K-State falls to Baylor, secures third-place conference finish

Freshman middle blocker Kadye Fernholz attempts to hit the ball over the net in the Wildcats 3-1 loss to Baylor on Friday night. (Photograph Courtesy of Joshua Fralick | Baylor Athletics)

The No. 10 Kansas State volleyball team had hope coming into the weekend series against No. 3 Baylor. The team needed two wins against the Bears to secure a second-place finish in the Big 12 Conference standings.

On Friday, K-State fell to Baylor in a close-fought four-set battle, 15-25, 26-24, 25-27, 19-25, which finalized a third-place finish.

After a slow start in the first set, the Wildcats rallied to tie the match at 1-1 after taking the second set 26-24. Baylor would go on to win the third in another tightly contested set — and would go on to win the match after pulling away in the fourth after K-State seemingly ran out of gas.

The main excitement from the match occurred in the second and third sets. In the second, the two teams had 14 ties and seven lead changes. The third was even more intense, which included 22 ties and 15 lead changes.

Even though they only hit a mere .124 on the night, K-State kept things close throughout the night. A total of 30 attacking errors and nine service errors would come back to haunt the team, though.

Individually, the Wildcats were led by freshman Aliyah Carter who had 18 kills on .125 hitting. Sophomore Abigail Archibong was the other K-State player with double-digit kills – she had 12.

Per usual, freshman libero Mackenzie Morris led the team in digs with 19. She’s led the team in digs in every match this season. Freshman setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi replaced senior setter Shelby Martin for the third-straight match and recorded 38 assists.

Martin and sophomore Dru Kuck missed their third consecutive match due to “undisclosed reasons.”

The Wildcats will look to end the fall season on a high note with another match against the Bears on Saturday at 2 p.m. The match will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with audio through KMAN Radio.