Wildcats Top Texas Tech to Snap Streak

Kaitlynn Pelger

Nov. 3, 2010

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Suzie Fritz said it was a monkey off her team’s back. Senior libero Lauren Mathewson said it was fun playing volleyball again. The Kansas State Wildcats ended their eight-match losing streak with a 3-1 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday night 20-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-15.

“Winning feels good,” Fritz said. “We needed it to get the monkey off our back as they say. It was not pretty early on, but we got better as the match went on. We felt we upgraded in every area throughout the match.”

Mathewson posted 27 digs on the night to give her 417 on the year and her 21st career match of 20 or more and sixth this season. Mathewson has averaged 6.30 digs a set over the last three matches. She too expressed her excitement of ending the losing streak.

“I don’t even remember digging that many balls,” Mathewson said. “I was just out there having fun with my teammates for the first time in a long time. We finally played the kind of volleyball we wanted to play tonight.”

Offensively for the Wildcats, middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger posted 16 kills and hit an impressive .344. She also added five digs and four blocks. Freshman Dakota Kaufman had 10 kills to also reach double digits along with her five blocks, and Alex Muff had nine kills with just one error to hit .571. Setter Caitlyn Donahue had a double-double with 45 assists and 10 digs.

The Wildcats (10-15, 4-10 Big 12) dropped the first set to the Red Raiders (3-20, 1-13) as K-State’s offense struggled to maintain a high enough hitting percentage to gain the advantage. In the second set, the Wildcats went to their middle blockers to get the job done as Pelger pounded out six kills on a .364 hitting percentage, and Muff added four without any errors on five attempts to take the momentum into the locker room at the intermission.

Out of the break, the Wildcats stormed off to a quick 5-0 lead with Tristan McCarty serving strong to keep the Raiders off balance. After a kill by Amanda Dowdy for Tech, the Wildcats scored another five straight points to make the lead 10-1 this time with Kathleen Ludwig serving it up. Tech would fight back within three points, but K-State would not let the comeback be completed as Mathewson ended the set with a service ace following a Tech timeout.

The Wildcats held Tech to a .000 hitting percentage in the fourth set with just nine kills and a total of nine errors for the Raiders. K-State spread its offense around tallying 13 kills and three players posting three apiece.

Following the win the Wildcats now have a short breather with their scheduled weekend bye on Saturday. The team will take some time off before getting back to the gym for practice on Friday and taking on the No. 5 Nebraska Cornhuskers on the road this Wednesday at 7 p.m.