Chisholm, Mathewson Shine in Loss

NORMAN, Okla. - The Kansas State Wildcats fell 3-1 at Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon in a match that was full of excitement and career performances from the Wildcats. Oklahoma got the win 29-31, 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 as K-State falls to 8-14 on the year and 2-10 in Big 12 Conference play.

K-State relied heavily on JuliAnne Chisholm as she had the hot hand pounding out a career-high 22 kills on the afternoon. Chisholm hit .236 and was joined by Kelsey Chipman in double digit kills with 14. Chipman also was efficient with her swings hitting .297. Libero Lauren Mathewson also had a career day defensively with 30 digs tying her career-high set last year at Oklahoma in a five-set win. Chipman had a double-double with 10 digs, and setter Soriana Pacheco also had a double-double with a season-high 55 assists and career-high tying 16 digs.

Oklahoma also had strong showings out of a number of players with Francie Ekwerekwu and Suzy Boulavsky leading the way in kills with 17. Boulavsky posted a double-double with 16 digs in the match as well and had Bridget Laplante also post double-double with 10 kills and 17 digs. The Sooners had five players tally at least 15 digs with setter Brianne Barker posting 22 along with 49 assists. Caitlyn Higgins had 15 digs, and libero Maria Fernanda had 19.

The first set was a see-saw battle that ended up being a marathon with the Wildcats winning 31-29 with plenty of drama in the down the stretch and a total of 18 ties and six lead changes. K-State fought off four set points for the Sooners trailing 23-24 and with a kill by Chipman and a block by her and Soriana Pacheco the set was tied.

After tying the set, the Wildcats and Sooners traded blows until K-State was able to regain the lead 26-7-26 only to see Oklahoma fight off four set points as well, but the Sooners could not keep that going with a strong attack from the Wildcats. On the final point, K-State had a big attack that kept OU scrambling to keep the ball alive, and a free ball by Oklahoma sailed just wide of the sideline to give K-State the win.

The Wildcats had shining performances from a number of players in the opening set to get the exciting win. Chisholm tallied an amazing eight kills in the first set alone while hitting .500 from her outside hitter position. Chipman had a big set with seven kills and no errors to hit .438. Mathewson also kept K-State alive defensively with nine digs in the opening set.

The two teams had another close battle in the second set, but K-State was not able to get the best of the Sooners falling 25-20 after the Sooners took a 12-10 lead on a three-point run and backed it up with another three-point run and held off a push by the Wildcats late.

K-State came out in the third set continuing to ride the arm of Chisholm as she posted four kills in the Wildcats' first five points building a 7-5 lead. Oklahoma, however, answered with six straight points to take an 11-7 lead. The Wildcats could not recover from that deficit despite a valiant effort late in the set. Down 22-14, K-State scored three straight points to cut into the lead and cut deeper into it with 5-1 run to trail by just three points 24-21, but the comeback stalled with Oklahoma getting the win 25-21 and taking a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Wildcats and Sooners kept it close throughout most of the fourth set before a 3-0 run late put the Sooners ahead 17-13 for the largest lead of the set to that point. Another three-point run extended the lead to five points. The Wildcats could not string together points late in the match with the Sooners continuing to build with a four-point run to go up 24-16 and eventually closing the door on the match 25-17.

K-State will return home for the Wildcats' next match as they take on the No. 25 Texas A&M Aggies at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The match will be televised on Fox Sports Kansas City.

- k-statesports.com -