Volleyball dominates in bounceback win

Setter Izzi Szulczewski and middle blocker Kadye Fernholz block an Omaha ball. The Wildcats swept the Mavericks 3-0 Sept. 1 at the team's home opener and first match played in Morgan Family Arena. (Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State volleyball bounced back after a sweep from Nebraska with a sweep of its own. The Wildcats took down UT Martin with a season-high 14 blocks, including middle blocker Kadye Fernholz’s 300th career block.

“I thought we did a great job of seeing the right play and not getting distracted and doing a good job of getting over,” head coach Jason Mansfield said. “They’re a good offense so for us to get 14 blocks is impressive. I think that’s says a lot about our discipline.”

The Wildcat defense started off early in the first set. Middle blocker Sydney Bolding collected three of K-State’s first set blocks. K-State eventually took the set 25-14 as outside hitter Liz Gregorski collected back-to-back aces during a late run.

The second set featured another big K-State run. After losing the opening serve error, K-State went on a 10-0 run to take control again. The Skyhawks were limited to a -.094 attack percentage with outside hitter Aliyah Carter scoring four kills in the 25-12 set win.

Set 3 continued similarly to the previous two. The Wildcats had a .485 attack percentage as they took the final set 25-13 to complete the sweep. 

“We wanted to come into this match aggressive and have a chance to be physical against this team,” Mansfield said. “We knew they were going to be very scrappy on defense and they were.”

No one on K-State collected 10 or more kills with many contributes putting together an all-around team performance. The statistical stars were setter Izzi Szulczewski with 24 assists and libero Mackenzie Morris with 18 digs. The Wildcats continue play in Nashville at 6 p.m. on Saturday against Lipscomb.