Wildcats Stuff Jayhawks

Alex Muff

Sept. 15, 2010

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – In their Big 12 Conference opener, the Kansas State Wildcats drew their in-state rival Kansas Jayhawks, and they did not disappoint a packed house at Ahearn Field House. With more than 3,100 fans in the seats K-State defeated KU in four sets 25-15, 25-20, 23-25, 31-29 with an exciting comeback in the fourth.

Kansas (9-3, 0-1 Big 12) opened up a 5-0 lead in the fourth set after K-State (6-5, 1-0) dominated the first two. The momentum continued to shift toward the Jayhawks as they eventually led by an 18-8 margin. With six straight points – all of them kills with four consecutive from JuliAnne Chisholm – the Wildcats clawed their way back within striking distance.

The comeback continued as K-State fought off three set points to tie the fourth at 24-24. The two teams then traded blows back and forth when Kansas held off K-State on four match points. But in the end it was a stuff block by Kathleen Ludwig and Alex Muff that ended the match 31-29 to give the Wildcats their first conference win of the season.

“You’re not supposed to win games like that, and now we’ve done it three times,” head coach Suzie Fritz said about overcoming the large deficit. “I’m excited about the two-game effort we put together the first two sets, and I’m excited about the composure the team showed to work our way back in it and get the win.”

The Wildcats were led by Chisholm with 15 kills as she also posted another double-double with 10 digs. Muff had a career night with 12 kills and nine blocks, both career bests for the sophomore. Muff was one of K-State’s most efficient hitters on the night pounding out her 12 kills on a .500 hitting percentage. Freshman middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger continues to be one of the Wildcats’ top performers as she had 10 kills and added a career-high nine digs. Pelger helped K-State fight its way back in the fourth set with her serving as she was at the line during the Wildcats’ initial charge to cut KU’s lead to four. Ludwig’s performance was not to go unnoticed as the sophomore opposite tallied eight kills with a .438 hitting percentage and seven digs.

K-State posted 12 blocks and a season-high in kills with 57 to wow the crowd, and afterward Fritz thanked the fans for their tremendous support to start the season.

“It is awesome what’s happening here,” Fritz said. “It is unbelievable what’s happening in the Field House this year. I hope the fans understand how many points they score for us. The students and fans put an enormous amount of pressure on KU tonight, and it was exciting. I hope they keep coming back and supporting us like this because it’s tremendous.”

The Wildcats hit the road for a Saturday match against Texas Tech at noon from the United Spirit Arena. The match will not be broadcast live on KMAN 1350 due to K-State’s football game against Iowa State; however, fans can heard the action live on www.1350kman.com and catch it tape delayed on the air following football.