MANHATTAN, Kan. - After a week of action that contained four matches, No. 22 Kansas State (5-2) will return to Ahearn Field House to host Arkansas, Fresno State and Northern Iowa for the Varney’s Kansas State Invitational Friday and Saturday. The event will begin with a match between the Wildcats and the Lady Razorbacks of Arkansas, as the first serve is for Fri., Sept. 7th, at 12 p.m.
The Wildcats will play two matches the opening day with the second estimated to begin at 7:30 p.m. when K-State takes on Northern Iowa. KSU’s final contest of the home tournament will be on Saturday when the Wildcats play their final non-conference opponent in Fresno State.
The only match being broadcast by 1350 KMAN this weekend will be the Kansas State vs. Northern Iowa match during Friday evening.
Spectators looking to watch the Cats play Arkansas Friday, Sept. 7, are asked to park on residential streets. For the remaining K-State matches, fans may park on the streets or in any KSU parking lot except for “Y” and “K” labeled lots.
Rewind: Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic
The Wildcats traveled to the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a 4-0 record to face some of the top volleyball squads at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic last weekend. The competition opened with Kansas State taking on the home team, No. 16 Hawaii, on Friday night. The Rainbow Wahine entered with an uncharacteristic 1-2 record after their first home tournament. With something to prove, Hawaii jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the match. K-State captured game three with a 30-25 score, but fell in the fourth, losing 3-1 (32-34, 26-30, 30-25, 29-31) and dropping its first match of the year. Two Wildcat hitters had 20 or more kills on .200+ hitting, with Nataly Korobkova leading the way with 24 and Rita Liliom adding 20. Both Angie Lastra and Lauren Mathewson dished out 14 digs, with Mathewson setting a new career high.
During the second match, Kansas State faced Louisville, who sat right behind the Wildcats in the weekly polls at 26th. K-State took control early despite a somewhat slow start and won the first game 30-27 after battling back. Kansas State had a strong second game, as it finished with a stat line of 21 kills, two errors and 33 attempts for .576 hitting. The Wildcats won the second by a score of 30-23. With strong momentum, the Cats came out of the break with just as much intensity as the second game and won 30-16 on .531 hitting. KSU finished with .480 hitting on the night, marking the fifth best hitting in a single match in school history.
Three K-State hitters had double-digit kills on .500+ hitting, including 16 from Liliom who had two errors on 24 attempts for a .583 percentage. Korobkova added 15 kills, two service aces and four block assists for 19 total points. Jenny Jantsch added 12 kills on .550 hitting, one service ace and a block assist.
K-State’s toughest opponent was in the third and final match of the Hawaiin Airlines Wahine Classic, as the Cats took on No. 5 UCLA Sunday afternoon. Similar to the Hawaii match, UCLA jumped out with the 2-0 lead. K-State went into game three looking to prevent the sweep and was successful as the Cats won 30-19 and held the Bruins to .033 hitting with nine attack errors. Leading much of game four, K-State could not contain UCLA and fell 30-27, losing its second match of the season 3-1.
Korobkova again led the Wildcats in kills, knocking down 22 of 42 attempts. The native of Russia added a career-high four service aces to total 27.5 points on the day. Liliom also aided in the Cats’ attack as she put down 18 kills.