K-State volleyball set to battle West Virginia Mountaineers

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

The Kansas State volleyball team will travel east to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers on Wednesday night after dropping the past two matches.

K-State is 17-8 overall and 6-6 in Big 12 play while West Virginia has struggled this year at 12-13 overall and 3-8 in conference play.

On Saturday, the Wildcats lost on the road against the TCU Horned Frogs in straight sets. It was the first win for TCU since Oct. 1, snapping a seven-match losing streak for the Horned Frogs.

“They really just outplayed us in every area of the game,” senior setter Katie Brand said on Monday. “They have a very nice block and their losing streak probably set a little fire in them to beat us. They were hungry for a win and there were a lot of things going on their side and (it) took us too long to decide how to beat them.”

Brand moved into second on K-State’s all-time career assists list in the rally-scoring era last week against Kansas, but Brand was quick to give credit elsewhere.

“That is all the hitters and I think everyone knows that,” Brand said. “Assists are just kills that hitters get so props to them. I’ve been very blessed to be around these great hitters the past four years.”

Brand said the team still has confidence and focus as the season is coming to an end.

“Lots of times when you get later in the season, teams start to get complacent, but for us it’s been the opposite,” Brand said. “We want to get better and we want to go as far as we can in the postseason.”

K-State defeated West Virginia in five sets in late October, and Brand said she thinks this match will be just as tough.

“It is a hard place to play so we need to be focused,” Brand said. “We are hungry to get a win and we need to create our own energy, and if we can do that, we will be successful.”

With four matches left in the regular season, the Wildcats can improve their stock, especially with a matchup against Texas on Nov 19.

“We are just focusing one match at a time, but we think there’s still time to keep improving this season,” Brand said.

The Wildcats will return home on Nov. 16 when they host Oklahoma in Ahearn Field House.