K-State Comeback Comes Up Short

COLLEGE STATION, Texas Kansas State’s late comeback against Texas A&M on Friday night came up just short, as the Aggies defeated K-State, 3-2 (30-28, 30-26, 20-30, 20-30, 15-10). The Wildcats have now lost four straight matches and are now 0-3 in Big 12 play for the first time and the first time in conference play since 1993.

 

Kansas State (8-5, 0-3 Big 12) was paced by senior Sandy Werner with 19 kills, with redshirt freshman Ginta Gabruseva adding 12 and sophomore Megan Kroeker chipping in 11. It is the seventh time this season Werner has paced the Wildcats in the category. Kroeker also added nine block assists to her ledger.

 

Junior setter Stacey Spiegelberg dished out 46 assists to move into sixth on the K-State career assist list. The Overland Park, Kan. Product has 2,143 assists for her career and passed Kristin Martin and Leslie Kull during the match.

 

Junior libero Angie Lastra carded a match-high 29 digs for her fourth straight match of 20-or more digs. She is the first Wildcat in the rally scoring era (2001-present) to register 20-or more digs in four consecutive matches. The product of Carolina, Puerto Rico has six matches of 20-or more digs this season and 18 for her career.

 

The Aggies were led by Sarah Ammerman with 18 kills, while Mary Batis registered a double-double with 15 kills and 20 digs.

 

Game one was a back and forth affair, as the teams were tied 15 times and exchanged the lead six times. The Aggies reached game point at 29-24 on the heels of a late 9-4 run. The Wildcats fended off game point four times with a Werner kill, an A&M attack error and a Tiffany Johnson kill, forcing an Aggies’ timeout. A Jenny Jantsch kill brought the Wildcats to 29-28, before an A&M kill ended the frame, 30-28.

 

The Wildcats were led in the opening game by Werner with five kills, while Kroeker chipped in three kills on a .600 hitting percentage. K-State registered a .231 hitting percentage, but were edged by A&M’s .300.

 

K-State held a late lead in game two at 24-22 on a Kroeker and Gabruseva block, forcing an A&M timeout. After the timeout, Texas A&M went on an 8-2 run to win the second game, 30-26. K-State registered a .114 hitting percentage, while Texas A&M carded a .245.

 

The Wildcats secured the lead in game three, 11-10, on a Werner kill. K-State eventually stretched the advantage to 10 on a Lastra service ace to make it 27-17. The Wildcats captured the game on a Gabruseva kill, 30-20. K-State hit an impressive .343, while limiting A&M to a .000 with 11 kills and 11 attack errors.

 

After trailing briefly to start game four, K-State forced the match to a fifth game with a second 30-20 win. The Wildcats used a 5-0 run late in the frame to distance themselves from the Aggies. The Wildcats were led by Gabruseva with five kills, while Werner and Kroeker chipped in four apiece. K-State tallied a .234 hitting percentage, while Texas A&M recorded a .073.

 

Texas A&M dashed out to an early 6-1 lead and never looked back, taking the deciding game, 15-10.

 

Kansas State will return to Manhattan to host Iowa State on Wednesday night in Ahearn Field House. First serve is set for 7 p.m.