Oct. 24, 2013
WACO, Texas - The K-State volleyball team won the first set at Baylor on Wednesday, but the Wildcats could not complete the match as they fell to the Bears 3-1 (18-25, 29-27, 25-20, 25-20) in the Ferrell Center.
The Wildcats (14-6, 2-5 Big 12) trumped the Bears (10-13, 2-5 Big 12) in hitting percentage and blocks on the night while matching them in kills, but a season-high 10 aces allowed by K-State helped provide the difference in the defeat. The loss for K-State - its fourth in its last five matches at Waco - drops its road record in the Big 12 to 0-4.
Senior outside hitter Courtney Traxson led K-State with a match-high 14 kills, falling one short of tying her career-high. Traxson is averaging over three kills per set in her last six matches. Fellow senior outside hitter Dakota Kaufman added a season-high 13 kills.
Redshirt freshman Katie Brand had 38 assists and 15 digs, notching her ninth double-double of the season. She also had three kills and four blocks.
K-State out-blocked Baylor, 14.0-12.5, with senior Kaitlynn Pelger leading the way with eight blocks (two solo). The middle blocker also had nine kills, seven digs and five assists.
Senior Tristan McCarty had 23 of the Wildcats' 65 digs. It was McCarty's seventh straight match with double-digit digs.
The Wildcats controlled Baylor's attack throughout the first set, recording five team blocks and holding the Bears to a .000 hitting percentage. Pelger and Brand led K-State with four and three blocks, respectively, in set one, with the pair clinching the set by combining for a block that made it 25-18.
K-State was firing offensively, turning in a .333 hitting percentage with 16 kills. Junior Taylor Johnson had a team-best five kills in the first set, including four over a 7-1 K-State run in the early going that made it 9-4 Wildcats.
Junior Chelsea Keating was one of three Wildcats with at least three kills in the first set. The junior had back-to-back kills followed by a duo block with Pelger to make it 13-8 Wildcats.
Three straight kills - one each from Pelger, Brand and Traxson - gave the Wildcats' their largest lead of the set, 17-11. After an attack error by Johnson, Traxson downed her third kill of the match to return a six-point advantage to K-State, 18-12.
In the second set, an ace by McCarty tied it up, and a solo block up the middle by Johnson gave the Wildcats' their first lead of the set, 9-8. Johnson quickly made it 10-8 K-State with her sixth kill of the match on the following rally.
After Baylor grabbed a 14-13 lead, K-State used a 5-1 run to give it a three-point advantage, 18-15. Bookend kills by Traxson and a block and kill from Johnson highlighted the Wildcats burst. K-State saw its lead quickly dwindle, though, as Baylor later went on a 5-0 run that gave the Bears a 21-19 advantage. The Wildcats had only one kill after leading 18-15 until a kill from Pelger made it 23-22 Baylor.
K-State staved off Baylor as long as it could as it was not until Baylor's fifth set point opportunity before it put away the Wildcats.
The Wildcats fell behind big and early in the third set. A 4-0 run for Baylor coming out of a Wildcats timeout, benefited by three errors by K-State, made it 12-4 Bears. The Wildcats climbed back, though, using a 7-1 run coming out of their second timeout to close within 13-11. After a kill from Traxson started the spurt, Kaufman contributed two kills from the right side over the stretch.
K-State could only come within two points over the latter portion of the third. Pelger's only ace on the night made it 18-16 Baylor. The Bears held off the Wildcats, however, with Baylor clinching the set on its eighth ace of the night.
Baylor finished with 10 aces and seven service errors, while the Wildcats had two aces and nine service errors.
Neither side grabbed control of the fourth set until a 5-1 Baylor run made it 20-16 Bears and forced K-State to use its second and final timeout of the set. A kill by Pelger out of the break could not start anything of substance for the Wildcats as Baylor held off K-State until the final point.
The Wildcats will take on #1 Texas at home on Saturday, October 26 at 7:30 pm. The Longhorns will enter Ahearn Field House coming off a sweep of West Virginia. This is the first meeting between K-State and Texas this season.