Nov. 12, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas – The Kansas State Wildcats fell in four sets on the road to No. 8 Texas on Saturday, but the Wildcats did something no other Big 12 opponent has been able to do against the Longhorns on their home court by winning a set. K-State took the loss 25-23, 16-25, 18-25, 20-25 in a match that saw the Wildcats keep pace with one of the top teams in nation for much of the match.
K-State (18-9, 7-6) jumped on the Longhorns early in the match building a 7-4 lead with a pair of blocks. The lead would grow to as much as four points twice, and the Wildcats had the Longhorns pushed into a corner at 20-16. Texas (18-4, 11-1) responded with three straight points to pull within a point. Another 3-0 run tied the set 23 apiece, but Lilla Porubek would tally back-to-back kills for the Wildcats tooling the block out of bounds for the first-set victory.
The win in the first set by the Wildcats was the first time this season in conference play the Longhorns have lost a set at home. Texas entered the match having swept all five home Big 12 matches so far. It also marked the first time since 2006 the Wildcats won a set in Austin against the Longhorns.
Lilla Porubek led the Wildcats in kills again with 13. She also had a hitting percentage of .270 to lead the outside hitters. Kaitlynn Pelger was able to resume her role following an ankle injury last week and tallied eight kills and nine digs to go along with four block assists. Kathleen Ludwig also had eight kills to continue her strong play in Big 12 play. Kuulei Kabalis led the defense with 16 digs for the Wildcats.
Texas had four players reach double digits in kills led by sophomore Bailey Webster with 16 kills. Freshman Haley Eckerman posted 15 kills with Sha’Dare McNeal adding 13 and Rachael Adams notching 12 kills. The Longhorns hit .303 as a team in the win while K-State hit .150.
In the second set, it was a tight contest with each team going on small runs as neither team could build a lead bigger than two points for some time. That changed when the Longhorns went on a 4-0 run to go up 18-14. After the Wildcats tied the set at 14 points apiece, Texas rallied with an 11-2 run to close the set and tie the match overall heading into the break. After the first set was evenly contested, it was all Longhorns in the second as Texas hit .400 compared to K-State’s .135.
Texas continued to roll in the third set taking advantage of its size up front and hitting .556 in the frame. K-State opened the set with a 3-0 run but Texas would allow the Wildcats to score consecutive points only once more in the set as the Longhorns used a 7-2 run to open up a large lead at 21-14. K-State could not overcome the deficit and fell 25-18.
It was a similar story in the fourth set as the Longhorns and Wildcats exchanged blows back and forth until Texas went on a 6-0 run to take a 20-13 lead. The Wildcats would not let that run deflate them down the stretch, however, as K-State fought back with a pair of 3-0 runs of their own to make it 24-20 and cause Texas to regroup with a timeout before closing the match with a kill by Adams.
The Wildcats travel to take on No. 13 Iowa State on Wednesday. First serve from Hilton Coliseum is set for 6:30 p.m. The radio call from 1350 KMAN will be available online only due to coverage of women’s basketball.