Wildcats rebound with sweep over Sooners

Senior outside hitter Chelsea Keating dives for the ball in an attempt to save the play on Oct. 22, 2014 at Ahearn Field House. The Cats stomped Oklahoma University 3-0. (Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

In need of a defensive pick-up, No. 22 K-State looked significantly better as the volleyball team held Oklahoma to a .192 hitting percentage, defeating their opponents from Norman in a three-set sweep.

The first set was dominated by the Wildcats 25-14, who threw down 15 kills on 23 attempts and committed only one error on .609 hitting.

“We were as offensively productive (tonight) as we have been probably since conference play started,” K-State head coach Suzie Fritz said. “We hit .380, everyone was involved, and we had really good balance in offense. I thought our passing was a little bit more consistent, and we won the serving and receiving battle. The things that we have been really stressing and working on, getting a lot of feedback in, talking a lot about and spending a lot of time on, we were able tonight to implement some productive change.”

The second set proved to be slightly more of a challenge for the Wildcats as Oklahoma kept it close up until a 15-all tie. After that, it was all K-State as they went on a 10-4 run to close out the set 25-19.

Set three was drastically different as Oklahoma jumped out to as much as an eight-point lead. However, K-State rallied in impressive fashion to tie it up at 24-24. An Oklahoma attack error left it open for K-State sophomore setter Katie Brand to finish off the set and the match 26-24.

“I think we had a great game plan like always,” Brand said. “Our coaches always have a set plan that if we execute it, we have a really good shot of winning and slowing them down. By staying on task and slowing them down, we will win games.”

K-State was led in scoring by senior middle blocker Natali Jones, who had a career-high 12 kills on .688 hitting and seven blocks.

Sophomore outside blocker Brooke Sassin was the other Wildcat to register double-digit kills with 11 total.

It was also a strong serving night for the Wildcats as five different players registered aces, including sophomore libero Sheridan Zarda and her two service aces.

K-State will play three of it’s next four matches on the road. On Saturday, they will face West Virginia to finish the first round of conference play.

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.