Oct. 19, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a slow start against their rivals, the Kansas State Wildcats found their offense to get the win in four sets on the road against Kansas on Wednesday night. The Jayhawks won the first set, and the Wildcats responded with more fire power the rest of the way to win 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-12.
K-State (15-6, 4-3) saw the tandem of Kaitlynn Pelger and Lilla Porubek take control of the match again as the pair combined for 28 kills and each came up big during crucial points in the match. Porubek led the way with 15 kills and a strong .303 hitting percentage from her outside hitter position as she posted more than 30 attempts in the victory. Pelger returned to form with her eighth double-double of the season as she pounded out 13 kills and put up an impressive 15 digs to lead the team in the category along with libero Kuulei Kabalis. Caitlyn Donahue posted 43 assists and 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the year as well.
Kansas (12-8, 0-7) remains winless in Big 12 Conference action, but the pair of Allison Mayfield and Caroline Jarmoc continued to produce their strong numbers. Mayfield led the Jayhawks with 17 kills and Jarmoc added 10 to the losing effort.
K-State was able to keep KU off balance with its strong serving after not being able to tally an ace at all on Saturday against No. 10 Texas. The Wildcats applied the pressure to the Jayhawks with seven aces on the night. Pelger provided three and Donahue added two of her own.
To open the match the Jayhawks found their offense first in the opening set jumping out to a 6-3 lead early with all six points coming on kills. K-State kept it close through much of the set but could not produce enough consistency with only nine kills to go with seven errors to aide in KU getting the first set win 25-19.
Both teams did spread their offenses around to start the match as K-State had two kills from Kathleen Ludwig, Porubek, Pelger and Alex Muff. Kansas had six players with at least two kills, including from Sara McClinton and Allison Mayfield each.
In the second set, K-State and KU traded blows until the Wildcats went on a 5-1 run to go up 15-11 and take the first large lead in the frame. The Jayhawks would answer with their own 5-0 run to reclaim the lead 17-16. The see-saw battle continued again until it was the Wildcats who grabbed control of the set with five straight points to get the win 25-21 and enter the locker room all tied up at one set apiece.
Porubek and Courtney Traxson both shined for the Wildcats in the second set as Porubek pounded out seven kills in that stanza alone. Traxson added four kills to help the Wildcats put their rivals away in the second set. Porubek was solid with no errors on her 14 swings in the set to hit .500 and take control of the set for the Wildcats. K-State found its block in the second set as well with 4.5 blocks to shut down KU’s offense at key times, including on the final point to take the momentum with the team to the locker room.
The Wildcats again took advantage of well-timed runs to slowly build a lead in the third set opening up leads of 9-6 and 19-14. KU could not find an answer to Pelger in the third set similar to what Porubek did in the second. Pelger pounded out five kills on a .625 hitting percentage in the third set to guide the Wildcats to the 25-20 win and take a 2-1 lead overall in the match.
K-State rolled in the fourth set, jumping to an early lead and never looking back. KU had used both its timeouts of the set by the time the score was 9-3 in favor of the Wildcats. K-State continued to ride the arms of Pelger and Porubek in the set, but Ludwig contributed a handful of kills in the final set as well. The Wildcats kept pushing the Jayhawks into the corner winning 25-12 in the fourth as KU only scored consecutive points once in the final stanza.
The Wildcats will hit the road again this weekend when they travel to take on the No. 22 Oklahoma Sooners in Norman. First serve is set for 2 p.m. from McCasland Field House. The match can be heard live on the web at kstatesports.com and will be aired on 1350 KMAN on a tape delayed basis following the K-State football against KU.