K-State volleyball starts off hot but goes cold in four set loss to Tech on senior night

K-State defensive specialist Devan Fairfield successfully sets up the ball after receiving it from KU. K-State beat the Jayhawks 3-2 on November 14, 2018 in Lawrence, KS. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State volleyball seniors hoped to go out with a win in their last match inside Ahearn Field House on Saturday. That effort fell short as the Wildcats lost in four sets to the Texas Tech Red Raiders last night.

Saturday marked the season’s second match against the Red Raiders. In October, Texas Tech pulled out a win in five sets on its home court.

With the loss, K-State now has a 14-12 record (4-11 Big 12) and Texas Tech improved to 17-11 overall and 6-8 in conference play.

On senior night for K-State, the scoring was started with a block by redshirt sophomore middle blocker Peyton Williams and a kill from redshirt junior setter Sarah Dixon. The defense of K-State held Texas Tech to a .216 hitting percentage using three blocks, and the Wildcats won the opening set, 25-21.

In the second set, Texas Tech was cruising midway through and at one point held a six-point lead. K-State was able to tie it up at 22 with an ace from Williams. After a 3-0 run from the Red Raiders, the match was tied up at a set each when they won this one, 25-22.

K-State went on a 4-0 run to tie the third set up at 12. The Wildcats trailed for most of the set, but came back from 21-15 deficit to force the set into extra points. K-State scored three straight points after being down 23-21 with a kill by Williams. The Wildcat comeback fell short though, as they would lose 26-24 in the third set.

In the fourth and final set, Texas Tech won 25-15, but not before K-State would score four times in five possessions. The offense was only able to record six kills and had eight attack errors. With 17 digs and 13 kills from the Red Raiders, the Wildcats lost on senior night for the second straight year.

Senior liberos Reilly Killeen and Devan Fairfield each had double-digit digs with 11 and 10, respectively.

This was the first time since 2004 that K-State lost to Texas Tech in Manhattan.

After the match, head coach Suzie Fritz told K-State Sports she sees consistency as a struggle for this team, saying “It felt like we would make one really good play and one really bad play…There’s not one specific thing. It’s just the ability to be good over time and connect points.”

Next up for the Wildcats will be a trip to Fort Worth, Texas, where they will face the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. This will be the last match of the regular season for K-State. The match is set for a 1 p.m. start on Fox Sports Southwest+ and fans can listen on KMAN radio.

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