Wildcats Stampede to Milestone Win

BOULDER, Colo. The Kansas State Wildcats played a complete match to give coach Suzie Fritz her 169th career win and become the winningest coach in school history Wednesday night. Kansas State defeated Colorado in four sets 23-25, 25-20, 25-18, 27-25 and used its entire offense to get it done.

K-State ( 22-5, 12-4 Big 12) spread the attack around with four players tallying double digits in kills. The middle blockers were crucial in the win as Megan Farr and Kelsey Chipman both reached double digits. It was Farr’s first 10-kill performance since pounding 11 against Missouri eight matches ago on October 11. She tallied 12 in the win while hitting .458 on the night. Chipman had a season-high 17 kills and also hit extremely efficient with a .533 percentage.

Rita Liliom led the Wildcats with 18 kills and marked her 10th double-double of the season with 11 digs. Nataly Korobkova contributed 15 kills as K-State’s other weapon on the night. Libero Lauren Mathewson had 16 digs to lead the team and Soriana Pacheco also had a double-double with 58 assists and 10 digs.

Colorado (12-12, 6-9) jumped on top of the Wildcats early as K-State failed to win consecutive points until the match was 8-10 in favor of the Buffaloes. The Wildcats scored four in a row to tie the set at 10-10 but Colorado answered with a 6-2 run to pull ahead 16-12.

Out of timeout the Wildcats responded scoring five of the next seven points to pull within one point. Colorado would pull ahead again with back-to-back points to put the Wildcats in a corner down 17-20. K-State fought off five consecutive set points going on a run but senior Alex Buth was able to put away the final point off the block for the Buffaloes to get the win 25-23.

The Wildcats came out swinging in the second set building the early lead 4-1 before another 4-0 by Colorado. K-State could not reclaim the lead for a while as there were nine ties before the Wildcats took the lead 13-12 in the middle of a 5-0 run. Kelsey Chipman played a big role in that run as she had two kills and a solo block in the rally to go ahead 17-12.

Liliom took over late in the set with three kills as the Buffs battled within four points under the attack of Schylur Edelman. It was not enough as K-State close the door with a block by JuliAnne Chisholm and Chipman to win the set 25-20 and even the match at one set apiece.

The Wildcats were able to keep the Buffs off balance and out of system with their serving throughout the second set to gain the advantage. Lauren Mathewson and Jenny Jantsch utilized a short serve to catch the Buffaloes off guard which resulted in a number of kills for the Wildcats as Colorado could not make a strong attack.

In the third set each team traded blows with the score tied at 10-10 neither team won consecutive points until a three-point run by the Wildcats gave them a 16-14 lead. Another three-point lead after a block by Farr and Korobkova paired with kills from each on over passes by the Buffs force CU to take a timeout trailing 19-15. Out of the timeout, K-State would not give up any ground with another run to go up 23-17 and force another CU timeout. A kill by Chipman put the set away 25-18 for the Wildcats as they pulled ahead two sets to one in the match.

K-State had its most efficient performance of the night in the third set hitting .412 as a team. Farr, Chipman and Korobkova provided most of the attack for the Wildcats as they had four, four and five kills respectively in the set to combine for 13 of K-State’s 17 kills.

The Wildcats opened a five-point lead in the fourth set pulling ahead 15-10 but the Buffaloes battled within one with a 6-2 run knocking on the door down 19-18. Colorado tied the set but could not overcome the Wildcats with a kill from Chipman and an ace from Jantsch ending the match.

K-State will return home to take on No. 4 Texas at 7 p.m. Saturday in Ahearn Field House. Fans can get in for just $2 with their ticket stub to the K-State-Nebraska football game.