Cats Fall in Four Sets at No. 7 Texas Saturday


GAME RECAP

1

3

NR
K-STATE
WILDCATS
19-9 (8-7 Big 12)

7
TEXAS
LONGHORNS
21-4 (13-2 Big 12)

LEADERS:
Brooke Sassin: 12 kills, .290%,  6 digs, 1 ace
Katie Brand: 36 assists, 6 kills, 3 digs, 1 block
Katie Reininger: 10 kills, 6 digs

LEADERS:
Micaya White: 15 kills, .387%, 7 digs
Ebony Nwanebu: 10 kills, .625%, 4 digs
Chloe Collins: 46 assists, 7 digs

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5
K-State 10 15 25 17 --
Texas 25 25 20 25 --

AUSTIN, Texas – The Kansas State volleyball team took a set off the No. 7 team in the country Saturday night at Gregory Gymnasium but fell short in its upset bid of Texas, 10-25,15-25, 25-20, 17-25.

Texas (21-4, 13-2 Big 12) posted a .449 team hitting percentage (56 kills-12 errors-98 total attempts), a season high for a K-State opponent this season, and committed just two errors while leading wire-to-wire in the first two sets.

K-State (19-9, 8-7) responded with an efficient third-set victory to force a fourth set but were unable to overcome the deficit. Texas extended its winning streak over K-State to 27 matches.

Senior outside hitter Brooke Sassin paced all Wildcats for the eighth time in the last 10 matches with a dozen kills while senior middle blocker Katie Reininger added 10 kills.

Texas held K-State to its lowest scoring output in a single set this season as it claimed the opening set, 25-10. The Longhorns scored the final eight points as part of a 12-2 run to end the set. K-State committed more attacking errors (8) than it had kills (7) for a negative efficiency and never led in the game. Texas produced just one error in the set on its way to hitting .444 (13k-1e-27ta).

In the second set, only once was K-State able to win consecutive points. UT jumped out quickly as it scored eight of the set’s first 10 points. For the second consecutive set, Texas committed only one attacking error, hitting .714 (16k-1e-21ta) while K-State hit .161 (11k-6e-31ta).

The Cats flipped the script in the third set as they only committed one team attacking error and hit .586 (18l-1e-29ta), their highest single-set output of the match. Texas scored the set’s first three points but the Wildcats were able to claw back and take their first lead of the match at 8-7. From there, they never relinquished the lead and took the set, 25-20. Sassin collected seven kills in the set to lead K-State.

Tied at seven in the fourth set, Texas went on another 12-2 run, including a run of seven straight points, to open up a 19-9 lead. The Cats fought off three match points before falling, 25-17.

Texas hit better than .400 in three of the four sets while K-State hit higher than .200 in just one set. The Longhorns posted 13.0 team blocks compared to the Cats’ 5.0.

A trio of Longhorns finished in double-figure kills – Paulina Prieto Cerame (17), Micaya White (15) and Ebony Nwanebu (10) – while four players with at least 10 attempts hit better than .350.

Junior Bryna Vogel led the Wildcats with seven digs. K-State recorded a season-low 28 digs, 10 fewer than the previous low of 38 (vs. Wisconsin).

Kansas State comes home Saturday for its final match of the season at Ahearn Field House against Texas Tech. First serve is slated for 6 p.m., with a post-match ceremony honoring the six-member senior class. The match will be broadcast nationally on K-StateHD.TV with Brian Smoller and Liz Wegner-Busch on the call. Fans can listen to Rob Voelker call the match on local radio on 1350 KMAN and at k-statesports.com.

NOTES

·         Texas leads the all-time series, 37-7, dating back to 1981, and have won the last 27 meetings in the series.

·         K-State is now 3-19 at Texas and head coach Suzie Fritz is now 1-16 in Austin.

·         The matched marked K-State’s 14th four-set match this season, which sets a new all-time program record.

·         Sassin now has 20 matches with double-digit kills (team high).

·         K-State is now 3-6 this season when hitting below .200.

·         The Cats have now hit .500 or better in a single set 11 times this season, something they only did once in 2015.