Aug. 31, 2002
Fort Collins, Colo. -
The 18th-ranked Kansas State women's volleyball team received stellar hitting performances from middle blockers Lauren Goehring and Lisa Martin, as the Wildcats earned their first win of the season with a 30-22, 30-20, 30-22 sweep of Connecticut to start day two of the University Park Holiday Inn Classic on Saturday at Moby Arena.
"I was really pleased with the play of Lauren (Goehring) and Lisa (Martin) in the middle," said Wildcat head coach Suzie Fritz. "They were doing some things defensively that allowed those two to really got hot and stay hot. On the defensive side, we were able to get on their tendencies and control their high percentage hitters. Connecticut is nice team. They're annually one of the best teams in the Big East. This was a nice test for us to come back after last night's hard-fought loss."
Junior outside hitter Cari Jensen paced five Wildcats with five or more kills in win, as the Fowler, Colo., native turned in a match-high 14 kills on a .367 hitting percentage. Martin tallied a career-high nine kills on a .421 hitting, while senior outside hitter Jennifer Pollard tapped in a team-best 12 digs to go with seven kills. Goehring continued her impressive play with eight kills on .538 hitting and 10 digs. Sophomore setter Gabby Guerre had seven kills on .778 hitting with 38 assists and six digs. In her first career start, sophomore Michaela Franklin had a solid all-around effort with seven kills, four digs, a team-best two service aces and two blocks.
Outside hitter Melissa Wooley led Connecticut with 14 kills, while setter Julie Erbez added 34 assists, 13 digs and four kills.
The two teams battled back and forth in the opening set before Connecticut ran off four straight points for a 10-7 lead. After the fifth tie at 16-all, Kansas State used a pair of kills from Jensen and Martin, along with two Husky hitting errors, to take a commanding 22-16 advantage. Although Connecticut closed to within 22-19 on three straight kills, the Wildcats closed the game by scoring seven of the last 10 points for a 30-22 win. Martin connected on a team-high six kills on a .667 hitting percentage to pace K-State, while Guerre added four kills on .800 hitting with 14 assists and five digs. The Wildcats hit .326 as a team in the victory.
After a brief tie at 2-all, Kansas State continued their hot hitting in game two, scoring seven of the next nine points for a 9-4 lead. After a 5-0 run by the Wildcats that extended their lead to 20-10, Connecticut rallied to score seven of the next nine points to close within 22-17. However, K-State used a pair of Franklin kills and two critical Husky hitting errors to build the lead back to nine points in an eventual 30-20 win. Two players - Jensen and Goehring - hit over .750 to pace a Wildcat offense that registered a .316 hitting percentage. Jensen led the team with six kills on .857 hitting, while Goehring posted three kills on .750 hitting with a team-high five digs.
Connecticut came out firing in game three, rolling out to a 5-1 lead on four kills and a service ace. After a pair of ties, including at 8-all, Kansas State scored six of the next eight points for a 14-10 advantage. The Huskies stayed close, including remaining within one point on three occasions, before the Wildcats rattled off six straight points at 23-21 en route to a 30-22 win. Jensen again led the team in kills with five on .385 hitting, while Pollard added four kills and a team-best seven digs.
Kansas State concludes play at the University Park Classic later today, as the Wildcats play Western Michigan at 6 p.m. CST.