K-State Wins Fourth Straight, Sweeps Texas Tech
K-State Wins Fourth Straight, Sweeps Texas Tech
13-13 (2-10 Big 12)
15-8 (7-4 Big 12)
Lauren Douglass: 8 kills, .174%, 3 blocks
Brianna Grant: 6 kills, .250%, 2 blocks
Carlie Foust: 21 digs, 1 ace
Katie Reininger: 11 kills, .304%, 2 blocks
Alyssa Schultejans: 10 kills, .241%, 6 digs, 1 ace
Katie Brand: 39 assists, 12 digs, 5 kills, 3 blocks
MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State had four attackers with at least eight kills while its defense limited Texas Tech to a sub-.100 hitting percentage as the Wildcats used the combination to sweep Texas Tech (25-14, 25-18, 25-20) on Saturday in Ahearn Field House and stretch its winning streak to four.
K-State (15-8, 7-4 Big 12) has also won six of its last seven matches and seven of its last 10. Saturday’s sweep was the Wildcats’ fifth straight-set triumph over its last six victories and sixth overall in Big 12 action – their most in conference since 2007 (8).
Redshirt junior Katie Reininger had a match-high 11 kills to lead the K-State attack. The middle blocker hit .304 on 23 swings, giving her four .300+ hitting efforts over the last six matches and 14 total on the year.
Freshman Alyssa Schultejans was the only other attacker in the match to reach double-digits in kills as she had 10 on 29 attempts. The outside hitter added an ace and six digs as well.
Junior Brooke Sassin had nine kills, and sophomore Bryna Vogel totaled eight on a .412 clip to give the Wildcats’ 48 kills to the 30 of Texas Tech (13-13, 2-10 Big 12).
“What I believe we are growing at is we are starting to attack with more range,” said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz. “We are not necessarily locked into one thing, one shot. We are moving the ball around. So you become a little bit more unpredictable as an attacker.”
The Wildcats, which have held opponents to a .178 hitting percentage over the last seven matches, forced the Red Raiders into a .094 clip for the entire contest. It was the first time since November 2013 vs. Baylor that K-State frustrated a Big 12 opponent into hitting below .100.
It was the back row of K-State that kept many rallies alive as the Wildcats had 62 digs to Texas Tech’s 57. Kersten Kober led the way for K-State with 18 digs, which also helped move her into 13th on K-State’s career digs list with 995. Katie Brand (12) and Sassin (10) also joined Kober in double-digits.
Brand used the dozen digs along with her match-high 39 assists to tally her Big 12-best 15th double-double of the season. The setter also added five kills and three blocks.
Freshman Macy Flowers paced all Wildcats with four blocks.
“I thought we played extremely well, outside of the middle of set three where I felt like we lost a little focus,” said Fritz. “I like the way we are preparing, and I like the way we practiced this week. I think we are improving. We are in a good place right now.”
The only time K-State trailed in the match was after the Red Raiders scored the first point in the first and third set. Thereafter, the Wildcats raced past their opponent, opening up a 15-9 and 15-10 lead at the media timeout in the first and third, respectively.
In the first, the closest Texas Tech ever came to the Wildcats after the media timeout was five points. With the score at 18-13 after one of the Red Raiders’ seven blocks in the match, K-State used back-to-back Texas Tech attack errors to force the visitors to call a timeout. The momentum continued for the Wildcats, though, as Mattie Batchelder on the service line kept Texas Tech out of system while kills from Reininger, Schultejans and Vogel brought it to set point. Vogel then finished it off with her 12th ace of the season.
Unlike the first, the Wildcats allowed the Red Raiders to pull closer in the latter half of the third set. Texas Tech used a 6-2 run to cut K-State’s advantage to 17-16, but a kill by Sassin snapped the stretch and ignited the Wildcats to score five of the next seven points. After a Red Raider timeout, K-State kept rolling as two kills by Reininger went down as the final Wildcat points of the match.
“Texas Tech had some really good defense in the third,” said Reininger. “They came out fighting really hard, and we just took it point-for-point. We just kept fighting at it. We said that we need to finish this.”
K-State never trailed in the second as four kills by both Reininger and Schultejans helped the Wildcats out-kill Texas Tech, 17-12. Defensively, 25 digs by the Wildcats, including seven each from Brand and Kober, held the Red Raiders to a .111 clip on 45 swings.
The Wildcats continue their season-long four-match homestand on Wednesday, November 11 when they face Oklahoma at 7 p.m. in Ahearn Field House. K-State swept the Sooners in Norman in the first meeting of the season on October 16.
The Wildcats are 7-1 at home this year. Since 2011, K-State is 48-13 (.787) in Manhattan.
K-State is 19-1 all-time against Texas Tech at home, winning 11 straight.
Bryna Vogel (205 kills, 247 digs) and Brooke Sassin (297 kills, 240 digs) are the first set of Wildcats with 200 kills and digs since 2011 when Kaitlynn Pelger and Kathleen Ludwig turned the feat.
Katie Brand’s double-double moved her into a tie for third on K-State’s career double-doubles list, matching Shawnee Call with 46. The redshirt junior now trails Dawn Cady (52) and Kim Zschau (69) for second and first, respectively.