The K-State volleyball team closed out its season on a high note with a loss followed by two hard-fought victories over Thanksgiving break.
In the first of two road matches, the Wildcats dropped the contest to Oklahoma 1-3 but rebounded with a 3-2 victory in this season’s final Sunflower Showdown over Kansas. On Senior Night, K-State found favor 3-2 once more with another match that came down to the wire against Colorado.
K-State 3, Colorado 2
The games oscillated between the two teams, with K-State (12-19, 6-14 Big 12 Conference) emerging on top in the end. The first game went to the Wildcats 25-22 after a tepid start eventually heated up, but Colorado (6-20, 3-17 Big 12 Conference) snatched up the next 25-20 after siding out 69 percent and putting up a handful of big runs. After the break, K-State took its second 25-22 in irregular play that slightly depressed its stats, but the Buffaloes moved the match into a fifth game by winning its own second 25-23 after a comeback from being down 12-19. In the fifth game, the Wildcats were dominant throughout and racked up a clean seven-point run to toe the victory line, with senior outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm ceremoniously putting away the final attack to win on her Senior Night.
There were many top performances Saturday night, but the award goes to senior libero Lauren Mathewson, who posted 22 digs in her final match, bumping her season total to 540, which is the third most digs in one season at K-State, yet another record for her. In the front line, freshman middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger posted 18 kills on the night with a .469 hitting percentage and a double-double with 11 digs.
“It was tremendous to end with a win,” head coach Suzie Fritz said. “It took us a little bit, but once we got going, we played really well in game five.”