Wildcats Fight Buffaloes, Fall in Three

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State pushed Colorado in Big 12 volleyball action on Saturday night in front of 1,152 fans in Ahearn Field House. However, the visiting Buffaloes were able to hold off the pesky Wildcats, 3-0 (31-29, 30-28, 34-32). The Wildcats have now lost eight straight and seven in a row in the Big 12.  


K-State (8-9, 0-7 Big 12) was paced by senior outside hitter Sandy Werner. The Topeka, Kan., native tallied a team-high 17 kills with a .200 hitting percentage. Also in double figures was sophomore middle blocker Megan Kroeker with 11 kills on a .265 hitting percentage and a match-high seven blocks.


Freshman Kelsey Chipman carded a career-high nine kills and added three blocks to her ledger. Junior setter Stacey Spiegelberg distributed 39 assists and tied for a team-high with 11 digs for her fourth double-double this season and 13th of her career.


Colorado (9-5, 5-2) was led by Amber Sutherland with a match-high 18 kills. The Buffaloes also received a productive effort from senior setter Ashley Nu’u, who tallied 40 assists, seven digs, six kills and a service ace.


The Buffaloes built an eight-point advantage midway through game one, 16-8. K-State did not go away peacefully, as a block by Kroeker and Spiegelberg pulled the Wildcats to within one at 23-22. Colorado continued to keep the Wildcats at arm’s length until another Kroeker and Spiegelberg block evened the stanza at 29. Colorado took advantage of a K-State service error to garner game point for the second time and put the game away on a kill by Alex Buth.


Game two was as close throughout as the end of the first game was. The teams were tied on 16 occasions and exchanged the lead 10 times. The Wildcats held a late two-point lead of 24-22 on a Werner kill, but Colorado pieced together a 3-0 run to take a 25-24 lead and force a K-State timeout. The Buffaloes were able to seal the frame, 30-28, with kills from Lauren Schaefer and Sutherland. The Wildcats outhit the Buffaloes, .314 to .208, but Colorado carded 19 kills to Kansas State’s 14.


The Wildcats held a five-point lead late in the third game at 23-18, after a kill from Kroeker. Colorado regrouped and went on a 4-0 run to trail, 23-22. The Wildcats built a 25-22 advantage on a kill from Kroeker and a block from Spiegelberg and Chipman.


The teams traded points for the remainder of the third game until a two straight attack errors by the Wildcats sealed the win for Colorado, 34-32.


For the match, Colorado hit .206 with 52 kills and tallied 55 digs and 6.5 blocks. K-State registered a .189 hitting percentage with 46 kills, 45 digs and 11.5 blocks.  


Kansas State will renew the Sunflower Showdown on Wednesday, as the Wildcats travel to Lawrence for a 7 p.m. match with Kansas.