K-State Swept by No. 2 Longhorns




17-1 (7-0 Big 12)

11-8 (3-4 Big 12)

Amy Neal: 13 kills, .209%, 10 digs
Chloe Collins: 34 assists, 5 digs, 2 kills
Nicole Dalton: 13 digs, 4 assists

Katie Brand: 23 assists, 15 digs, 6 kills, 3 blocks
Brooke Sassin: 7 kills, 11 digs, 3 blocks
Kersten Kober: 10 digs, 1 ace

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5
Texas 25 25 25 -- --
K-State 16 21 16 -- --

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State contained a Texas offense that was hitting .343 in conference play entering Wednesday, but 23 attack errors, including 17 unforced, by the Wildcats slowed their own attack in a 3-0 loss to the No. 2 Longhorns (25-16, 25-21, 25-16) in Bramlage Coliseum. 

The Wildcats (11-8, 3-4 Big 12) used 50 digs and seven blocks to hold Texas (17-1, 7-0 Big 12) to a .246 attack percentage, which was the first time the Longhorns hit below .300 in a Big 12 match since November 2014. However, the errors of K-State hurt its offense to a .073 clip, its lowest in a contest this season.

Texas used 57 digs and six blocks to slow the Wildcats, who led at one point in every set. The 32 kills for K-State were its fewest this year.

“We blocked relatively well; we were on task defensively. They were putting some gas on it, and we are able to extend some rallies,” said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz. “For us, it came down to unforced errors. We were uncharacteristically high error from an attack perspective and even a little bit from a serving perspective. That’s not our identity.”

The loss snapped K-State’s five-match home winning streak and was the first defeat ever for the Wildcats playing in Bramlage (11-1). For Texas, it extended its winning streak to 13 and conference road match winning streak to 19.

“We had opportunities to win points that we didn’t take advantage of,” added Fritz. “No matter who is on the other side of the net, we have to be better.”

Katie Brand contributed in all facets for K-State, leading the team in digs (15) and assists (23) while also adding six kills and three blocks. The double-double for the setter was her Big 12-best 12th of the year.

Brooke Sassin paced the Wildcats with seven kills, notching four of them in the third when K-State jumped out to a 7-3 lead and forced Texas to burn an early timeout.

The K-State defense had seven blocks, all of which were registered in the first two sets when Texas hit .210. Macy Flowers was the team leader in stuffs, assisting on a career-high six. Sassin added three block assists as well.

After having just eight kills against nine attack errors in the first, K-State relied on its defense in the second to limit Texas. The Wildcats had five of their seven blocks in the second set, with a combo by Brand and Flowers giving K-State an 11-9 lead. After three Wildcat errors helped flip the score in favor of Texas, a block by Sassin and Flowers was followed up by a kill from Bryna Vogel that evened it at 13-all. The score remained close up to the 20-20 mark before Texas scored two quick points. After a kill by Sassin pulled the Wildcats within one at 22-21, kills by the Longhorns’ Yaazie Bedart-Ghani and Amy Neal sealed the set for Texas.  

The Wildcats came out of the intermission aggressively, tallying four kills and using three Texas errors (two in attack) to build the four-point lead at 7-3. The Longhorns, though, went on to tie it first at 7-7 on a K-State attack error. The two sides battled it out to 11-11, but Texas scored seven of the next nine points, including four on Wildcat hitting errors, to force K-State to burn its final timeout. The stoppage in play was ineffective as Texas closed out the match with a 7-3 run.

K-State plays its next two matches on the road, the first of which is on Saturday at Texas Tech. First serve is set for 3 p.m. at United Supermarkets Arena.

Wednesday was the first time K-State held Texas to an attack percentage of lower than .250 since September 30, 2006 (.240).

Kersten Kober had 10 digs, her 17th double-digit dig effort this season. The junior moved into 16th place on K-State’s career digs list as she now has 927.

With her double-double, Katie Brand moved into a tie with Gabby Guerre for fifth on K-State’s career double-doubles list. The redshirt junior has 43, with 11 or more in each of her three campaigns.

K-State has lost six straight matches to Top-25 opponents.

The Wildcats have lost 24 straight contests to Texas.