K-State volleyball drops season opener against NC State 3-1

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Elle Sandbothe jumps up to score one of her 13 kills during the volleyball match against KU on Nov. 14, 2018 in Lawrence. K-State won 3-2. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

At Reynold’s Coliseum, home to North Carolina State, the Kansas State volleyball team lost its season opener in four sets.

There were some bright spots from younger players on this year’s team in the midst of it all. Four Wildcats ended the night with at least 10 digs.

Freshman defensive specialist Dru Kuck led the team with 14 digs. Redshirt sophomore Jacque Smith recorded 11 digs, a career-high and freshman defensive specialist Loren Hinkle had 10 against NC State.

Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Brynn Carlson recorded 18 kills, a career-high. Carlson was the only Wildcat to reach double-figure kills in the match.

K-State took the first set 25-23 for a 1-0 advantage through five lead changes. The Wildcats ended the set with a 6-2 run.

NC State rallied back and won 25-14 in the second set and hit .387 overall. The defense held K-State to a .098 hitting percentage and picked up four team blocks. The Wolfpack ended the set with eight of the last 10 points.

“We struggled in nearly every phase, at different times. Like most coaches this time of year, we are just looking for more consistency,” said head coach Suzie Fritz said to K-State Sports.

NC State went ahead 11-4 halfway through the third set and gave them a 2-1 lead overall. The Wildcats came within two points at 19-17 before the Wolfpack scored six points to end the set.

K-State led 16-15, but was outscored 10-3 as NC State closed out the fourth and final set on the night to take a 3-1 lead to beat the Wildcats on Friday night.

Against NC State, K-State is now 1-1 and the Wildcats dropped their season opener for the first time since the 2011 season.

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