K-State volleyball battles for five-set victory over TCU

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The Kansas State volleyball team celebrates during the match against TCU on Nov. 2, 2019. The Wildcats defeated the Horned Frogs in five sets. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State volleyball team entered Ahearn Field House on Saturday night with nine total five-set matches played on the season. At the end of the night, K-State had 10 under its belt and a season series sweep over TCU for the first time since 2014.

The teams traded sets throughout the match. When it came down to the fifth and final set, K-State (8-14, 3-7) showed they wanted the win more. Thanks to three blocks by redshirt junior middle blocker Peyton Williams and serves by freshman setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi, the Wildcats closed out the final set on a 9-0 run.

Sophomore opposite Gloria Mutiri and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Brynn Carlson led the way for K-State in kills, tallying 13 kills each. Mutiri hit a .444 percentage — a team-high for the night. The 15 team blocks from the Wildcats were a huge factor in the match, with Williams leading the team in that category at eight block assists while redshirt sophomore middle blocker Megan Vernon added seven.

In the first set, the Wildcats found themselves down 9-6, but a 7-1 run gave them a 25-21 victory. The Wildcats held a .419 hitting percentage in the set, the highest of the night for K-State, compared to TCU’s .129 percent, their lowest of the night until the fifth set.

TCU flipped the script in the second set, hitting at a .216 percentage while holding the Wildcats to .067 thanks to four team blocks on the set, giving the Horned Frogs a 25-18 set victory.

The closest set of the night was in the third, as both teams battled for the advantage. K-State took the set 25-23 in the end.

K-State gave up a season-high 13 service aces with six of them in the fourth set, including a stretch where the Horned Frogs recorded three consecutive service aces. TCU took the set 25-17 with a .424 hitting percentage.

K-State finished in the fifth set with a 15-7 victory. Freshman outside hitter Anna Dixon capped off a 9-0 run to finish the set with a kill. Dixon finished the night with 11 kills, two aces and six block assists.

The Wildcats finished the night with 57 kills and 19 errors on 149 attacks for a total hit percentage of .255 while holding TCU under the .200 mark as the Horned Frogs recorded 55 kills and 24 errors on 156 attacks.

The victory catapults the Wildcats out of the last spot in the Big 12 to sixth place, just two spots away from their next opponent, Iowa State (14-7, 5-4), who they fell to in three sets on Oct. 26 in Ames, Iowa.

K-State will get an entire week to prepare for that match at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Ahearn Field House. The match will stream on ESPN+ and KMAN radio.

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