Volleyball Stumbles Against No. 16 Kansas State

  • By Abby Norman
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  • October 24, 2012 09:07 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team dropped its first match in the second half of Big 12 play to No. 16 Kansas State 3-0 (15-25, 16-25, 19-25) on Wednesday, at the WVU Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (8-15, 0-9 Big 12) were held to only 26 kills in the match, as the Wildcats (19-3, 6-3 Big 12) posted 10 service aces and 11 total blocks to take the sweep.

“We played a good Kansas State team tonight and we made improvements from last time we saw them,” coach Jill Kramer says. “We tried something new with the lineup tonight and there were things about it I liked. With the exception of serving and passing, I thought we did a lot of really good things tonight. We are ready to get back to the drawing board tomorrow.”

The Mountaineers capitalized off of errors by Kansas State and a kill and block from sophomore middle blocker Evyn McCoy to take a 5-1 lead to start the first set. The Wildcats came back and took the lead with strong serving runs as Kansas State totaled five service aces in the first set. WVU fought back with kills from freshmen outside hitters Hannah Sackett and Nikki Attea, but the lead was too much to overcome as Kansas State took the first set 25-15.

The Wildcats opened the second set with a 9-5 lead until kills from Attea and freshman middle blocker Caleah Wells pulled the Mountaineers within two. Kansas State kept the Mountaineers from closing the gap and used a balanced attack to stretch their lead in the set and force WVU to use a timeout down 14-8. WVU responded with a service ace from freshman setter Brittany Sample and kills from Attea and junior outside hitter Arielle Allen to put the Mountaineers in reach again, but an 8-1 run by Kansas State gave the Wildcats the set.

Kansas State once again jumped out to a quick lead in the third set until WVU capitalized off of the Wildcats’ errors to tie the set at 10. The two teams battled back and forth until 17 when a kill from Alex Muff and a Mountaineer error gave the Wildcats the advantage and forced WVU to call a timeout. The Mountaineers came back with a kill from junior outside hitter Elzbieta Klein out of the timeout, but two straight kills from Kansas State and errors by WVU closed out the set and the match for the Wildcats.

Attea led WVU with eight kills, while Sackett and Allen posted six and five, respectively. Junior defensive specialist Liz Gulick led the defensive effort with 10 digs, while Sample chipped in eight and one service ace.

The Mountaineers continues the second half of Big 12 play as the team travels to Texas Tech and Kansas. WVU takes on the Red Raiders on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., in Lubbock, Texas and the Jayhawks on Monday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m., in Lawrence, Kan.

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