Wildcat volleyball nets a comeback victory

Junior outside hitter Kylee Zumach spikes the ball cross court during the volleyball game against Arkansas in Ahearn Field House on Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo by Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State volleyball team broke a four-game losing streak as they beat the University of North Florida Ospreys in four sets Thursday night. This was the first of the Wildcats’ three matches at the Georgia Tech Invitational.

“We hit for a really high percentage tonight and we were really consistent, which is something we wanted to do,” assistant coach Jeff Grove said in a radio interview after the match. “We held them to a low percentage and that was one of our goals, too. We wanted to play well both offensively and defensively, and we did that.”

The Wildcats are now 3-4 overall; North Florida is 4-4 in the young season.

K-State was led by junior Kylee Zumach who finished with 16 kills, while senior Bryna Vogel had 11 and junior Macy Flowers ended with 10.

“Macy excels in that wide gap in front of the center, and she did that tonight,” Grove said. “We were able to get her high enough that she was able to hit it over them. Her and the setters did a good job of clicking tonight.”

The first set was very back-and-forth as the teams were tied at 14-14, but it was all K-State after that. The Wildcats scored the next five points to take a 19-14 lead, which was started with a kill by senior Bryna Vogel.

North Florida never got closer than four points again in the set as the Wildcats won it 25-19.

The momentum for the Wildcats carried over into the second set as K-State dominated the court. K-State led 23-11 before North Florida netted five straight points, but the Wildcats won the next two points behind a kill from junior Alyssa Schultejans to win the set and go up 2-0 in the match. At this point in the match, North Florida was hitting .115 while K-State was hitting .368.

“They started digging more balls on us, but we overcame that,” Grove said. “In game four we got 16 kills, which is a good set and we’ll just take the win right now.”

The Ospreys came back and won the third set 25-21, but it was K-State who finished the match in the fourth set after the Wildcats scored five match points to close it out 25-23.

The Wildcats will face Xavier University tomorrow at 10 a.m. before facing Georgia Tech at 7 p.m.

“Both of those teams run the same system we do, and Xavier is very physical and runs a very fast offense,” Grove said. “Georgia Tech is very similar, and playing at their place will be hard. Hopefully we can just keep the momentum and confidence that we got from tonight.”