Wildcats Offense Slows Down Stretch

Lauren Mathewson

Aug. 29, 2010

Box Score

HONOLULU, Hawaii – The Kansas State Wildcats showed signs of finding its offense against No. 22 San Diego in their final match of the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, but Amy Mahinalani DeGroot was too much. DeGroot posted an impressive 27 kills in the 3-1 (22-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-15) win over K-State.

DeGroot also hit .533 on the afternoon while the Toreros hit .336 as a team to overcome K-State. The Wildcats hit .224 on the match led by freshman middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger with 13 kills and a .345 hitting percentage. JuliAnne Chisholm added 10 kills to the effort, and Alex Muff posted nine kills on a .316 hitting clip.

K-State (0-3) came firing out of the gate in the first set with a pair of freshman pounding out kills. Outside hitter Dakota Kaufman posted two kills while Pelger posted two herself and the pair assisted on a block during a six-point run to take an early 8-3 lead. K-State continued to building on that lead with kills from Chisholm and errors by the Toreros leading 15-9 going into the media timeout and hitting .583 as a team.

Out of the media break, however, San Diego (1-2) rallied to score the next nine points to reclaim the lead at 18-15 and force Fritz to call both her timeout during the run. The Wildcats responded with runs of three, two and four points to come from behind and win the opening set 25-22.

San Diego found its groove in the second set to put a significant lead as the Wildcats only scored consecutive points three times with each just a pair. The Toreros continued to go to outside hitter DeGroot as she posted five kills in the second set to go into the break with 13 through the first two sets. San Diego hit .370 as a team in the second set while K-State hit just .171 after posting .233 in the first.

The Wildcats looked poised to take a 2-1 lead in the match holding a 22-20 lead following another block by Pelger in the third set. San Diego again rallied from behind scoring the next five points on the arms of Chloe Ferrari and DeGroot as each had two kills and assisted together on a block to end the set 25-22 pushing the Wildcats into a corner as they could not hold onto the lead late in the set.

K-State again could not find a rhythm on offense in the fourth set similar to the two previous matches in the tournament. The Wildcats failed to convert on their own serve scoring just twice when they served the ball into play. San Diego took advantage and point by point built a lead of seven points at 21-14 with aces by Amber Tatsch. The Toreros would eventually take the set 25-15 to win the match 3-1.

The Wildcats return to Manhattan for their home opener on Wednesday when they play host to South Dakota at 7 p.m. from Ahearn Field House. K-State will then host the Varney’s Kansas State Invitational on Friday and Saturday with Georgia Tech, Loyola Marymount and Oral Roberts coming to participate.