BOULDER, Colo. – Marking the first win in Boulder since 2003, the 16th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats rallied back from a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 over the Colorado Buffaloes. The Wildcats improve to 11-3, 3-1 Big 12 with the 30-24, 24-30, 27-30, 30-27, 15-12 win. Colorado falls to 5-6 on the season and remains winless in the conference.
Two Wildcats finished the night with double-doubles, marking the teams first since Aug. 25th. Sophomore Kelsey Chipman registered 11 blocks (one solo, 10 assisted) and 16 kills in her second career double-double, while Nataly Korobkova tallied her third double-double with 12 kills and 10 blocks and added a match-high four service aces.
Junior Rita Liliom led the Cats in kills for the fifth time in the 2007 season as she converted for 18; she also recorded two service aces. Megan Farr finished with a season-high 15 kills on .394 hitting and also put back eight blocks. Aiding in K-State’s 72 team kills was Stacey Spiegelberg who tallied a season-high 62 assists and continued a streak of 13 matches with at least one ace.
Senior Angie Lastra notched her 23rd match of 20 or more digs as she dished out 20 on the night. Lauren Rosenthal performed well for the back row as she finished with season-high 12 digs.
Neither the Wildcats nor Buffaloes took a commanding lead in the first game, until K-State made attempts to inch ahead with a three-point run to lead by two at 8-6. Completing a 6-1 run, the Wildcats took a four point lead at 11-7, the largest advantage for either team. The Buffs rallied to within one at 17-16 before K-State responded with four unanswered points to lead at 21-16 and force a CU timeout. When the Buffaloes returned with three points, KSU took its first timeout at 21-19. The Cats gained momentum during Korobkova’s service rotation, including two service aces from the Krasnoyarsk, Russia, native. K-State continued to force Colorado sideouts and won with three of the last four points on Liliom kills. The product of Budapest, Hungary, led the Cats’ .229 hitting in the first with four kills.
After a 30-24 KSU win in the first, Colorado jumped to an early 4-0 lead in the second set. K-State was down by one on four occasions before the Buffs increased the lead to five at 20-15. After the first KSU timeout, Farr and Chipman converted on kills and Jenny Jantsch and Chipman put back block assists to get within two at 20-18. A Liliom kill brought the Cats to within one for the fifth time in the second game with a 22-21 score. Colorado fought to even the match at one apiece as they finished with an 8-3 run, including a string of three straight, to win 30-24. Six second game kills from Chipman and four from each Farr and Liliom led the .178 KSU attack.
After CU found two-point leads at 2-0, 4-2 and 6-4 to start the third, a couple of errors by the Buffs tied the score at 6-all and became the second of 15 ties in the third. With a Buff lead at 11-10, the Cats converted four points including two straight Korobkova kills to earn the largest lead of either team at 14-11. After a timeout by the Buffs, Colorado returned to the court to produce a 6-1 run and earn the lead at 17-15. During a KSU timeout in which JuliAnne Chisholm entered the game, K-State rallied back to tie at 20 powered by two kills and a block assist from the freshman. Colorado scored four of the next six points to regain a two-point lead and force a KSU timeout. Despite two more ties, Colorado finished with a 5-2 run to win the third by a score of 30-27.
The Wildcats were plagued by a slow start in the fourth game as CU earned a three-point lead at 4-1 and a four point advantage at 7-3. Two points from Jantsch on a kill and service ace got the Wildcats to within one at 11-10. Unable to create any point runs, K-State continued to trail until three straight points, including two kills from Liliom, tied the game at 22. A service ace by Liliom earned K-State its first lead of the game at 24-23 and a Buff error game the Cats a two point advantage. After a Colorado timeout, three-unanswered points regained CU the lead and forced K-State’s final timeout. KSU returned with a 5-1 run to earn the fourth-game victory 30-27 with two of Chipman’s four game kills coming in the final four points.
A sluggish beginning again in the fifth found the Wildcats down 4-0 and burning their first timeout. The break was unable to slow the momentum of Colorado as the Buffaloes grew their lead to five at 7-2 to force KSU’s final timeout. The Wildcats scored four of the next five points to crawl within two at 8-6 and bring Colorado to its first timeout of the fifth. Two consecutive block assists by Korobkova and Farr tied the game at eight, but the Buffs responded with two points of their own to gain a two-point lead at 10-8. With a CU error, the Wildcats were able to gain their first lead of the final game at 11-10. An attack error after a CU timeout gave K-State the two point lead. Chipman converted on a kill and Korobkova led an ace slide down the middle to give K-State a 14-11 match point. On Chipman’s 16th kill of the match, K-State earned the win 15-12.
K-State returns home to Ahearn Field House on Wed., Sept. 26th, as the Cats host Missouri at 7 p.m. Live stats and a complete recap can be found at www.kstatesports.com.
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