Wildcats Ground Eagles

Kathleen Ludwig

Sept. 2, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats took control of their first match of the Varney's Invitational on Friday afternoon sweeping the Georgia Southern Eagles 25-19, 25-17, 25-15. K-State rolled to the win on the arms of Kaitlynn Pelger and Kathleen Ludwig as the pair combined for 20 of K-State's 41 kills.

Pelger posted 11 kills on a .714 hitting percentage while Ludwig was close behind with nine kills and a .474 percentage. The team hit .385 for the match thanks to the solid play from setter Caitlyn Donahue, who had 33 assists on the day. Libero Kuulei Kabalis tallied a team-high nine digs for the match.

K-State Head Coach Suzie Fritz said she was happy with how her team played and how the Wildcats were able to avoid making mistakes against the Eagles.

"We kept our errors low and we were consistent in applying service pressure. We kept our errors low at the service line as well and we made them play," Fritz said. "We have talked about keeping our consistency and we did that today. We were efficient in all areas and were good on first contact."

Fritz said one reason the Wildcats were able to avoid hitting errors was due to the play of Donahue and her ability to put hitters into good situations.

"Donahue located the ball well today and made good decisions. She's been working hard with Coach Hulsmeyer and it showed," Fritz said. "He put together a good game plan going into the match and she executed it."

In addition to her 33 assists and the team hitting percentage of .385, Donahue added eight digs and came up with five timely kills on six attempts to keep the defense in check. That allowed seams in the defense to be taken advantage of more by hitters when Donahue wasn't dumping the ball over.

The win was a total team effort with a number of players coming off the bench to make contributions. Taylor Johnson played the third set at middle blocker and came up with two kills on four swings along with a block. Dakota Kaufman came off the bench late to register a stuff block as well.

Georgia Southern was led by the trio of Bethany Sanford, Parker Small and Hannah Nelson with six kills apiece. The Eagles could not find a rhythm as the Wildcats tallied six blocks on the day.

The Wildcats will take on the Idaho Vandals at 7:30 p.m. tonight during the second session of the Varney's Invitational. Idaho lost in three sets to BYU to open the tournament on Friday morning. The match can be heard live online at kstatesports.com and live video will be on K-StateHD.TV.