K-State Wins Third Straight Road Match, Sweeps West Virginia




13-8 (5-4 Big 12)

5-16 (0-8 Big 12)

Katie Reininger: 10 kills, .625%, 2 blocks
Macy Flowers: 11 kills, .476%
Brooke Sassin: 11 kills, .348%, 13 digs

Dzeni Hadzisehovic: 11 kills, 3 blocks
Morgan Montgomery: 9 kills, 3 digs
Gianna Gotterba: 18 digs

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5
K-State 25 25 25 -- --
West Virginia 17 20 22 -- --

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – With double-digit kills by Macy Flowers, Brooke Sassin and Katie Reininger, K-State captured its fourth win over its last five matches by sweeping West Virginia (25-17, 25-20, 25-22) on Wednesday at WVU Coliseum.

A career-tying 11 kills by Flowers, on a .476 hitting percentage, paced the offense of the Wildcats (13-8, 5-4 Big 12) that hit .306 as a team – its seventh .300+ attack effort this season. Fellow middle blocker Katie Reininger was errorless on her 16 swings, registering 10 kills with a .625 hitting percentage. Sassin matched Flowers for the team-lead in kills with 11, hitting .348, while also contributing a team-high 13 digs to record her 10th double-double of the year.

Katie Brand had 36 assists to guide the K-State offense while also adding seven digs and two kills.

“We were really good offensively,” said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz. “We hit in the high .300s in first-swing offense and very high in transition offense. Our set distribution was really good as we got the middles involved a little more, which if you do it right, takes pressure off the outsides. Therefore, all of the hitters were better.”

With a trio of attackers leading the K-State offense, the defense frustrated the offense of West Virginia (5-16, 0-8 Big 12) into 20 hitting errors (16 unforced). The Mountaineers, who dropped their 10th consecutive match, hit .179, making them the fifth K-State opponent over the last six contests to hit below .200.

“West Virginia was good [despite the low hitting percentage],” added Fritz. “We felt like we were putting something on our serves, but we were having a hard time forcing them out of system. They hit for pretty high efficiency in first-swing offense, but we were better in transition, which when it came down to it, was the difference.”

The win was K-State’s third straight on the road and fourth sweep in Big 12 action, matching their output from all of last season.

The Wildcats and Mountaineers were locked in a back-and-forth affair for the first part of the opening set, but an 8-0 K-State run, sparked by one of Flowers’ four kills in the set, rewarded the resilient Wildcats with a momentum swing. With Mattie Batchelder on the service line during the run, the K-State offense fed attackers Reininger (two kills), Alyssa Schultejans (two) and Bryna Vogel (one) in addition to Flowers during the stretch.

The early part of the second resembled the first as the two sides traded points up to the 10-9 West Virginia mark. However, keyed by one of Sassin’s five second-set kills, K-State went on a run of five straight points to open up a 14-10 advantage. The burst eventually extended out to 8-1 when Flowers capped a quick with a kill, her third of the set.

After the Mountaineers narrowed the gap, the six-point lead was reestablished by K-State when it brought it to set point at 24-18 on a ball-handling error by West Virginia, one of its 12 errors in the second. A block and kill by the Mountaineers staved off the first two Wildcat attempts to end the set, but Schultejans used her fifth kill to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead in the match.

Sassin’s final kill of the night gave the Wildcats a 16-11 lead in the third as the offense of K-State kept the Mountaineers at bay. West Virginia, though, used three blocks to help it go on a 6-0 run and take its first lead, 17-16, since the 2-1 mark.

The advantage did not last long for West Virginia as K-State regained the lead with back-to-back kills by Flowers. The Wildcats were able to stretch it out to 20-17 before West Virginia once again closed it to one at 20-19.

A fortuitous kill by West Virginia, on an over-dig following a Schultejans attack, evened it up at 21-all, but Flowers broke the tie again with a kill before a Mountaineer kill tabulated by Caleah Wells squared it up at 22-all.

K-State was able to close out the match with a kill by Vogel, a block by Schultejans and Reininger and a West Virginia attack error, a run that broke up one of the 30 ties between the two sides in the contest.

After back-to-back road matches, the Wildcats return home on Saturday against TCU. First serve in Ahearn Field House is set for 7 p.m.

Katie Brand moved into sole possession of sixth place on K-State’s career assists list as the redshirt junior now has 3,186 assists in 298 career sets. The Grand Island, Nebraska native is second among active Big 12 setters in career helpers as well.

The last time the Wildcats won three consecutive Big 12 road matches was last year when they won four straight from October 1-25.

Each of K-State’s last seven wins have been sweeps. The Wildcats have four straight-set wins in Big 12 play, matching their number in all of 2014, while the three road sweeps in conference action are their most in a campaign since 2007 (3).

Katie Reininger has a .465 hitting percentage and 3.08 kills per set over the last four matches.