Wildcats improve in Texas loss


    Last week, head volleyball coach Suzie Fritz talked about the importance of home court advantage.
    “For whatever reason, we’ve been far more successful [at home], and I think that the tendency is that you’re more comfortable in your own environment,” said Fritz, who became K-State’s all-time winningest coach on Wednesday. “Our student section has been tremendous.”
    Just as they have all season, the audience appeared in large numbers to support the Wildcats, as nearly 3,000 purple-clad fans were on hand to watch No. 14 K-State (22-6, 12-5 Big 12) take on the No. 4 Texas Longhorns (21-3, 14-2) Saturday night in Ahearn Field House.
    Although the Wildcat supporters in attendance were as loud and rambunctious as they have been all season, the team came up just short in a furious comeback attempt as the Longhorns escaped with a 3-2 win.
    After losing the first two games by scores of 28-30 and 21-25, K-State regained its composure and reeled off two straight 25-22 wins. However, Texas proved to be too much, as the Longhorns staved off the comeback and won the final game 15-9.
    After the match, Fritz said although the Wildcats couldn’t capitalize on the late rally, she was pleased with her team’s performance.
    “We were in it and had an opportunity to win,” she said. “I thought we did a tremendous job to win game three and game four to get to game five. I’m proud of our team and the way they played.”
    The Wildcats were swept by the Longhorns in their last meeting, but K-State proved to be more prepared for Texas’ athleticism the second time around, as Saturday’s match featured a total of 31 ties and 15 lead changes.
    Six scorers tallied double-digit kills on the night. The Longhorns’ Ashley Engle led all players with 24, while Destinee Hooker and Lauren Paolini contributed 18 and 14, respectively.
    Senior outside hitter Natalya Korobkova paced K-State with 23 kills, while fellow senior Rita Liliom added 19 for the Wildcats.
    K-State will return to action when they travel to Columbia, Mo., to take on the Missouri Tigers on Nov. 19.