K-State hopes to upend Baylor

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Junior opposite hitter Bryna Vogel dives for the ball during the K-State volleyball match against West Virginia in Ahearn Field House on Oct. 22, 2016. (File Photo by Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

The Kansas State volleyball team will look to avenge a loss to Baylor as the Wildcats host the Bears on Saturday night.

The Wildcats are coming off a four-set loss to the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames, Iowa, on Wednesday night. Each set was decided by two points, except for the fourth where Iowa State dominated for a 25-15 set win.

K-State is 16-6 overall and 5-4 in Big 12 play while the Cyclones are 12-9 and 4-5 in conference play.

In the match against Iowa State, senior outside hitter Brooke Sassin had a team-high 19 kills while junior opposite hitter Bryna Vogel provided 10 in the losing effort.

Senior setter Katie Brand was very efficient as she had nine kills, 48 assists, 19 digs and had a hitting percentage of .529.

The Wildcats will need to play very well against the Bears, as they are currently third in the conference and 18-6 overall and 6-2 in conference play. The Bears’ only losses in Big 12 play have come to the top two teams in the conference, Kansas and Texas.

Baylor had its bye week on Wednesday and is on a three-game winning streak with wins over West Virginia, Iowa State and Oklahoma.

The Bears are led by redshirt junior outside hitter Katie Staiger, who is very good at the net and is a four-time Big 12 Player of the Week this year.

She leads the conference in kills with 5.48 per set and is also ranked in the top 10 in the Big 12 in service aces with 25 on the season.

As a team, Baylor is strong at the net as it is first in the conference in blocks with over 2.5 per set and second in opponent hitting percentage at .163. The Bears are also good on defense in the back as they are second in the conference in digs at 15.88. Junior libero Jana Brusek is third in the conference in digs as she averages 4.52 per set.

In the match earlier this season, K-State was held to a hitting percentage of .133 while the Bears hit over .200. The Wildcats did not have one player hit in double digits in kills while Staiger had 23 by herself and hit .373 in that match.

This will be the first of two straight home matches for the Wildcats. After this match, they will host Kansas on Wednesday, who the Cats lost to in straight sets earlier this season.

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