Wildcats Top TCU with Strong Serving
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Kansas State Wildcats put together another complete team effort in getting a sweep over TCU on Saturday as three players reached double digits in kills and the team combined for 10 service aces. K-State got the win 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 to mark their 14th sweep of the season to tie Western Kentucky for the most in the NCAA.
Middle blockers Kaitlynn Pelger and Alex Muff played a key role in the victory as Pelger again led the Wildcats with 12 kills and hit for a strong .476 percentage. Muff tallied 10 kills on her .400 hitting clip as she also added six block assists. Pelger just missed another double-double as she contributed nine digs defensively.
Outside hitter Lilla Porubek represented the third Wildcat to reach double digits in kills with 11. She also hit higher than .400 as the Wildcats combined to hit .337 for the match.
Defensively for K-State (17-2, 4-2) senior setter Caitlyn Donahue led the way with 12 digs as she posted her seventh double-double of the season as she had 34 assists. Her setting helped the Wildcats hit for that high percentage and she was key at the service line with four of the teams’ 11 aces.
Freshman outside hitter Sloane Sunstrum led TCU with 10 kills and middle blocker Mattie Burleson was strong with nine kills on a .692 percentage. The Wildcats were able to slow TCU’s top hitter in middle blocker Yvonne Igodan with just seven kills on a .200 clip. No Horned Frogs reached double digits in digs.
K-State jumped on TCU (13-6, 2-4) early in the first set by scoring points in short 2-0 bursts to build a 12-6 lead. TCU answered by immediately cutting into that lead with a 4-0 run and eventually took the lead at 18-16 after a 7-1 run by the Horned Frogs.
The Wildcats would find an answer to slow TCU’s momentum and take control of the set. A kill by Porubek sparked the run as K-State scored seven straight points to go up 24-19 with a pair of aces from Donahue providing the points to put it out of reach before finally winning the opening frame 25-20.
It was all Wildcats in the second set with K-State getting hot on offense by hitting a strong .344 to win 25-18. Aces again played a big role in the win as the Wildcats continued apply pressure from the line with Porubek, Ludwig and Donahue posting aces. After TCU took the lead at 10-8, the Wildcats scored six straight to go ahead 14-10 and TCU would pull within two points only one more time in the set.
K-State overcame an early 5-0 run by TCU in the third set falling behind 3-6. A 4-0 response helped bring the momentum back to K-State’s side of the net again and after taking a 10-9 lead TCU would not score consecutive points the rest of the way.
The Wildcats will be in action again on Wednesday when they travel to take on their in-state rival Kansas Jayhawks in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. in Lawrence and the match will be televised on Metro Sports and aired on 1350 KMAN.
– k-statesports.com –