Volleyball splits series with Iowa State

K-State celebrates a point in the Wildcat's 3-0 loss to West Virginia on Oct. 15, 2021 at Bramlage Coliseum. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State volleyball team (15-8, 6-6 Big 12) traveled to Ames, Iowa, this past week to face off against the Iowa State Cyclones (16-9, 8-6 Big 12). The two teams faced off on Thursday and Saturday, splitting the series 1-1, with Iowa State winning the first match and K-State swinging back on Saturday.

On Thursday, the Wildcats struggled offensively, hitting only .139 and totaling only 44 kills over four sets.

“Credit to Iowa State, they made things extremely difficult for us tonight,” head coach Suzie Fritz said to K-State Athletics after the loss. “They defended long, dug it like crazy and made us work for every point. It was difficult to really create any momentum offensively. We got things going a bit near the end of game two and into game three, but [Iowa State] made some nice adjustments. They’re near the top of the Big 12 for a reason.”

K-State struggled throughout the match-up, but had a spark of life in the second set, winning 25-23. That 25-23 victory was the only set the Wildcats won as K-State fell 21-25, 25-23, 20-25 and 17-25.

K-State managed to regroup over the next couple of days and came back to Hilton Coliseum with a vengeance on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore outside hitter Aliyah Carter led the Wildcats in the first set, scoring six kills, while the defense was outstanding, tallying seven blocks to win the first set 25-13.

The Wildcats steamrolled the second set 25-13 and finished off the Cyclones in straight sets by winning the final set 25-23. With the win, K-State snapped a 13-match road losing streak in the series, winning its first match at Hilton Coliseum since 2007.

“It’s gotten to a point where it’s become the most difficult place for us to play,” Fritz said to K-State Athletics after the victory. “So it feels pretty good to finally get one. It’s been a long time since we left there feeling like we feel today.”

The Wildcats look to continue their momentum as the team heads to Austin, Texas, this week to face off against the No. 2 ranked Texas Longhorns. The first match will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday and will air on the Longhorn Network.