Record setting can’t bring volleyball win against Oklahoma

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Redshirt junior middle blocker, Peyton Williams communiates with her team during the volleyball game against the University of Central Arkansas in Bramlage Coliseum on Sept. 8, 2019. The Wildcats beat the Sugar Bears 3 sets to 1. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

A record setting night and two-set lead was not enough for the Kansas State volleyball team to best Oklahoma on the road Wednesday night. As the Wildcats dropped their fifth straight game, this time in five-sets to the Sooners.

K-State (6-12, 1-5) had the Sooners on the brink in the fifth set, holding match point at 14-13, but Oklahoma (12-5, 4-2) took the next three points to defeat K-State 16-14.

K-State amassed 119 digs on Wednesday night, beating the record 118 against Illinois State in 2015. Freshman defensive specialist Dru Kuck recorded 36 to her name, the third-highest dig total in K-State history during the rally-scoring era.

After trailing in the first-set 16-11, the Wildcats surged with eight kills on a 14-4 run to take the set 25-20.

The Wildcats found themselves in front 18-10 in the second set, but a timeout brought new life into the Sooners, sending them on an 8-2 run. K-State held on to end the set 25-19, commanding a 2-0 set lead.

K-State’s .368 hitting efficiency in the second set plummeted to a match-low .036 in the third. Even so, the Wildcats kept things close, and the Sooners barely edged past to finish the set 25-23.

Oklahoma then dominated in the fourth set 25-16 to force a decisive fifth.

In that fifth set, K-State started on an 8-2 scoring run before switching sides at the midway point. New benches brought new performances, and the Sooners went on an 8-2 run of their own. With the set tied at 12, both teams battled but Oklahoma would emerge victorious, winning the set 16-14 after taking the final three points.

Five Wildcats had career nights in digs with Kuck’s 36: redshirt senior setter Sarah Dixon with 20, freshman defensive specialist Loren Hinkle with 17, senior defensive specialist McKenzi Weber with 15, and freshman setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi with 13.

Freshman outside hitter Anna Dixon also had a career-high on the night, netting 21 kills. Sarah Dixon recorded her third straight double-double with 43 assists and 20 digs.

K-State finished the night with a team efficiency of .200 with 65 kills and 23 errors on 210 attacks. While Oklahoma finished their night with a team efficiency of .180 with 62 kills and 22 errors on 222 attacks.

The Wildcats return home Oct. 23 to take on Kansas (5-10, 1-4) for the season’s first Sunflower Showdown at 6 p.m. in Ahearn Field House. The match will broadcast on ESPNU and KMAN Radio.

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