Upset Bid for Wildcats Falls Short

COLUMBIA, Mo. Kansas State used a furious comeback in game four to push No. 12 Missouri to the brink, but the Tigers held on for a 3-2 win (30-26, 26-30, 30-22, 30-27, 15-12) Saturday night at the Hearnes Center.


K-State (9-12, 1-10 Big 12) was led by a career-high effort from junior Angie Lastra. The Carolina, Puerto Rico product registered 23 kills on a .240 hitting percentage and 18 digs. It is the fourth straight double-double for Lastra.


Also in double figures were senior Sandy Werner and sophomore Megan Farr. Werner tallied 20 kills and 16 digs for her first double-double of the season. Farr tied her career-high in kills with 15, while adding four blocks to her ledger.


Junior setter Stacey Spiegelberg dished out a match-high 61 assists on the night and tallied 10 digs for her seventh double-double this season and 16th of her career. It is the second time this season Spiegelberg has surpassed 60 assists, the first coming at Northern Iowa on Sept. 8.


Missouri (14-6, 8-3) was led by seniors Nicole Wilson and Jessica Vander Kooi. Wilson carded 23 kills, while Vander Kooi recorded a double-double with 19 kills and 12 digs.


The Wildcats used a furious 8-2 run to comeback down the stretch in game four to capture the frame, 30-27. The Wildcats trailed 25-22, but chipped at the Tiger lead with a 4-0 run on the back of three Werner kills. After Missouri tied the game at 26, a Tiger attack error followed by a Spiegelberg service ace gave the Wildcats a 28-26 lead. A Farr kill and a Lastra kill forced the match to a fifth game.


The Wildcats hit .319 with 20 kills, led by Lastra and Werner with seven and six kills, respectively.


In game one, K-State took the early lead at 11-10 on a Kroeker kill. Missouri rallied to a 21-15 lead, before the Wildcats whittled the Tiger advantage to one, 25-24, on a Na Yang service error. However, the Tigers went on a 5-2 run to close out game one, 30-26. The Tigers outhit K-State, .250 to .191, but tallied only one more kill, 17 to 16. The Wildcats were paced by Lastra with five kills on a .400 hitting percentage and six digs.


Missouri held its largest lead at 12-9, before K-State went on a 5-0 run highlighted by a Jenny Jantsch service ace and a Kroeker kill to take a 14-12 lead. The Wildcats built their lead to seven at 21-14 on a Tiger attack error. The Wildcats and Tigers exchanged points throughout the remainder of the second stanza. A Kelsey Chipman and Farr block snared the game two win for the Wildcats, 30-26.


The Wildcats hit .250 in the second game with 16 kills, led by Werner with six and Farr and Lastra recording four apiece.  


After an early K-State lead, Missouri went on a 7-2 run to capture a 15-8 lead they would not relinquish. The Tigers built a 11-point advantage before reaching game point at 29-18 on consecutive service aces from Vander Kooi. K-State held off game point four times, before the Tigers captured the stanza, 30-22. Both teams were error-prone on offense in the frame with Missouri hitting .149 to K-State’s .070.


In the final game, the Tigers used a late 4-1 run to seal the match, 15-12. Missouri hit .269, while the Wildcats tallied a .211.


Kansas State will conclude its two-match road trip at face Iowa State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.