High Hitting Gives Cats 3-0 Win

HONOLULU, Hawaii With the fifth best hitting percentage in a single match in school history, No. 25 Kansas State swept the Louisville Cardinals 3-0 during Saturday’s contest of the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic. The Cats improve to 5-1 while the Cardinals, who received votes in the latest polls, fall to 3-2. K-State took the victory in games of 30-27, 30-23, 30-16, while holding the Cardinals to two games of under-.200 hitting.


K-State finished the match with 59 team kills and only 11 errors in 100 attempts to finish with a .480 percentage. The hitting percentage sits as the fifth highest in the school record books and marks the second best from a Suzie Fritz-coached squad.


The start of the first game was reminiscent of play from the Hawaii match as K-State’s opponent pulled out to a six point lead before the Cats scored their first point with a Nataly Korobkova kill. KSU battled back with five straight points to tie the game at eight-all. A service ace from Kelsey Chipman earned the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 11-10. The Cardinals continued to gain two-point leads, but consistency from the KSU left side helped the team pull ahead to an eventual four-point advantage. The final two points that put Louisville down 30-27 came from Jenny Jantsch and Rita Liliom, who finished with six and five kills, respectively, in the first game.


With the 1-0 lead, K-State entered game two with plenty of momentum and sat at a 5-4 lead with three kills coming from Chipman. Louisville led twice, at 6-5 and 7-6, but the Wildcats dominated from there. As a team, KSU hit 21 kills with two errors on 33 attempts, good for a .576 hitting percentage, their second best in a game this season. During the 30-23 KSU win, Liliom again put up high numbers as she put down six kills, while the Cats finished with three service aces.


Looking to sweep, KSU jumped to an early lead with two blocks, including a solo from Megan Farr, during game three. The Wildcats continued to hit well and gained support from the middle, as K-State had a string of six-unanswered points from all areas of the court to gain an 18-9 lead. The Wildcat hitters combined for 20 kills on 32 attempts to hit .531 in the third and capture the victory 30-16.


Three Wildcats finished the match with double-digit kills: Liliom tallied 16, Korobkova had 15, and Jantsch added 12. All three hit .500 or better, with Liliom leading with .583 and the trio combined for 73 percent of the team’s kills.


Stacey Spiegelberg dished out 45 assists while also adding five digs, a team high, two kills and one service ace. Farr finished the day with the Wildcats’ single solo block and also put back six block assists.


K-State enters Sunday’s final match of the tournament with a 1-1 record in Hawaii and will face its final opponent in UCLA at 7:30 p.m. CT. A complete recap of the battle with the Bruins will be posted online at www.kstatesports.com following the conclusion of action.