who lead the all-time series, 6-4, beat Creighton in Omaha in 2012 but lost, 2-0, in 1980.

The Wildcats, who entered the weekend ninth in the country in hitting percentage with a .304 clip, hit .188 over the three matches in the tournament. Their opponents hit .235.

The Wildcats have a total of 24 double-doubles this season. Last year, K-State registered 27 double-doubles. Sassin’s stretch of six double-doubles, meanwhile, is the longest streak by a Wildcat since Katie Brand had 12 straight from September 8-October 8, 2014.

K-State’s 13.0 blocks were its most in a match since it had 14.0 on November 29, 2014 vs. West Virginia.