K-State volleyball struggles in home invitational

Junior libero Reilly Killeen prepares to hit the ball during the volleyball game against Arkansas in Ahearn Field House on Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo by Nathan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State volleyball team dropped all three of their matches this past weekend when they hosted the K-State Invitational inside Ahearn Field House.

K-State is now 2-4 for the season, and the Wildcats have lost their last four matches.

On Friday, the Wildcats took on the Syracuse University Orange and took the first set 25-17, but it was all Orange after that. K-State hit .150 on the match as the Orange hit very well in the final two sets, beating the Wildcats 2-1.

“Early, I felt okay,” head coach Suzie Fritz said to K-State Sports. “I thought we were executing okay early in the match, but the more we pressed, the worse it got. I didn’t think we played well under pressure. We’re searching right now for the right mix. … I think we’ve got a lot of really good volleyball players and individuals that are working really, really hard, but I don’t think that we are a team yet.”

K-State had three players hit double digits in kills: junior Alyssa Schultejans had 14, while sophomore Elle Sandbothe and senior Bryna Vogel both finished with 10 kills in the losing effort.

“I thought [Maureen] Schick came in and did a great job, came in and made a difference as a defender and as a passer helped us upgrade in terms of handling first contact,” Fritz said to K-State Sports. “I thought Macy Flowers came in and took over the net and shut some things down for us. I thought those two were bright spots. Bryna Vogel was Bryna Vogel. She was consistently good from start to finish.”

In the final match of the invitational, K-State fell in straight sets to the number six ranked team in the country, the University of Wisconsin Badgers.

The Badgers hit for a jaw dropping .436 while the Wildcats were held under .200 in the loss.

“That is a high-efficiency offensive machine right there,” Fritz said to K-State Sports. “We felt like we had to match them offensively. In game one, I thought we were okay. We hit for a high efficiency in game one. We’ve had our defensive struggles and it’s an area of focus for us right now.”

The Wildcats now turn their attention to the Georgia Tech Invitational where they will take on the University of North Florida, Xavier University and the Georgia Institute of Technology on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, respectively.