K-State Sweeps Green Bay to Open Season

GREEN BAY, Wisc. - Freshman Kylee Zumach's team-high 10 kills backed up a Wildcat defense that had 12.5 blocks to help give the K-State volleyball team a 3-0 win (25-20, 25-15, 25-23) over Green Bay in the season opener at Kress Event Center.

In her collegiate debut, Zumach was the lone Wildcat to reach double-digits in kills, on a .400 hitting percentage, but the Buffalo, Minnesota native was also one of five Wildcats to tally five or more kills. Sophomore Brooke Sassin had seven kills along with a team-high nine digs, and Katie Reininger and Natali Jones had six kills on a .357 and .385 hitting percentage, respectively.
The senior Jones paced the Wildcats with a career-high eight blocks (one solo, seven assists) as six Wildcats had at least one block. K-State limited Green Bay to a .037 hitting percentage for the entire match, including a -.030 hitting percentage in the second set.
"Zumach played quite well, hitting for high efficiency and killing balls when we really needed it," said head coach Suzie Fritz. "Both middles [Natali Jones and Katie Reininger] played pretty well for the same reason. Overall, we had some nice balance in our offense, and we did some nice things blocking at the net."
After both sides traded points to start the match, K-State took control midway through the first set when it opened a four-point lead following a service ace by Katie Brand that made it 16-12. 
Green Bay went on tie the score at 19-19 on one of its five aces in the match, but three errors, one service and two attack, by the Phoenix returned a three-point advantage to the Wildcats at 22-19. Zumach and Reininger later combined for a block, one of five team blocks for K-State in the first, to help the Wildcats take a one set to nothing lead.
While hitting over .400 and holding Green Bay to a negative hitting percentage, K-State controlled the second set. The Wildcats, who had 14 kills in the second set after seven in set one, were led by Zumach's four kills while Jones etched her name in the kills category with three, her first kills of the match.
K-State never trailed or allowed Green Bay to tie the score in the third and final set. The Wildcats jumped out to a 6-1 lead after three Green Bay errors opened the set followed by kills from Chelsea Keating and Jones sandwiching a Brand ace. K-State led by as much as seven when Green Bay committed one of its 28 attack errors to make it 12-5 Wildcats, but Green Bay closed the gap late. A kill by Megan Powers made it 24-23 K-State, but Taylor Kasal ended the match with an attack error.
"We got a little pressure early, which I liked, and I thought we sustained it well," said Fritz. "Through game two, we had some really good moments and got it rolling a little bit. Unfortunately, in game three, we let some momentum opportunities get away from us."
The Wildcats will face South Dakota in the two teams' second match of the Green Bay Country Inn & Suites Tournament on Saturday. First serve will be at 10 am.

The win for K-State was its third-straight in season openers. Under head coach Suzie Fritz, the Wildcats are 8-6 in season openers.
While the Wildcats hit .414 in the second set, they had just two attack errors on their 29 attempts. Green Bay, meanwhile, had nine errors in the second, after 12 in the first, to lower its hitting percentage to -.030 in the second.
The first match of the day was captured by Arizona in four sets (25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 25-19) over South Dakota. South Dakota evened the match at 1-1 after winning the second set, but the Wildcats out-hit South Dakota .289-.200 and .310-.132 in the final two sets, respectively, to win the match. Madi Kingdon had a match-high 23 kills on a .392 hitting percentage to lead Arizona to the win.