Wildcats take down Bears in four sets

Senior setter Katie Brand passes the ball in the game against Baylor on Oct. 29, 2016, in Ahearn Field House. (Maddie Domnick | The Collegian)

The Kansas State volleyball team got some revenge on Saturday night by defeating the Baylor Bears inside Ahearn Field House in four sets.

The Wildcats are now 17-6 overall and 6-4 in Big 12 play while the Bears are currently 18-7 and 6-3 in conference play. K-State is just half a game behind Baylor for third in the conference.

“Our defense was much better (than the first meeting),” head coach Suzie Fritz said to K-State Sports. “We were on task at the net defending their hitters and I thought the defense behind them was really good, too. When you can hold a team like that to (hitting) .100, that’s something.”

K-State was led by senior setter Katie Brand and junior opposite hitter Bryna Vogel, who both had double-doubles in the match.

The Wildcats played a very good start as they won the opening set 25-22, but it was close with 14 ties and seven lead changes in that set alone.

The second set seemed to be all K-State. At one point the Wildcats led 21-18, but the Bears rallied to win the next seven points and even the match up at 1-1.

Baylor struggled in the third set against the K-State defense as the Bears had seven errors in the set. K-State dominated and won it 25-13.

In the fourth set, sophomore outside hitter Kylee Zumach had six kills and led the Wildcats to a 25-20 set win and match victory for K-State.

Vogel led the Wildcats in kills with 13. Sophomore outside hitter Alyssa Schultejans provided 12 kills and freshman middle blocker Elle Sandbothe had 10.

“It’s definitely a luxury to have so many talented hitters,” Fritz said to K-State Sports. “The girls all support each other and just want what’s best for the team. Sometimes it’s a tough decision on who to put in but all of our girls are tremendous.”

Brand finished with 40 assists and 17 digs, which was her fourth straight double-double. She leads the Big 12 with 14 double-doubles on the season. For the third straight match, Vogel had a double-double with 13 kills and 14 digs.

The Bears were held to a season-low in hitting percentage as they hit .111 and never hit higher than .250 in any one of the sets.

The Wildcats will host in-state rival Kansas this Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside Ahearn Field House. The Jayhawks defeated the Wildcats in three sets earlier this season.