K-State volleyball flips script on Baylor in a five-set win

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In need of a break from a three-match losing streak, K-State answered in a big way against Baylor.

The Wildcats (21-6, 8-5) came back from a 2-0 deficit to knock off the Bears (14-14, 4-9) in three-straight sets.

The Wildcats also moved to 22-2 in five-set matches since 2011, including a 6-1 mark this season.

K-State came out flat in sets one (22-25) and two (16-25), as they saw Baylor race out to a 2-0 lead in the match. During the intermission, head coach Suzie Fritz questioned her teams character and tried to find answers to mount a comeback.

“We talked (during the intermission), saying this is not who we are,” Fritz said. “We asked them, ‘What are we going to do to work our way back into it?’ We made a strong suggestion of coming out on the offensive and firing on all cylinders. Let’s make sure, in the end, we don’t get outworked.”

After that, it was all K-State.

In the third set (25-18), the Wildcats came out with a better defensive approach and Baylor was held to .119 percent from the floor after hitting .393 in the second set.

Things did not improve for the Bears in the fourth set (25-19), as their hitting percentage dropped to a dismal .098 percent.

The Wildcats led through the entirety of set four and after taking a 15-11 lead, they never allowed Baylor to come with four.

Set five (15-9) was close for just the beginning. After knotting the score at 5-5, K-State started to pull away and scored four of the last five points to take the set and complete the comeback.

Freshman outside hitter Kylee Zumach led K-State in kills with 14 and senior middle blocker Chelsea Keating and senior middle blocker Natali Jones also had double-digit kills with 12 and 10, respectively.

The liberos had a strong day for the Wildcats as sophomore Sheridan Zarda lead all players with 28 digs.

The Wildcats showed their depth as junior libero Dallas Gardner also played some solid minutes, registering eight digs in the comeback.

“I was exceptionally proud of the way (Gardner) came in and contributed, in a new role,” Fritz said. “I was also proud of (senior libero) Gina (Madonia) and Sheridan, who stepped into the (libero) role for us. Those three did a tremendous job of handling balls and keeping us in it.”

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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.