K-State volleyball falls in first conference game

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An 11-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday as the Wildcat volleyball team fell to the Baylor Bears in five sets.

K-State’s offense got off to a hot start in set one, jumping out to a 6-1 lead. The Wildcats offensive efficiency continued throughout the match by carrying an impressive .370 percent compared to .200 percent for the Bears.

Set two was much more of a battle as K-State knotted it up at 7-7. Baylor then went on a 10-2 run to stretch the lead to nine. The Bears never looked back and evened the match at one step apiece.

“I thought that when we were good, we were good, and unfortunately when we were bad, we were bad,” K-State head coach Suzie Fritz said. “A big part of winning volleyball matches is that you have to win the serving and receiving battle. We came out rolling in set one, and then they came out far more aggressive in set two with their serving, and in some regards, we just fell apart offensively.”

After returning from the half for the third set, K-State’s offense roared back to lead by as many as 11 points. The Wildcats took it all the way to match point at 24-14, but Baylor then began an improbable nine-point rally before K-State finally finished off the Bears to take the third set.

The fourth set played very similar to the second. K-State was able to keep it close and competitive, but took their final lead of the night with a kill from sophomore Brooke Sassin to make it 8-7.

From that point on, Baylor went on several spurts of three to four points while slowly pulling away from K-State for a fourth set victory.

In the finale of the evening, K-State trailed by as much as five and trimmed that lead to two before Baylor took set five and the match.

“We are not happy about it,” redshirt sophomore Sheridan Zarda said about the loss. “I know that coming in Monday … we are going to show that we are ticked off. We are going to turn it around. We are going to pick up the small things that need to be fixed.”

Freshman outside hitter Kylee Zumach led K-State with 18 kills. It was Zumach’s sixth-straight game with double-digit kills and her 12th game overall this season. Sassin finished as the only other Wildcat with double-digit kills with 14.

Sophomore setter Katie Brand registered her ninth straight double-double with team leading 44 assists and 18 digs.

Sophomore middle blocker Katie Reininger came close to her second career double-double with nine kills and nine blocks, a stat that led all players.

This loss breaks several ongoing streaks for the Wildcats, including their in-season 11-match winning streak and their home-winning streak that stretched back to last season. It also ended a stretch of wins in five-set matches that goes back to 2011.

They did, however, extend their streak of losing conference home openers to three straight seasons.

The Wildcats don’t have much time to mope though as they head east to take on Kansas. First serve is at 6:30 p.m.

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Tim Everson was born in Wichita, KS in 1994. Before fifth grade he moved up to Manhattan for one year before settling in Riley, KS where he graduated from Riley County High School in 2012. Tim has worked for the Collegian since spring of 2014 and took over as Sports Editor during the summer of 2015. Tim loves sports, music, movies and good food when he can get it.