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Wildcats Block Way to Sweep over Bears


GO WILDCATS
Kaitlynn Pelger

GO WILDCATS
Kaitlynn Pelger
GO WILDCATS

Highlights -- Fritz Interview w/ K-StateHD.TV

Boxscore -- Photo Gallery

Postgame Quotes -- Postgame Notes

MANHATTAN, Kan. –
Last season the Kansas State volleyball team posted 22 blocks in a 3-2 win at Missouri State to defeat the Bears. This time at home the Wildcats were a force at the net again with 16 blocks in only three sets to get the sweep 25-19, 25-22, 25-15. The win propels the Wildcats to a 7-0 start as they play host for two more matches this week at Ahearn Field House.

Junior middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger notched an unconventional double-double with 11 kills and she was in on 10 blocks, posting nine assisted stops and one solo. Pelger also had seven digs and hit .304 for the match. Outside hitter Lilla Porubek has been leading K-State in kills this season and she contributed eight to win and so did senior middle blocker Alex Muff. Muff has increased her offensive production this year and also was in on five blocks Wednesday evening.

K-State (7-0) defeated Missouri State (3-5) by shutting down the Bears with the block. The 16 total team blocks ties for fifth in school history and represents the most by the Wildcats in a three-set match since posting 17 against Nebraska on November 25, 2009. After the match Pelger said the team’s blocking was exceptional and executed Head Coach Suzie Fritz’s game plan.

“All week we have been focusing on defense and getting our block tight, which is exactly what Suzie wanted us to do,” Pelger said. “Sixteen blocks in three games is awesome. We came in and did exactly what we wanted to do tonight.”

Senior setter Caitlyn Donahue guided the team to a .319 hitting percentage, marking the third time this season the Wildcats have hit at least .300. Donahue posted 36 assists, four digs and six block assists.

Thanks to the blocking effort the Bears hit just .149, the fifth time K-State has held an opponent under .200. With all the blocks, the Wildcats had fewer chances for digs as Tristan McCarty led with nine.

Despite the strong showing on defense and the efficiency on offense, Fritz still said she could find areas to improve. She was happy to see her team execute in areas she believes will be the Wildcats’ strong suits down the road.

“I hate to always be dissatisfied, but it is just in my nature that I want to play more consistent. I want to take care of the details,” Fritz said. “I thought there were a couple things we did really well. We continued to serve well, and serving can be one of the identities of this team. Serving can really be a skill that can be great. Right now we are on our way to putting an enormous amount of pressure on the opponent with our serve.”

The Wildcats play host to the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. It will be Faculty/Staff Night as general admission tickets are available for only $1 to K-State employees. Saint Mary’s will play a neutral site match against Utah State on Friday evening before K-State closes the week full of action at Ahearn on Saturday at 6 p.m. against Utah State.