Wildcats Catch Kangaroos from Behind

Kaitlynn Pelger

Sept. 28, 2010

Box Score

MANHATTAN, Kan. - It took five sets, but the Kansas State Wildcats got a win over UMKC on Tuesday night as freshman middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger pounded out a career-high 17 kills. Pelger and the Wildcats struggled early against the Kangaroos but turned on the heat late to blows past UMKC to the victory 25-23, 20-25, 22-25, 25-11, 15-10.

Neither team could get into an offensive rhythm in the first set as K-State and UMKC both hit below .100 to start the match. The second set was more of the same as each team continued to block and dig balls with a vengeance. UMKC (5-11) would put the pressure on K-State (8-7) by winning the third set back the Wildcats into a corner never letting K-State lead in the third.

K-State responded well coming out firing away with senior JuliAnne Chisholm and Pelger. The Wildcats hit .364 in the fourth set with just one attack error en route to the dominating 25-11 win. K-State was able to roll over the `Roos with strong defense and finding its block again with four in the set. UMKC hit just .053 in the fourth set as well.

The Wildcats would close the door in the fifth set with an impressive offensive performance again this time hitting .500 thanks to a series of kills by Chisholm and Pelger again. Head coach Suzie Fritz said she was happy to get the win but would like to see more consistency from her team.

"We woke back up, but it took a long time," Fritz said. "There are times when this team fights like crazy, and that's an important characteristic of this team, but this was not as good as we can play. Wins are great, but I want to play well. It feels good to win, but it feels really good when you play well and win."

Leading the Wildcats offensively again was Pelger with her career-best 17 kills. She also had the best hitting percentage on the night with an impressive .519 on 27 swings with just three errors. The middle blocker also posted six blocks, six digs and two aces. Chisholm posted another double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs to make her contribution to the win. Sophomore Alex Muff had nine kills and eight blocks. Senior Lauren Mathewson moved her way up the record books again with her 17 digs. She now is third in career digs with 1,462 passing Laura Downey on the way. Mathewson now needs 117 to pass Kim Zschau for second all-time at K-State.

The Wildcats return to Big 12 Conference action this weekend when they travel to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. from Reed Arena and the match can be heard on 1350 KMAN with Brian Smoller calling the action.