Wildcats Win Home Opener

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats rewarded their loyal fans with a win in the home opener over UMKC on Tuesday evening at Ahearn Field House by the score of 3-1. K-State overcame a sluggish second set to put the Kangaroos away in four sets while a number of freshmen helped play a key role in the win.

K-State (1-2) got the win 25-13, 16-25, 25-14, 25-16 while redshirt freshman Kathleen Ludwig led the team in kills with 12. Ludwig tallied the first double-double of her career with 10 digs while hitting .320. Two true freshmen got starting nods as well from head coach Suzie Fritz and the tandem of Caitlyn Donahue and Audrey Horton contributed to the win over UMKC (2-3).

Donahue had seven kills and nine digs, and Horton shined during her first significant playing time of the season with eight kills on a .389 clip and three block assists. After the match, Fritz said Horton has progressed quickly in the Wildcat system and proved why she is wearing purple.

"I was excited about how Horton played," Fritz said. "I don't want to say 'surprise' because we wouldn't have brought her here if we didn't think she could play. Our expectations of Audrey were that she may have needed a little time to adjust to the system, and we are pleasantly surprised she has come along so fast."

In addition to the youth movement, senior middle blocker Kelsey Chipman had a strong night at the net for K-State with eight kills on 18 swings with no errors to hit .444. She also added three block assists and a solo stuff.

The Wildcats were glad to be in their home gym after opening the season in Omaha at the Runza/AVCA Showcase. Fans poured into Ahearn Field House as 1,790 saw K-State get its first win of the season.

K-State pounced on the 'Roos early hitting .300 in the first set while the defense shutdown the UMKC's attack as the 'Roos hit negative to open the match. The Wildcats allowed UMKC to open a lead in the second set and the 'Roos coasted to a 25-16 turning a complete 180 hitting .382 and holding the Wildcats to just .108.

The Wildcats responded with a commanding win of their own in the third set and shut the door on UMKC in the fourth to head into the BYU Nike Classic with a win under their belt.

This weekend K-State travels to Provo, Utah, to take on BYU, Cal Poly and Weber State in a tournament hosted by BYU before returning home for a midweek match against South Dakota on Tuesday.

- k-statesports.com -