Wildcats Go Unbeaten in Spring Tournament

STILWELL, Kan. The K-State volleyball team finished with a 3-0-1 record in its spring tournament held at Blue Valley West High School on Saturday.

The Wildcats defeated Wichita State (25-17, 25-21), Illinois (25-23, 25-19) and Saint Louis (29-27, 25-13) while they split their final match of the day against Kansas City (29-27, 19-25). All matches consisted of two sets played to 25.

“We have spent a majority of the spring developing our offensive rhythm in an effort to play more up tempo,” said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz. “We are doing some nice things from that perspective, but are still striving for greater consistency, particularly in first contact.

“We were as productive in first swing offense as we have been in some time, hitting nearly .400 against good competition. Our middle blockers are getting more involved and our young players are developing quickly. We can be competitive with anyone if we can maintain that kind of balance and productivity on offense.”

In the Wildcats’ first match of the day against Wichita State, Kylee Zumach led the team with 11 kills, including seven in the 25-17 first-set win. The early-arriving freshman had a .450 attack percentage (11-2-20) for the match. Juniors Chelsea Keating and Taylor Johnson also swung at a .400+ hitting percentage, with Keating tallying six kills on a .420 clip and Johnson recording five kills with a .440 percentage. Sophomore transfer Sheridan Zarda led the Wildcats with six digs while adding two aces. Another transfer, freshman Brooke Sassin, had a team-best three aces to go with her three kills.

In the match against Saint Louis, six different Wildcats had three or more kills, led by seven apiece from Natali Jones and Sassin. Jones had a .888 hitting percentage after she had her seven kills on eight errorless attempts. Keating and Zumach each had five kills while Johnson and redshirt freshman Katie Brand had three.

Against Kansas City, Zumach finished with a team-high 11 kills on a .381 hitting percentage (3 errors, 21 attempts). Sassin added seven kills on 18 attempts with one error (.333 hitting percentage).

K-State will have next weekend off before finishing its spring schedule of scrimmages on Saturday, April 26 in a tournament hosted by Kansas City on the UMKC campus.