Wildcat volleyball falls short in tournament finale against home team Purdue


    The K-State volleyball team opened its 2008 campaign by winning two of three matches in the Mortar Board Premier on Friday and Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.
    The No. 14 Wildcats (2-1) opened the tournament in style, recording back-to-back sweeps over Tennessee State and Duke, before falling 1-3 to No. 25 Purdue in the tournament finale.
    K-State began tournament play with a Friday afternoon match-up against Tennessee State, a match in which 11 Wildcats saw action. Strong defensive play was a key factor as the Wildcats topped the Tigers by scores of 25-14, 25-18 and 25-16. K-State recorded six total blocks and held its opponent to a .038 hitting percentage.
    The team stayed hot as it recorded its second consecutive sweep in a Saturday morning match against Duke, taking the match by scores of 25-22, 25-19 and 25-18. The Wildcats used aggressive play to outmuscle the Blue Devils, pounding out 49 kills to Duke’s 29.
    Nataly Korobkova and Rita Liliom led all scorers with 15 and 13 kills, respectively.
    K-State’s victory over Duke set the stage for a battle of undefeated squads in the tournament finale against tournament host Purdue, which also won its first two matches. The Wildcats fell by scores of 23-25, 25-22, 23-25 and 18-25 in a tightly contested match.
    Despite the loss, the team continued to play aggressively as it tallied 50 kills, but the Boilermakers proved to be the stronger team as they topped the Wildcats in hitting percentage, blocks and kills. The loss was the first of the season for the Wildcats, and it denied head coach Suzie Fritz her 150th career victory.