The Kansas State Wildcats played in a thrilling match against TCU Friday night, winning a tight match 3-2 in a back-and-forth battle.
The Wildcats suffered a close 25-23 loss in the first set. Fourteen ties occurred, with the gap never exceeding five points. Outside hitters Aliyah Carter and Aniya Clinton contributed with five kills each while libero Mackenzie Morris helped keep the game alive with 12 digs.
For the second set, TCU started off with mighty blocks that prevented the Wildcats from scoring. Fortunately, the Wildcats found a way to climb back, tying the set 11-11 with a powerful kill from outside hitter Shaylee Myers. A massive block from Carter and middle blocker Brenna Schmidt brought the Wildcats on top for a score of 12-11.
A highlight-reel dig from Morris along with a kill from Carter gave the Wildcats another point. However, the Horned Frogs were not finished. A few strong plays put TCU back on top 17-13. Kills from Schmidt and Clinton and an ace from setter Izzi Szulczewski put the Wildcats within one of TCU. Szulczewski made two major digs to put the set away for the Wildcats 25-22.
K-State led most of the third set with points coming from TCU errors and kills from Carter. Little by little, the Wildcats grew the lead, ending the set 25-19 with two aces from outside hitter Liz Gregorski and a highlight kill from Clinton.
The fourth set of the match was just as intense as the second. The Horned Frogs made its statement early, staying ahead of the Wildcats for 22 plays. The Wildcats clawed back to the top with kills from various players on the team. Two notable aces from middle blocker Sydney Bolding put KSU in the lead at 20-18. The end of the set saw back-and-forth action, but the Horned Frogs emerged on top with a set win of 27-25.
With a 2-2 match score, the Wildcats and Horned Frogs launched into the fifth and final set. Morris had many memorable digs in the set, grabbing a season high 30 by the end of the match, 10 over her previous record against Lipscomb Sept. 9. An ace from Morris tied the set 13-13, and kills from Carter and Bolding ended the match 15-13.
With the win, the Wildcats’ record now sits at 7-4. K-State will hit the road to Morgantown, West Virginia, to continue Big 12 play Wednesday at 5 p.m.