Wildcats Swept by Aggies on Road

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Kansas State Wildcats could not get their first win in Big 12 Conference play on Wednesday evening as the Texas A&M Aggies swept them with a strong showing from a trio of seniors. The Aggies were able to hold off the Wildcats to win 25-16, 25-15, 25-17.

Texas A&M (11-3, 4-2 Big 12) remain undefeated at home this season with the trio of Sarah Ammerman, Mary Batis and Jennifer Banse leading an attack that hit .374 for the match. The seniors were assisted by a strong showing by a pair freshman middle blockers in Alicia Katsmo and Lindsey Miller.

Banse led all the Aggies with 12 kills. Ammerman tallied 11 with Batis pounding out eight along with Miller. Katsmo added seven on 10 swings to hit .700. Banse and Ammerman both tallied double-doubles with 11 and 10 digs respectively.

K-State (6-9, 0-5) did not have any players reach double digits in kills as the team was limited to hitting .186. Senior middle blocker Kelsey Chipman led the way with nine kills getting many on the slide throughout the match. Chipman hit .562 to lead the regular attackers for K-State. She also added two block assists to move into a tie for third all-time in K-State history with 408 for her career.

The Wildcats and Aggies traded blows through much of the first set before A&M was able to take advantage of a number of K-State miscues. The Aggies went on a 10-2 run to open up a 19-10 lead. The Wildcats had a combination of three attack and service errors in that stretch while the Aggies tallied a pair of aces on misplays by K-State. Errors continued to plague the Wildcats down the closing stretch of the first set with three more service errors and an attack error to help propel A&M to the 25-16 win.

Serving proved to be crucial in the opening set as K-State had a total of six service errors compared to one by the Aggies. The Wildcats hit .233 as a team for the first set while A&M hit at a .385 clip.

K-State fell behind early in the second set but mounted a comeback only to see the Aggies go on another run to open the lead right back up.

The Wildcats cut into the lead with back-to-back kills to make the score 13-10 in favor of the Aggies in the second set. Texas A&M would then score five of the next six points relying heavily on the arm of Katsmo for three of those kills to take an 18-11 lead.

K-State could not put together consecutive points the rest of the way out and A&M went into the locker room holding a 2-0 advantage after winning the second set 25-15 hitting .469 compared to .182 by the Wildcats.

In the third set, the Wildcats came out firing with two three-point runs to open a 7-5 lead. The Aggies clawed back in and trailing 10-9, A&M rallied for six straight points to reclaim the lead 15-10. The Aggies continued to pour it on with fourth straight points after a kill by K-State to go on a 10-1 run and lead by eight points. The Aggies would not look back even after the Wildcats pulled within five points to close the door 25-17 in the final set.

The Wildcats will travel to take on rival Nebraska on Saturday in Lincoln. First serve is set for 7 p.m. against the No. 9 Cornhuskers.

- k-statesports.com -