Wildcats Open Season with Upset of No. 14 Cal Poly

WICHITA, Kan. The Kansas State Wildcats started the 2007 year by upending the No. 14 Cal Poly Mustangs 3-2 in a thriller at the Best Western Shocker Volleyball Classic in Wichita, Kan. The Cats came back from being down 2-1 to win by scores of 30-25, 20-30, 23-30, 30-25, 15-11. The victory marks the first win against a ranked squad since defeating then-No. 23 Notre Dame on Sept. 9, 2006.


The match featured the debut of junior transfer Nataly Korobkova, who was voted the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year. The Russia native finished with a double-double including a team-high 26 kills on 63 attempts and adding 11 digs.


Senior Angie Lastra had a match high 24 digs to notch her 21st match of 20 or more digs, tying for the lead with Laura Downey in K-State history. The product of Carolina, Puerto Rico, put away two service aces to also move her up in the school charts, as she is now tied for sixth on career aces with 120.


Sophomore Kelsey Chipman contributed 14 kills to the Cats’ effort, while Stacey Spiegelberg dished out 58 assists and 13 digs for her 21st career double-double. Megan Farr finished the night with nine kills on .346 hitting and also 10 total blocks.


In game one, the Wildcats struck first with a Megan Farr block. With a point exchange for most of the first 10 points, Cal Poly went on a 10-2 run after a 10-all score. The Cats came back to score five consecutive points of their own, including four Korobkova kills, bringing KSU to within three at 20-17. K-State continued to rally back with another string of five-straight points to earn the lead at 23-22, their first since 5-4. The Wildcats went on to finish the first set by a score of 30-25 on the effort of two Chipman kills and one block assist.


Cal Poly slowed the Cats’ momentum in the second game as they took an early 2-9 lead before Wildcat head coach Suzie Fritz called a timeout. The Mustangs earned the first point out of the break to which K-State responded with their longest run of game two with three kills from a trio of Cats. The Mustangs climbed to an 11-point advantage at 20-9 before K-State went onto a 5-2 run to get within eight at 22-14. Cal Poly took the game with a 30-20 victory on .412 hitting.


Out of the break, both teams came out fighting to gain the one game lead in the match, as game three featured 14 ties and five lead changes. After a 17-all score, K-State took control with a three-point run before Cal Poly called a timeout. The Mustangs returned to the court with four-consecutive points to regain the lead at 21-20, their first since 16-15. K-State could not contain the Cal Poly attack as the Mustangs finished the game with a 9-3 run to win 30-23.


During fourth-game action, K-State found themselves down 9-4, forcing an early timeout. The Cats responded with an 11-4 run to gain the lead at 15-13 as Cal Poly called a timeout. KSU held the Mustangs from any point runs as Cal Poly was unable to score more than two points at a time and committed six attack errors in the final half of the game.


After the Cats forced the fifth and deciding game, Cal Poly came out to gain the early lead at 6-3 after three consecutive points from the Mustangs. The next run belonged to the Cats as they scored four straight to gain a 7-6 lead. Cal Poly returned from a timeout with a 4-2 run to lead 10-9. K-State went on to finish the game and match with kills from Farr, Korobkova and Jenny Jantsch. The night ended with a put back from Jantsch and Chipman.


K-State will take on North Texas and host Wichita State on Saturday, Aug. 25. The Wildcats will face the Mean Green at 11 a.m., while the match against the Shockers will be at 7:30 p.m. For live results of both events, visit www.goshockers.com. A complete recap and results will be posted on www.kstatesports.com following each match.