The K-State volleyball team (15-1, 2-1) had not seen a victory in Waco in four years, but this did not phase them on Saturday, as they took out the Baylor University Bears (13-5, 0-3) in four sets at the Ferrell Center. A big key to the Wildcats’ victory were the performances of junior middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger and junior outside hitter Courtney Traxson.
Pelger, an All-American candidate, helped set the tone for the Wildcats after they fell to the Bears in the first set. Pelger finished the match with a season high 23 kills along with 12 digs to help the Wildcats on both offense and defense.
However, it was the play of Traxson that really ramped up the pace for the Wildcats.
After sitting out the first set, Traxson came in and finished the match with 10 kills, including eight in the fourth set. K-State associate head coach Jeff Grove discussed Traxson’s performance in his postgame interview.
“She did really well,” Grove said. “This is kind of like last year when we she had her breakout match. To get 10 kills in that short amount of time is good. That really helped us get a little bit more diversity in our offense.”
As is usually the case for the Wildcats, senior setter Caitlyn Donahue was in complete command of the offense.
Donahue finished with 57 assists, including 19 in the fourth set to help the offense keep their momentum. The 57 assists were her second highest on the season, after her 59 assists in a five-set victory over Oregon State.
The Bears were led by senior middle hitter Torri Campbell, who had 13 kills with a hitting percentage of .522.
The Wildcats will be home for back-to-back matches in a week that could determine how the team stacks up in the Big 12 Conference. On Wednesday, the Wildcats play host to No. 19 Iowa State and then take on the No. 9 ranked University of Texas Longhorns on Saturday at Ahearn Field House.
First serve on Wednesday will be at 7 p.m.
K-State: 18, 25, 25, 25
Baylor: 25, 22, 23, 16