Sept. 1, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. - K-State volleyball swept through the Bluejay Invitational this weekend to win the tournament, closing out action against Syracuse on Saturday evening. The Wildcats won 25-17, 25-14, 25-16 over the Orange to secure the tournament championship and remain undefeated this season.
The Wildcats used nearly every player on the bench in the victory, and six players posted five or more kills on the night. Outside hitter Lilla Porubek led the way again with 10 kills and she was again over .300 hitting at .391. Porubek added three aces to her stat line. Middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger had a complete match for K-State with nine kills and a .438 hitting percentage. Pelger had 10 digs and three blocks to be the team's top defensive player for the match.
Two underclassmen had career days for the Wildcats as redshirt sophomores Chelsea Keating and Taylor Johnson both had career-highs in kills. Keating pounded out nine kills on a .438 percentage, and Johnson tied her previous best of seven kills while hitting .385.
Defensively for K-State senior libero remained consistent on the back row as she dug eight balls on the day. Sophomore defensive specialist Gina Madonia had six digs and added an ace.
K-State opened up a large lead early in the match with a 6-0 run to pull ahead 9-3. Three blocks from Pelger helped to get that lead as Syracuse could not break through the Wildcats' front line early. Those three blocks would represent the only errors by the Orange in the opening stanza and each team hit above .325 to start the match.
The Wildcats rolled again in the second set winning easily 25-14 going on multiple short runs to steadily increase their lead. K-State hit .324 in the set and used 13 digs to limit Syracuse to only five kills in the frame. Syracuse would only score back-to-back points three times in the set as K-State's defense held the Orange to just .095 hitting.
In the third set, K-State came out of the break with more small runs to open an early lead. After back-to-back points from Syracuse pulled the Orange within three points, the Wildcats responded with a 5-1 run to again be up by six points and closed the match with a 3-0 run to win 25-16.
The Wildcats will return home for a series of matches in Ahearn Field House next week. K-State will take on Missouri State on Wednesday evening to start a busy week. Thursday through Saturday will see Saint Mary's and Utah State come to Manhattan to play the Wildcats as well as a neutral site match. Saturday's match against Utah State at 6 p.m. will be part of a Wildcat Weekend. Discounted tickets will be available to fans with their ticket stub from Saturday's football game against Miami.