Cats Take No. 8 Texas to Five

AUSTIN, Texas Kansas State pushed No. 8 Texas to the limit on Saturday afternoon at Gregory Gymnasium, but the Longhorns pulled out the win, 3-2 (28-30, 25-30, 30-26, 30-16, 15-10). The Wildcats have now lost six straight and five in a row in Big 12 play.

 

On the afternoon, K-State (8-7, 0-5 Big 12) was led by sophomore middle blockers Megan Kroeker and Megan Farr. The duo combined for 26 kills and 11 total blocks, with Kroeker registering team-highs of 16 and six.

 

Junior setter Stacey Spiegelberg registered her third double-double of the season and the 12th of her career with 47 assists and a career-high 18 digs. Junior libero Angie Lastra carded a match-high 26 digs for her seventh 20-dig match of 2006 and 19th of her career. The Carolina, Puerto Rico native also dropped in a service ace to move her to within three of passing Lynda Harshbarger for 10th on the K-State career list (105-Lastra; 107-Harshbarger).

 

Texas (9-4, 4-2) ended a two-match losing streak with the help of freshman Ashley Engle with 18 kills and 15 digs. The Longhorns also received a double-double from Dariam Acevedo with 15 kills and 22 digs.  

 

The Wildcats grabbed their first lead of game one on a Jenny Jantsch kill for a 6-5 advantage. K-State continued to hold off the Longhorns, building an 18-14 lead on three consecutive service aces by Jantsch. This pushes the nation’s longest service ace streak to 240 matches with at least one service ace.

 

K-State held off an aggressive charge from the Longhorns, never sacrificing the lead. The Wildcats put the frame away on a Werner kill, 30-28. The Wildcats were led by Kroeker with five kills and a .417 hitting percentage, as K-State tallied a .222 hitting percentage as a team. The Longhorns registered 18 kills, but managed a .167 hitting percentage.

 

The Wildcats continued to blitz Texas, holding the lead for the entire second game. After a Longhorn ace to tie the frame at 15, K-State went on a 9-3 run to take a decisive 24-18 lead. Down the stretch, K-State went Kroeker and received three kills to seal the win, 30-25. K-State registered a .311 hitting percentage on 17 kills, while Texas registered 20 kills but just a .204 attack percentage. The Wildcats thwarted the Texas attack with five total blocks in the game.

 

K-State held the lead throughout the early half of game three, including a 13-6 edge. Texas did not fold, however, charging back with a four-point rally to even the frame at 17. Texas went on to win the game with a 5-1 run, 30-26. The Longhorns tallied their second straight 20-kill game on a .240 hitting percentage. The Wildcats hit .184 with 16 kills, including four from Werner and three from Kroeker.

 

Texas used a 18-8 run to close out the Wildcats in the fourth game, 30-16. The Longhorns hit an astonishing .355 on just 16 kills. The Wildcats hit just .029 with eight kills.

 

The Longhorns took the early lead in game five at 5-3, but K-State clawed back to take a 7-6 lead on a Lauren Rosenthal service ace. Texas closed out K-State with a 6-1 run to win the decisive fifth frame, 15-10.

 

Kansas State will travel north to face No. 1 Nebraska on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Lincoln. The match will be broadcast live on 1350 KMAN in Manhattan and on www.1350kman.com beginning at 6:30 p.m.