K-State downs West Virginia in straight sets


It has been an up and down season for the K-State Wildcats volleyball squad. Going into Saturday’s match with the West Virginia Mountaineers, K-State had been on the losing end of three of their last four matches. That was not apparent, however, as they downed the Mountaineers in straight sets (25-13, 25-15, 25-14).

“I thought we played extremely well in all phases,” K-State head coach Suzie Fritz said. “We were true to the low error, which is who we want to be. We moved on both sides of the ball. Katie Brand was consistent and her decision making was as good as it has been all season. I thought they served aggressively, but we managed well in system situations. We did not have a lot of system breakdowns, so we got to play within our system. We played with great discipline, focus and tremendous energy.”

Brand, a redshirt freshman, finished the night with 34 assists, five digs and blocks, and also chipped in two kills.

“It was great going out there and having a great team game,” Brand said. “I think across the board tonight everybody hit well.”

Senior middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger turned in another impressive performance as she was the only Wildcat to finish with double digit kills. Pelger totaled 16 kills on the day which included a season-high .619 hitting percentage. The Wildcats as a team finished with 40 kills, 17 more than the Mountaineers.

K-State jumped on the Mountaineers early in the match as they ran out to a 7-0 lead after Pelger connected on three consecutive kills. West Virginia fought back to make it a 13-6 set, but the Wildcats would not falter.

The Mountaineers found more success in the second set, tying the set up at 6-6 early. Pelger would once again help spark a Wildcat run as K-State scored seven unanswered points before ultimately finishing out the set.

The final set was the same story for both sides. K-State’s match-high 15 kills in the final set was simply too much for the Mountaineers to handle as the Wildcats finished off the sweep.

“We just felt like everything was clicking,” junior Chelsea Keating said. “it was great. Our passing was tremendous, and if it was not, our set location was great. Everything was just running smoothly.”

The Wildcats will have a mid-week bye before returning to action Saturday as they take on rival Kansas. The match is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center in Lawrence.

All quotes according to KStatesports.com