No. 25 Wildcats win 9th-straight match, take Arkansas Invitational title

Junior opposite hitter Bryna Vogel slams the ball down in the match against Mississippi State in Ahearn Field House on Sept. 9, 2016. (File Photo by Sabrina Cline | The Collegian)

The 25th ranked Kansas State volleyball team traveled to Arkansas this past weekend and came back with three wins, pushing its winning streak to nine.

The Wildcats are now 11-2 this season and have finished the nonconference portion of their schedule.

K-State started the weekend off by beating UMKC on Friday in four sets. They were led by senior middle blocker Katie Reininger, who had 13 kills in the winning effort. Senior libero Kersten Kober provided 16 digs and senior outside hitter Brooke Sassin had 11. Redshirt senior setter Katie Brand had five kills and 44 assists in the four-set victory.

It was the 28th-straight win for the Wildcats when taking on the Kangaroos.

Friday night K-State made quick work out of the Arkansas Razorbacks in a three-set win. The Wildcats never trailed against the struggling Razorbacks, who went to 1-9 after the loss.

“We defended exceptionally well tonight,” Brand said to K-State Sports. “We stayed on task and were disciplined defensively. That was a huge difference in the match tonight.”

“Everyone seemed to contribute,” added Brand, who recorded her team-leading fifth double-double with 35 assists and 11 digs. “When we are this balanced on both sides of the net, we are tough to stop.”

K-State was led in kills by junior opposite hitter Bryna Vogel, who had a team-high of 10 kills and a hitting percentage of .333. Sassin, Reininger and sophomore outside hitter Kylee Zumach all had eight kills in the match.

The Wildcats completed the weekend as they defeated Southern Miss on Saturday in four sets to win the Arkansas Invitational.

It was a career night for Vogel as she finished with 21 kills, a new career high for her.

“(Vogel) was unbelievable today,” Brand said after the match. “It seemed like everything I set her she was putting down. It’s almost unbelievable when someone gets into a zone like that.”

Brand also had a very good night as she had 60 assists, which is the most by her this season and the most in her career in a four-set match. Her career high in any match as a Wildcat is 64.

Brand and Vogel were named to the All-Tournament Team and Vogel was named the MVP.

The Wildcats will now shift their focus to the next 16 matches as they open Big 12 play on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they host Iowa State inside Ahearn Field House.