Wildcats Sweep West Virginia for Fifth Home Win




5-12 (0-4 Big 12)

10-7 (2-3 Big 12)

Caleah Wells: 11 kills, .440%, 2 blocks
Haley Roe: 34 assists, 3 aces, 3 digs
Gianna Gotterba: 16 digs

Alyssa Schultejans: 12 kills, .308%, 2 digs, 2 blocks, 1 ace
Macy Flowers: 8 kills, .636%, 2 blocks
Katie Brand: 36 assists, 8 kills, .636%, 3 digs, 2 blocks

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5
West Virginia 20 20 23 -- --
K-State 25 25 25 -- --

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Freshman Alyssa Schultejans led K-State with 12 kills, including seven in the third set, to help the Wildcats maintain their perfect record at home and in Bramlage Coliseum by sweeping West Virginia (25-20, 25-20, 25-23) on Saturday.

The offense of K-State (10-7, 2-3 Big 12) had five players tally six or more kills, including eight apiece by middle blockers Katie Reininger and Macy Flowers and setter Katie Brand. The season-high eight kills by Brand fell one short of matching her career-best while Flowers turned in her eight on a .636 hitting efficiency.

On the other side of the net, K-State held its fifth opponent this season to a sub-.200 hitting percentage as West Virginia (5-12, 0-4 Big 12) attacked at a .194 clip. In the second, the Wildcats limited the Mountaineers to just nine kills on 31 swings (.065 hitting pct. – seven errors).

K-State’s serving contributed to the slowing of the West Virginia offense as the Wildcats had six aces, including two each from Brooke Sassin and Bryna Vogel. Schultejans and Kersten Kober, who added 10 digs, also contributed an ace. It was the fourth time in the Wildcats’ five home matches this year that they had five or more aces. K-State averages 1.75 aces per set at home (1.12 overall).

“I thought we got a lot out of our serving,” said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz. “One of our priorities was to be better in transition as well, to turn digs for points and we were pleased with that. Defensively, we did some nice things as our blocking was a little bit more disciplined.”

Schultejans, who also had two blocks to help her total a team-best 14.0 points, led K-State in kills in a match for the fourth time this season. The outside hitter also tied her Big 12 career-high in kills while hitting at a .308 clip.

“That is what we have been working on all week is building (Schultejans’) confidence, seeing what else we can get out of her, and then she comes out and has a performance like that. She was good,” said Brand.

The victory lifted K-State’s home record this year to 5-0 and its all-time mark in Bramlage Coliseum to 11-0. Saturday was the first time the Wildcats played a Big 12 opponent inside the arena since 2005.

The Wildcats fired out to a 4-0 start in the first, but four early attack errors helped even the score at 6-all. The tie, though, was the only one of the set as K-State eventually opened up a four-point lead at the 18-14 mark behind five Wildcats tallying at least one kill over a 12-point stretch.

The Mountaineers were able to pull within one, however, when kills by Morgan Montgomery and Caleah Wells were followed up by one of Haley Roe’s three aces in the match to make it 18-17 K-State. West Virginia kept it close up until 21-20, but four consecutive Wildcat kills, including two by Sassin, gave K-State the set.

The second set was back-and-forth, featuring 12 ties and six lead changes, but with the score at 17-all, one of Sassin’s two aces in the match sparked a run in which K-State scored eight of the final 11 points. Sassin was at the service line for much of the burst, slowing West Virginia’s passing, while Schultejans added a pair of kills.

In the third, Schultejans fired off four of her seven kills in the set by the 11-4 mark as K-State opened its largest lead of the match and forced West Virginia to burn both of its timeouts in the early going.

The Mountaineers, though, were able to narrow the gap and tie it for the first time at 18-18. A Schultejans kill allowed the Wildcats to side out and ignite a quick 5-0 run. Schultejans added another kill during the spurt while Brand and Reininger also contributed kills. West Virginia went on to fight off two match points, but Sassin’s sixth and final kill of the match completed the sweep.

K-State has its second midweek bye of the Big 12 season next week before playing at Oklahoma on Friday, October 16 in a 6 p.m. match.

K-State improved to 42-6 against unranked opponents at home since 2011.

In the 11 all-time matches inside Bramlage Coliseum, the Wildcats have held their opponents to a .200 attack percentage or lower nine times.

K-State, which leads the all-time series against West Virginia, 5-2, has swept the Mountaineers four times. This season, K-State has swept seven opponents, including four at home.