Volleyball Falls to Alabama in Five

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Kansas State volleyball had its seven-match win streak snapped Saturday evening by Alabama in the final match of the UNI Invitational. The Crimson Tide won in five (30-26, 16-30, 24-30, 30-28, 15-6).

Kansas State (8-2) was led offensively by sophomore Jenny Jantsch with 18 kills. The Kansas City, Mo., native recorded her fourth straight double figure match and fourth double-double of the season with 13 digs.

Junior libero Angie Lastra, who earned tournament MVP honors, surpassed three milestones during the match. Lastra moved into fifth-place on the K-State career digs list with her 35 digs on Saturday evening. The product of Carolina, Puerto Rico now has 1,163 digs for her career and trails Shawnee Call for fourth on the career list by just 11 digs.

The second milestone Lastra achieved was her 15th career 20 or more dig match. She is now tied with Dawn Cady for second on the K-State career list for 20- dig matches, trailing only Laura Downey who registered 21 such matches.

The final milestone Lastra surpassed was her 100th career service ace. She is now just eight away from passing Lynda Harshbarger for 10th on the K-State career list.

Alabama (5-4) took command of game one with an 8-0 run for an 18-10 advantage. The Crimson Tide held an eight-point lead on four separate occasions in the frame. The Wildcats held off game point four times before Alabama closed out the game, 30-26.

The Wildcats turned the tables on the Tide in game two with a strong effort from Megan Kroeker and Lastra. Kroeker registered eight kills on 11 attacks for a .727 hitting percentage and one solo block. Lastra kept a number of plays alive with 11 digs.

K-State darted out to a 7-3 lead in game three, but Alabama used a 7-1 run to take a 10-8 advantage. The teams' traded the lead until Jantsch registered consecutive kills to push K-State into a 5-0 run.

Alabama hung in game three, but another Jantsch kill pushed the Wildcats to game point. On the first game point, an Alabama attack to the back row threatened to touch the floor, but Lastra emerged from nowhere with a headlong dive to pop the ball into the air and save the play. The ensuing Crimson Tide attack was denied by a Kroeker and Stacey Spiegelberg block assist to capture the frame, 30-24.

The Crimson Tide held the advantage for much of game four. The Wildcats evened the game for the first time at 23, forcing an Alabama timeout. K-State took its first lead at 25-24 on a Werner kill. The Crimson Tide came back to even the frame at 27 to force the Wildcats to use their final timeout. The Crimson Tide reached game point first and closed out the game with a kill, 30-28.

In the fifth game, Jantsch evened it at 3 but the Tide went on a 10-1 run to take a 13-4 lead. Alabama clinched the match, 15-6, with a .300 hitting percentage and holding the Wildcats to a -.300.

Kansas State will begin Big 12 Conference action in Waco, Texas against Baylor. First serve is set for 7 p.m., on Wednesday in the Ferrell Center.

--www.kstatesports.com--