K-State Blanks Big Red

MANHATTAN, Kan. In Saturday’s early session of the Varney’s Kansas State Invitational, the No. 19 Wildcats made quick work of the Cornell Big Red with a sweep. K-State got the win 25-19, 25-17, 25-9 to improve to 2-0 at the tournament and 3-0 for the week.


K-State (9-1) hit .396 as a team with Rita Liliom again leading the team in kills with 12. Senior middle blocker Megan Farr also played a big role in the victory with eight kills on nine swings and no errors for a percentage of .889.


“Abby Fay did a nice job of getting the ball to Megan,” head coach Suzie Fritz said. “Megan was doing a lot of nice things out there today.”


Cornell (0-2) was held to just a team percentage of .200 with Juliana Rogers leading with 10 kills. Eric McCarthy had eight on the match.


Service aces contributed to the win as well with the Wildcats placing nine on the floor compared to just one from Cornell. K-State also had only two service errors in the match. Fay had three of the aces herself. Liliom and Lauren Mathewson both had two.


During the third set, the Wildcats put the match out of reach early jumping on the Big Red and building a 12-point lead to pull ahead 16-4. A four-point run at the end of the set closed the door on the 25-9 win. The Wildcats hit .600 as team in the final stanza without an attack error. Fritz said playing consistently is the first step in getting her team to where she thinks they need to be.


“We were able to play a lot of people today, and JuliAnne Chisholm was very versatile for us. Sarah Allison did a nice job at middle blocker and we didn’t lose a beat with her in there,” Fritz said. “It’s important that whoever we play, we want to play to the best of our ability. It’s important to give our best effort every point every set. We did a good job of staying aggressive against Cornell.”


The Wildcats will close the tournament against Liberty (8-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday with Northern Iowa (8-1) and Cornell will face off at 5 p.m.


In the first match of the early session, Liberty and Northern Iowa battled back and forth with Northern Iowa getting the win in three sets after fighting from behind late in each set. The Panthers got the win 25-23, 26-24, 25-19. Shannon Aschoff had 13 kills for UNI, and Liberty’s Chelanie McCarty and Nicki Scripko each had nine.