Cats Take Tourney Title with Win over Shockers

WICHITA, Kan. In front of a crowd of 6,024, Kansas State volleyball captured the victory and the tournament title after defeating host Wichita State 3-1 Saturday night at the Charles Koch Arena. K-State won in games of 30-26, 25-30, 30-28, 30-18 in its first road win at Wichita State since October 1995. The win marked the eighth-straight over the Shockers in the series and brought the Wildcats to 3-0 on the season, while Wichita State moved to 1-1.

 

Four of the Cats finished in double-digit kills, with junior Nataly Korobkova knocking down 19 and K-State having a large effort from the middle with Kelsey Chipman putting down 14 and Megan Farr adding 10. Korobkova added 12 digs to earn her second double-double of the year.

 

On the defensive end, Angie Lastra finished with a team-high 19 digs. Chipman led all Cats with eight blocks including one solo, while Farr had two solo and five block assists.

 

After the Shockers scored the first point of the match, Kansas State went up 3-1 before Wichita State responded with three points of its own to regain the lead at 4-3. With back and forth play, Kansas State tied the game at 10 all with a Korobkova kill and went on a 5-1 run to take its largest lead of the game at 15-11. From then on, the Shockers were unable to control the Kansas State attack as WSU did not lead again in the game. Chipman helped the Wildcats gain momentum with four consecutive points for the Cats, including three of her game one seven kills. After two Shocker attack errors, Liliom earned game one victory for K-State with a kill to win 30-26.

 

As K-State fought for the two game advantage, the Shockers looked to win a competitive game two and eventually earned a 12-9 lead before the Wildcats burned their first timeout. The Cats came within one at 13-12 on an attack error by WSU, but the Shockers responded with a 6-2 run to pull ahead by five at 19-14. After a second Cats timeout, K-State returned and outscored WSU 7-3 to come within one at 22-21. The Shockers tied the game at one apiece as they maintained their early force by going 8-4, including a four point run, to win 30-25.

 

In the pivotal game three, the Wildcats began with a strong showing from all attackers including five kills from the middle (Chipman and Farr) to put KSU up 21-14. The Shockers went on an 11-4 run after a timeout to tie the game. K-State rallied back to regain energy and capture the game with a 30-28 score despite being outhit .233 to .143.

 

Early in the fourth game, both teams battled for points as there were nine ties before K-State took a commanding lead at 23-14, including six unanswered points. In a last effort to save the game and match, the Shockers called a timeout. Continuing with their strong pace, the Wildcats sought help from all angles as kills from Korobkova, Chipman and Farr along with a final point from a Spiegelberg ace put away the Shockers 30-18.

 

The Wildcats return home to host their first match of the season as the Houston Cougars will take on the undefeated KSU squad in Ahearn Field House on Tuesday. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m.