Volleyball staggers in sweep against Rice  

Spiking the ball, middle blocker Sydney Bolding scores a point for the Wildcats. K-State won in three sets against Long Island University on Sept. 14, 2023, in Morgan Family Arena. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s note: We originally had the author wrong. This article was written by Trey Thomas and the article has been fixed to reflect this.

Kansas State volleyball faced off against the formerly ranked Rice at Morgan Family Arena Saturday in a 3-0 sweep from the Owls.

The Wildcats capitalized off a Rice error early in the first set and picked up three kills — two consecutively coming from outside hitter Aliyah Carter — allowing the Wildcats to jump out to a 4-1 lead. However, Rice soon figured things out, eventually tying the set at eight a piece and going on to score 11 unanswered points. The Owls put the Wildcats away 25-15.

The second set saw Rice playing off the momentum off the previous set win, opening with an 8-2 lead. The Wildcats crawled back, at one point taking its first lead of the set off a couple kills from Carter. Middle blocker Sydney Bolding scored a clutch kill off an assist from setter Izzi Szulczewski to help give K-State its third lead of the game at 23-22. The Owls closed out the second set 25-23 capitalizing off two kills from outside hitter Danyle Courtley.

The Owls started the third set similar to the second with an 8-1 lead. K-State struggled early with a few early errors letting the Owls rack up eight unanswered points. The Wildcats again did not go down without a fight, bringing the game back within four points off back-to-back kills from outside hitter Aniya Clinton. The Owls finished the sweep despite a couple errors with a final kill from outside hitter Sahara Maruska, ending the set 25-21.

Carter was a valuable asset for the Wildcats on the day, gaining almost half of her kills in one set with five in the second and 11 total for the match.

Errors were an issue for the Wildcats as the team accumulated 24 errors compared to the Owls’ 16.  

The Wildcats will seek to bounce back with its next game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against TCU at home.