Wildcat Rally Falls Short to Aggies

Kaitlynn Pelger

Nov. 17, 2010

Box Score

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats fell behind the Texas A&M Aggies on Wednesday night and managed to claw their way back into the match only to see it slip through their fingers in the end. After losing the first two sets, K-State won the third in commanding fashion and rallied from behind to take a late lead in the fourth, but that lead quickly dwindled away and A&M got the win 25-16, 25-21, 18-25, 25-22.

"One of the things Coach Fritz told the team is that we're running out of season," said assistant coach Jeff Hulsmeyer after the match. "In game three, we played with that enthusiasm and fun we did at the beginning of the year. That's one of those moments we have to grab as a staff and make last longer."

The Wildcats (10-18, 4-13 Big 12) trailed 14-7 in the fourth but a three-point run and another of four points helped K-State pull within one point. Another three-point run would put K-State up 21-19 and force the Aggies to call their final timeout of the set. Out of that brake, A&M (13-14, 7-10) scored five straight points to steal the momentum and set up match point.

"In the fourth, I think we did a great job of fighting our way back into it," Hulsmeyer said. "To be down 14-17 and come back like we did was great, but we had too many errors at the wrong time. We had three straight errors, and that's tough to recover from that late in the match."

K-State saw freshman middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger shine again with a career-high 18 kills on the night to go with an impressive .577 hitting percentage as she had just three errors. Pelger put together a complete match for the Wildcats narrowly missing out a double-double with eight digs. She also had three aces and five blocks on her stat line.

A&M's Kelsey Black proved why she is one of the most prolific players in the conference as she led the way with 19 kills and had a double-double with 11 digs. Black entered the match ranked second in the Big 12 in kills and after being limited to just 10 kills and a .000 hitting percentage in this season's first match with K-State she helped lead the Aggies to the victory.

K-State could not slow down Lindsey Miller in the middle either as the sophomore middle blocker posted 11 kills on a .450 percentage and had five blocks. For the Wildcats, Alex Muff and Lilla Porubek each had eight kills. Muff was one of four players with four or more block assists on the night as K-State tallied nine stuffed attacks, but it was not enough to slow the Aggies down with A&M hitting .271 as a team compared to K-Sate's .174.

The Wildcats hit the road this weekend for a contest with the Oklahoma Sooners. First serve is set for 3 p.m. from McCasland Field House.