The No. 21 Wildcats returned to Ahearn Field House last night to take on the Coyotes of South Dakota. K-State pounded out the win in four sets featuring a career night for junior outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm. Chisholm led the Wildcats with a career-high 21 kills in what proved to be a fairly unchallenging match.
After the match, head coach Susie Fritz spoke of her team’s inconsistent play.
“I thought we were very undisciplined, I thought our focus was poor, I thought we were played out of position way too often,” Fritz said.
Although disappointed in her team’s overall play, Fritz was impressed with the play of her outside hitters, Chisholm and senior Kelsey Chipman.
“I thought JuliAnne had a nice night. Hitting over .400 on the left is pretty good, and Chipman as well,” she said. “Those two players I think offensively were pretty productive for us.”
The Wildcats came out of the gates fast, winning their first set by a close margin of 25-22. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Chisholm with six kills and a .357 hitting percent. Serving errors proved to be killer for the Coyotes as they had six with only two serving aces.
The second set was the most productive offensively for K-State with Chisholm leading the way with 13 kills. K-State also had three players with a .400 or higher hitting percentage in the set. Senior setter Soriana Pacheco led the way with .667, and Chisholm and Chipman followed with .440 and .400, respectively.
The Wildcats seemed lost and unfocused as the third set progressed, allowing freshman outside hitter Bailey Reshel to notch 18 of her career-high 21 kills against K-State. Down 23-24, the Wildcats had a chance to keep their comeback alive but a long serve by freshman outside hitter Caitlyn Donahue forced a fourth set.
After the momentary lack of focus, the Wildcats resurged in the fourth set with a .480 hitting percent as a team. The team’s defensive stand also played a crucial part in this fourth set victory as K-State held the Coyotes to a .130 hitting percentage.
K-State will return to action this weekend in Ahearn Field House in the Varney’s Kansas State Invitational. The Wildcats will face some quality opponents in Kentucky, Portland and Purdue. The first set is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday night against Kentucky.