Kansas State looks to end four-game losing snide Saturday at home

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Junior setter Katie Brand bumps the ball during the match against KU on Sept. 23, 2015 at Horejsi Center in Lawerence, Kansas. The Wildcats lost to the Jayhawks 3-1. (Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

The Wildcat volleyball team will look to get back in the win column when they host the Baylor Bears Saturday night in Ahearn Field House at 7 p.m. K-State is 8-5 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play.

The Bears have looked very impressive in their first 13 matches of the season as they are 11-2 in the young campaign. The Bears had the first round of Big 12 games off, so this will be their first taste of conference play this year.

K-State is coming off a three sets to one loss at Kansas Wednesday night in Lawrence.

“We knew that (KU was) very terminal in regards to their side-out offense,” head coach Suzie Fritz said. “We needed to extend out long rallies, which I feel like we did, but then we have to win long rallies. I didn’t think we were clean enough in the long points. Those are big momentum plays, and I don’t think we won enough of them.”

The two teams were neck and neck throughout the entire match, but the Jayhawks won some crucial points late to remain undefeated at 13-0.

“No teams are ever even, we are better in some areas and they are better in some areas,” Fritz said after the match. “It’s the areas that matter the most that win you the match. I think we served and dug well tonight and we felt like those were two important factors to be in the match.”

Kansas State has been led by junior outside hitter Brooke Sassin, who had 15 kills on Wednesday night on 64 swings.

“She’s kind of our stabilizer,” Fritz explained. “She is doing such an amazing job by attacking with purpose, which is hard to do against a big physical team.”

Redshirt junior setter Katie Brand recorded her ninth double-double on Wednesday night as she had 42 assists and 11 digs. That ties her with her teammate, Sassin, for the Big 12 lead.

The loss to Kansas was the fourth consecutive Big 12 opener loss for the Wildcats, but now they turn their eyes to a good Baylor team.

Don’t be surprised if this match between the Wildcats and Bears goes the distance. Last season in the two match-ups between these teams, both matches went to five sets with each team winning on the road.

“Stay the course and continue to be invested in the process of growth,” Fritz said to her team after the match. “If we just continue to improve than the wins will also come with that. We are doing a lot of things well and we need to keep continuing to build on those strengths.”

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