Nov. 17, 2002
College Station, Texas -
The 20th-ranked Kansas State women's volleyball team ran its winning streak to 12 matches, as the Wildcats became the first team since Nebraska in 1996 to sweep Texas A&M at home with a 30-21, 30-23, 30-26 win on Sunday afternoon before 1,238 fans at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
With the win, Kansas State improved to 18-6 on the season and 14-2 in Big 12 Conference play, while Texas A&M dropped to 18-8 overall and 10-7 in league action. The Wildcats post the program's first win in College Station in six tries and sweep the season series for the first time since the start of the Big 12 in 1996. The win also extended Kansas State's school-record road conference winning streak to 12 matches dating back to a 3-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 31, 2001.
Kansas State has now posted 15 three-game sweeps on the season, which is one short of the school record of 16 set in 2000. The Wildcats earned just their third-ever sweep of the Aggies in series history and the second since 1997. K-State has also rattled off 13 straight game wins dating back to a win in game five at Texas Tech on Oct. 30.
Kansas State posted 50 kills on 139 total attacks for a .252 hitting percentage, while Texas A&M tallied 45 kills on 137 total attacks for a .117 hitting percentage. The Wildcats have now held 16 of their 24 opponents to a hitting percentage below .200, including 11 of their 16 conference foes. K-State has capitalized on this trend by winning 15 of those 16 matches, including 15 in a row. The team also posted an impressive defensive effort with 11.5 blocks compared to just six for Texas A&M.
Junior middle blocker Lauren Goehring and junior outside hitter Cari Jensen paced a balanced Kansas State attack that saw six players with five or more kills with 11 each. Goehring registered a .435 hitting percentage with six digs and two blocks, while sophomore setter Gabby Guerre turned in another impressive all-around effort with six kills on .455 hitting with 39 assists, five digs and five blocks. Senior outside hitter Jennifer Pollard missed a double-double with nine kills and 10 digs and junior libero Laura Downey-Wallace added double-digit digs for the 23rd time in 24 matches with a match-high 22.
Sophomore outside hitter Melissa Munsch and freshman outside hitter Laura Jones led the Texas A&M attack with 15 kills each, while Munsch added a team-best 16 digs. Sophomore setter Lexy Beers also registered a double-double with 39 assists and 12 digs.
The two teams traded points early in the opening set before Kansas State used a 4-0 run to break a 6-all tie. However, Texas A&M closed to within one point on five occasions before the Wildcats used another 4-0 run to take a 21-16 advantage. After the Aggies closed to within 21-19, K-State scored seven of the next eight point to take a commanding 27-20 lead. The Wildcats then closed out the game with three straight points, including an ace by Kris Jensen on the first game point, for a 30-21 win. Goehring and Cari Jensen each tallied four kills to pace the Wildcat attack, while Pollard added three kills and three digs. K-State registered a .268 hitting percentage with four blocks, while Texas A&M hit just .150 with one block.
In game two, the two teams battled back and forth before Kansas State broke a 7-all tie with consecutive kills. Texas A&M remained within a few points before the Wildcats connected on a 6-0 run to take their largest lead at 20-12. However, the Aggies closed to within four points on several occasions, lastly at 24-20. K-State scored two straight kills to push the lead back up to 26-20 before winning on its first game point, 30-23. The Wildcats hit an incredible .372 in the second game, as Pollard paced the attack with five kills on 10 swings with just one error. Jensen totaled four kills, while Goehring, Martin and Stanzel each had three.
After the teams were tied at 2-all in game three, Texas A&M jumped ahead and then used a 5-0 run to take a commanding 12-5 advantage. However, ever-resilient Kansas State scored eight consecutive points to take their first lead at 13-12. The two teams battled within a few points of each other on the next few possessions before an Aggie block tied the score at 18-all. The Wildcats scored six straight points to take a 24-18 lead. K-State pushed the advantage to 28-22 before winning on its first game point, 30-26. The Wildcats narrowly outhit the Aggies, .145 to .038, as Goehring led the team with four kills in the game.
Kansas State returns to Big 12 Conference play on Wednesday, Nov. 20, as the Wildcats play host to Oklahoma (5-20, 3-14 Big 12) at Ahearn Field House beginning at 6 p.m. K-State, which swept the first meeting in 2002 on Oct. 9 in Norman, Okla., trail in the all-time series, 40-16-1, but has won seven straight in the series dating back to 1999.