Volleyball can’t find rhythm against Oklahoma, swept in three sets

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Freshman outside hitter Anna Dixon bumps the ball for her teammates. K-State fell to Oklahoma in three sets at Ahearn Field House on Nov. 20, 2019. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State volleyball struggled to contain Oklahoma in Ahearn Field House Wednesday night, falling in three sets for a season sweep.

The last time K-State (8-18, 3-11) met Oklahoma (17-8, 9-5) this season, the Wildcats set a program record in digs while pushing Oklahoma to the brink in a five-set defeat that saw the Wildcats jump out to a 2-0 lead. It was a completely different story the second time around as Oklahoma stormed into Ahearn and throttled the Wildcats in three straight sets to hand K-State their fourth-straight loss.

The Sooners hit close to a .300 percentage. Graduate student outside hitter Ashlynn Dunbar generated Oklahoma’s offensive success with 16 kills while junior middle blocker Paige Anderson recorded eight kills and a .500 hitting percentage.

Oklahoma outplayed K-State in nearly every statistical category except total blocks — the Wildcats led the Sooners 10-8. The Wildcats hit .119 percent with 19 attack errors and 31 kills on 101 attacks.

Seven service aces proved to be a big factor for the Sooners in their dominant performance.

Sophomore opposite Gloria Mutiri was the only Wildcat to reach double-digit kills with 10. Mutiri also recorded two block assists on her way to a .533 hit percentage.

K-State played their best in the first set despite errors putting them in an 11-6 hole to start off. A 4-0 run in the middle of the set reduced their deficit to two points at 18-16, forcing Oklahoma to burn a timeout. Oklahoma came back out swinging after the timeout, scoring four of the next five points and taking the set 25-20.

K-State hit their best in the first set, with a .242 percentage to Oklahoma’s .300. Mutiri and Dunbar finished with five kills, previewing what the rest of the match would look like for the top scorers.

Oklahoma got rolling in the second set following at 5-1 by K-State. The Sooners came back with a 13-1 run to take the set 25-14.

K-State hit their lowest percentage of the game in the second set (-.033) thanks to a match-high eight errors and a match-low seven kills. Dunbar lifted Oklahoma to a .281 hit percentage with five of the team’s 14 kills in the set.

K-State played better in the third, but not good enough to take a set back from Oklahoma, who led throughout most of the set and finished on a 3-0 run to take it 25-17. K-State improved their hit percentag to a .132, but the Sooners finished with their best percentage of the night at .312.

Dropping three of their last four games without taking a single set, the Wildcats look ahead to senior day on Saturday afternoon, facing off against another tough opponent in the No. 3 Baylor Bears, who knocked off No. 1 Texas on Wednesday night. Start time is set for 3 p.m. in Ahearn, with the live broadcast airing on ESPN+ and KMAN radio.

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