Wildcats Roll Over Mavericks in Three

Lilla Porubek

Sept. 22, 2012

Box Score |  Quotes |  Notes  | Highlights

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State volleyball bounced back from its first loss of the season with a dominating performance against Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats got the sweep 25-14, 25-15, 25-21 and hit .433 for the match as the team had one of its best offensive performances of the season.

Junior outside hitter Lilla Porubek led the Wildcats with 11 kills and also hit .474 as she posted only two errors on the day. Junior middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger also was in double digits with 10 kills to go with her .444 hitting clip. Pelger just came up short of another double-double with nine digs on the defensive side. Kuulei Kabalis had a strong day on the back row for K-State as she dug out 14 of the Mavericks’ attacks.

K-State (13-1) never trailed in the first two sets as the Wildcats dominated UNO (5-9) for the win. All but one player got in the match for K-State as Head Coach Suzie Fritz took advantage of her team’s depth and did not see her team back down or let off the gas.

“We were able to get a lot of folks in and out of the match. We do that because they earn opportunities. They are battling every day in the environment that we have in our practices that are very competitive,” Fritz said. “I felt that as people were being rotated in and out of the match, there were not any significant drop offs, which is what we are looking for. We want to maintain a level of play no matter who is in the match. I thought we did a nice job of that.”

Following Wednesday night’s loss at Oklahoma to open Big 12 play, the Wildcats were looking to return to form, and senior setter Caitlyn Donahue said she believed her team did just that on Saturday against UNO.

“I think we did exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to win the serve and pass battle, be ourselves and celebrate greatness. I think we did all three of those things. It was important to come back and focus on what we wanted to get done .It was really important for us to come back and rebound and focus back on what we need to do on our side of the court.”

The Wildcats looked to apply pressure to the Mavericks with their serve, which resulted in six aces and a number of scoring opportunities in transition as UNO struggled through the first two sets to run its offense in system. K-State had a sideout percentage of 80 percent in the first set and 73 percent in the second set thanks to the strong serving. Kabalis posted three aces in the victory.

UNO was led by Natalie Ebke with 11 kills on a .296 hitting clip. The Mavericks hit.213 for the match thanks to a .357 percentage in the third set. K-State’s defense was able to limit the Mavericks through the first two sets before UNO was able to find the floor with more attacks in the final frame.

The Wildcats return to Big 12 Conference action on Thursday at 7 p.m. when they host the West Virginia Mountaineers. It will be the first time K-State and West Virginia have played each other.