Liliom Reaches Milestone in Victory

MANHATTAN, Kan. Senior outside hitter Rita Liliom returned to form against Texas Tech on Saturday night and helped lead Kansas State to another win while reaching a career milestone in the process. Liliom surpassed the career 1,000 kill mark with 11 on the night to put her 15th all-time in K-State history with 1,002. Her 11 kills led the Wildcats in the 25-18, 25-12, 25-17 sweep over the Red Raiders.


Perhaps most impressive about Liliom’s achievement is the way she got to the mark with no attack errors on the night. Liliom had struggled of late not hitting over .300 in eight matches. She turned her luck around hitting .550 against Tech (5-16, 0-10 Big 12) and continuing her streak of double-digit kill matches.


“It means she’s taken a lot of swings and been pretty good at it,” said head coach Suzie Fritz about Liliom’s accomplishment. “I’m not really concerned about records or anything like that. What I think you’ll see about Rita is that she’s hit for a high efficiency in those 1,000 kills. I think that tells you more about what kind of a player she is that she’s been very effective.”


Liliom was not the only Wildcat that was efficient on Saturday night as the team combined to hit .397 for the match and had just nine attack errors. Nataly Korobkova tallied nine kills and hit .312 for the match while Megan Farr had five and hit .375.


The Wildcats (17-3, 7-2) kept the Red Raiders at bay with an aggressive serving attack Fritz said also hindered her team by giving Tech a number of points off service errors. However, K-State was able to overcome that with six service aces four from Liliom to take the Raiders out of their offensive rhythm and hit below .100 for the match. Tech’s highest kill mark for the night was seven by Hayley Ball who also had eight errors to hit for a negative percentage. The Raiders hit .066 as a team for the match and were stuffed by nine Wildcat blocks.


Jantsch also improved her status in the K-State record books moving to eighth in career aces. Her two aces in the second set gave her 121 for her career and moved her ahead of Kathy Saxon.


The win marks K-State’s seventh in conference play as the midway point approaches on Wednesday night. Fritz said she has been happy with a number of players this season but there is room for improvement if the Wildcats want to be in the hunt for a Big 12 title down the stretch.


“I’ve been very pleased with Lauren Mathewson and the job she’s done. She’s stepped into that role well,” Fritz said. “Nataly has been consistent night in and night out. Rita and Jenny have done a great job taking on an additional role this year as seniors. There were a lot of bright spots tonight, but we have a very long list of things we need to improve on in the second half of Big 12 play.”


K-State returns to action Wednesday when the Wildcats travel to take on Iowa State.