MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team swept Southeast Missouri State 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-15) in the Wildcats’ 2013 home opener at Ahearn Field House on Friday afternoon.
K-State remains undefeated (4-0) on the season with the sweep of the Redhawks. Seniors Dakota Kaufman and Kaitlynn Pelger posted double-digit kills with 11 and 10, respectively. Pelger added 10 digs to record her third double-double of the season and 27th of her career.
Pelger also had all five service aces for the Wildcats, setting a new career-high. It was more than just aces, though, that head coach Suzie Fritz was proud of in the match.
“Our serving was really effective,” said Fritz. “We forced them out of system, and they were not able to get their quick [sets] going.”
The home opener also provided the intangible advantage Fritz looks forward to when the Wildcats play in Manhattan.
“It was great just to have our own people, our own band and our fans, all rooting for us,” said Fritz. “Honestly, there is just no better place to play than home in Ahearn [Field House].”
Katie Brand turned in her third double-double of the season with 40 assists and 10 digs. The redshirt freshman has recorded a double-double in three straight matches.
K-State improved over the course of the match across almost all statistical categories. In the most convincing set victory, the Wildcats hit at a .295 hitting percentage in the 25-15 third set win, tallying 17 kills over 44 attempts and a match-low four errors.
“I thought as a team we came out and played really well,” said Kaufman. “We swept them and that is what we wanted to do. We played very consistently and that is something we wanted to achieve coming out of the locker room.”
The Wildcats built as much as a 12-point lead in the third set when Chelsea Keating notched her fourth kill of the match to make it 18-6 K-State. The junior finished with three kills, all registered in the third and final set.
Two other Wildcats stepped up off the bench as junior Natali Jones had five kills with a .667 hitting percentage and Courtney Cook had three kills with a .600 hitting percentage on five attempts. The five kills for Jones are a career-high. Cook had two kills in the second set delivering the penultimate and clinching points for the 25-17 win.
The Wildcats complete their Friday doubleheader at 7:30 pm against Southern Illinois. The Salukis swept Siena earlier in the day to open up the K-State Invitational.