Wildcats Top Tulsa 3-0 with Block

Kaitlynn Pelger

Sept. 13, 2012

Box Score | Notes

TULSA, Okla. – Kansas State turned on the heat against Tulsa in the third set on Thursday night to extend the best start in school history to 10-0. The Wildcats swept the host of the Golden Hurricane Classic 25-19, 25-22, 25-18 thanks to another impressive night blocking and slowing Tulsa’s main weapons.

K-State (10-0) saw junior middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger put together another complete effort with 11 kills on a .455 hitting percentage. She added 12 digs to post her fourth double-double of the season and assisted on five blocks. Senior Kathleen Ludwig continued her hot streak of late with 10 kills and a .364 percentage to go along with six digs.

The Wildcats allowed Tyler Henderson of Tulsa (7-5) to tally 18 kills on a .262 percentage but slowed the rest of the Golden Hurricane. Henderson leads the NCAA in kills per set at 5.50, but her teammates could not hit efficiently enough to defeat the Wildcats. Kellie Culbertson hit just .081.

A major contributing factor in Tulsa hitting .082 as a team was K-State’s block. The Wildcats posted 14.5 blocks, led by Alex Muff with six block assists. It marked the fourth straight match K-State has tallied at least 10 blocks as the team entered the Golden Hurricane Classic ranked 14th in the NCAA in blocking.

K-State found a way to slow Tulsa’s attack early in the match by limiting the other weapons outside of Henderson. Culbertson posted four kills but had three errors, and middle blocker Ashley Hooper had zero kills but had four errors, representing each of her swings. Tulsa hit just .086 as a team in the first set thanks to four blocks by K-State and a series of unforced errors. The Wildcats were solid with a .294 clip and a spread attack to win 25-19.

The second set saw the Wildcats take an early 3-2 lead, but Tulsa would find its rhythm on offense and go on two 4-0 runs to build a 13-8 lead. K-State would be pushed into a corner with Tulsa still ahead 17-14, but the Wildcats would get hot with Porubek down the stretch to reclaim the lead 20-19 before eventually winning 25-22 after outscoring the Golden Hurricane 11-5 to close the set and take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.

K-State came out of the break on a mission jumping on Tulsa quickly with a 5-0 run to go ahead 8-4. A 5-1 run followed by another quick points almost put the match away with the Wildcats up 23-14. Tulsa would attempt a comeback but it was not enough with the Wildcats completing the sweep 25-18 in the third set.

The Wildcats will take on No. 10 Minnesota on Friday for their second match of the Golden Hurricane Classic. The match time has been moved back half an hour to 4:30 p.m. The last time K-State and Minnesota played each other was at the 2009 Runza/AVCA Showcase with the Golden Gophers winning an exciting five-set match. Fans can listen on 1350 KMAN or watch online on K-StateHD.TV with Tulsa agreeing to share its online video feed with K-State.