#25 K-State Sweeps TCU for 4th-Straight Win

FORT WORTH, Texas - The No. 25 K-State volleyball team extended its conference winning streak to four matches--its longest since 2008--as both the Wildcat offense and defense powered a 3-0 win over TCU (25-18, 25-21, 25-21) on Wednesday in the University Recreation Center.

The Wildcats (17-2, 4-1 Big 12) hit .307, its highest in a Big 12 match this season, and were led offensively and defensively by middle blockers Natali Jones and Katie Reininger. The pair both hit over .500, with Jones registering her eight kills on a .583 clip while Reininger had six kills with a .556 attack percentage. Jones and Reininger also combined for 12 blocks, with Jones tallying a match-high eight.

"We did a nice job, both at net and in the back row," said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz. "We didn't necessarily always get the swing we wanted in serve/receive, but we were really good in transition."

Freshman Kylee Zumach led K-State with 11 kills while also adding four blocks. Fellow outside hitter Brooke Sassin hit .333, recording eight kills and only one error on 21 attempts.

The K-State defense had 13.0 blocks and limited TCU (12-8, 2-4 Big 12) to a .118 hitting percentage in the match. Six different Wildcats had double-digit blocks, with Katie Brand trailing Jones for the team-lead with six blocks.

Brand also had 33 assists, four kills, four digs and an ace.

"Katie Brand had a nice match," said Fritz. "[She was] pretty consistent and put us in a lot of hittable situations even though we weren't always handling the first [ball]. She was making the second one better and giving us opportunities to get swings anyway."

The win also gave K-State three straight Big 12 road wins, a first since November 12-29, 2008. The Wildcats are 6-0 in true road matches this season.

The Wildcat defense stifled the TCU attack in the first, tallying five blocks and limiting the Horned Frogs to a -.062 hitting percentage. Jones led K-State with three blocks in the opener while Zumach and Reininger each contributed a pair of blocks. Jones and Reininger, meanwhile, were both perfect offensively, combining for six kills on six errorless attempts.

K-State trailed for much of the second set, but an 8-1 run, ignited by one of Zumach's six kills in the second, turned a 17-15 deficit into a 23-18 advantage. The Wildcat defense once again surfaced at the net, tallying three of its four blocks from the second during the burst. Jones was in on all three blocks, including one with Chelsea Keating that gave K-State the lead, 19-18.

TCU pulled within three following an ace by Mattie Burleson, but a kill from Sassin gave K-State the set.

The Wildcats pulled away in the third behind a 7-0 run that made it 16-10. Two kills and a block assist by Jones helped fuel the burst, but TCU would close it within three on four different occasions. The final time was at 24-21, but Jones' kill off the Horned Frogs block for match point sealed the match in favor of the Wildcats.

Piloted by Brand's 12 assists in the third, K-State as a team had 17 kills and hit .318 in the set. Keating had four of her seven kills on the night in the third.

K-State will take its winning streak into a top-25 matchup against No. 2 Texas on Saturday, October 18. First serve in Ahearn Field House is set for 7 p.m.
Kylee Zumach has double-digit kills in 10 straight matches, averaging 3.7 kills per set over the stretch (148 kills, 40 sets). Zumach's 16 matches this season with 10 or more kills are the most by a Wildcat freshman since 2000 (Cari Jensen, 22 matches).

Kersten Kober had one of the two K-State aces, giving her 10 aces in the last eight matches. The libero has a career-high 18 aces this season.

Katie Reininger has now hit over .500 in each of the last two matches. The redshirt sophomore hit .522 last week vs. Iowa State. She also hit over .500 earlier this season at Michigan (.522, 14 kills).