Wildcats sweep Missouri, build confidence for rest of conference play

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Nataly Korobkova stepped on a plane in Russia earlier this year, destined for the United States. Less than six months later, she has led the No. 15 Wildcats to numerous victories.

The junior outside hitter paved the way for the K?State volleyball team’s 3-0 victory (30-23, 30-19, 30-27) Wednesday night against Missouri. The Wildcats (16-6, 8-4) moved into sole possession of fourth-place in the Big 12 Conference, while Missouri fell to 5-7 in the conference and 12-9 overall.

Korobkova converted a match-high 23 kills for K?State, followed by outside hitter Rita Liliom (13) and middle blocker Kelsey Chipman (10). Korobkova’s 23-kill performance tied for fifth most in a three-game match in school history. During the match, Korobkova also posted seven digs and four blocks.

She could not steal all the spotlight though, as senior libero Angie Lastra led the Wildcats with 20 digs. Lastra’s performance marks her 28th career-match with 20 or more digs.

K-State’s defensive effort held the Tigers to 38 kills on .147 hitting. The Wildcats’ hitters proved to be stronger than Missouri’s, tallying 60 kills on .303 hitting.

Though K-State won over Missouri on Wednesday, the victory was its first in Columbia, Mo., since the 2004 season.

Elsewhere in the Big 12, fifth-ranked Texas swept No. 1 Nebraska (30-22, 30-25, 30-20) Wednesday. Coming into the match, Nebraska (19-1, 11-1) had lost just one game all season. Texas (15-3, 11-1) is now tied for first-place in the conference with Nebraska. After losing both of its lone matches to Nebraska and Texas, K-State will have another chance to upset both later this season.

The Wildcats will return home to face Iowa State on Saturday at Ahearn Field House. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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