Wildcats dominate Red Raiders on the road

Junior opposite hitter Bryna Vogal and sophomore middle blocker Macy Flowers attempt to block the ball in the game against Texas on Oct. 1, 2016, in Ahearn Field House. (Maddie Domnick | The Collegian)

The Wildcats came out ready to play and dismantled the Texas Tech Raiders in straight sets on Wednesday night in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas State is now 13-4 on the season and 2-2 in conference play.

“We passed really well to start off the match,” assistant coach Jeff Grove said in a radio interview after the match. “That gave (senior setter) Katie (Brand) options to mix up the offense and get different people involved.”

Junior opposite hitter Bryna Vogel played exceptionally well with a team-high 12 kills after not playing most of the third set.

“(Vogel) was unstoppable on the balls in the middle,” Grove said. “It was a good night for her and us.”

The Wildcats got off to a slow start in the opening set, trailing 3-0, but came back very quickly and took their first lead at 7-6. K-State never trailed again in the set and won it 25-18.

The Wildcats found themselves in another quick hole as Texas Tech won the first three points of the second set, but K-State bounced back once again and tied the set at 8-8.

Both teams went back and forth for the rest of the set until K-State won six of the final eight points, winning the set 25-19.

In the third, the Wildcats really controlled the second half of the set as they took what felt like a commanding lead at 15-11.

The Wildcats never looked back and dominated the final set 25-20 to get back in the win column after losing their last two matches.

“We got better as we went tonight,” Grove said. “I will say I don’t think we were always purposeful in our hitting and we can’t just hit into their players. We had to remind our players to mix it up so the other team doesn’t know where we are hitting.”

Brand had 40 assists in the match while senior outside hitter Brooke Sassin provided 11 kills in the winning effort.

“I thought our passing tonight was really good,” Grove said. “There have been times that we come down to this arena and not passed well, but tonight we got a lot of hitters involved.”

Senior libero Kersten Kober played a couple sets and had 18 digs after an ankle injury took her out of Saturday night’s match against Texas.

“I thought she was great tonight,” Grove said. “She is still a step slow because of her ankle, but you would never know it. She’s so fast, so athletic and so experienced out there, it was great to have her out there.”

K-State will return home on Saturday as they host TCU at 1 p.m. inside Ahearn Field House.

“They have very capable players, including two really good middles,” Grove said. “They are going to be a handful for us, but hopefully we’ll get a big crowd out there prior to the football game and make it a tough environment for them to play in.”