The first match of the season for the Kansas State volleyball team (1-0, 0-0) took place Friday afternoon as the Wildcats picked up a 3-1 win over the Colgate Raiders (0-1, 0-0).
Leading the way for K-State was sophomore outside hitter Aliyah Carter. Continuing her performance from this past week, Carter put up 21 kills and 11 digs, leading the team in both categories for her first double-double of the season and second of her career.
Carter was followed in kills by redshirt junior Holly Bonde, senior transfer Haley Warner and sophomore Kadye Fernholz, each putting up impressive numbers to help the Wildcats to victory.
The hitters were assisted primarily by junior setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi as she recorded 43 assists while also tallying nine digs and a career-high seven block assists, getting incredibly close to a triple-double.
On defense, sophomore libero Mackenzie Morris and redshirt senior defensive specialist Jacque Smith made sure Colgate had trouble scoring, recording 10 and 9 digs respectfully.
“We went into the match with two primary objectives: try to hold [Colgate] under .180 and we ended up in the match holding them to .170 overall,” head coach Suzie Fritz said to K-State Athletics. “Our other goal was to manage the match well, and match management includes error management, and I think we were not successful in that capacity. It did get better as we went. We settled in a little bit as the match went on, but Colgate is a really good volleyball team. Their serve-pass game is good, and they’ve got some big arms.”
K-State struggled in the first set, committing 11 of their 27 attacking errors for the match. However, the Wildcats managed to rally in the second set to win 25-21 behind the arms of their hitters.
The third set was incredibly close. Both teams went back and forth until the Raiders went on an 8-1 rally in the middle of the set. The Wildcats managed to keep their composure and used their blocking to come back and win the third set 26-24.
K-State commanded the fourth and final set, leading by as many as nine points throughout, eventually winning 25-16. This gave the Wildcats their first season-opening win since beating Hawaii 3-0 in 2018.
With the match against Tulsa canceled because of issues related to COVID-19 within the Tulsa volleyball program, K-State will now play No. 5 Nebraska at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The match will air on Big Ten Network with radio coverage on News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM).