Volleyball stumbles against UCF in 3-2 set loss 

Sydney Bolding lifts the ball to serve against Cincinnati. The Wildcats lost to the Bearcats 3-1 Sept. 30 at Morgan Family Arena. (Madison Riebel | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State volleyball gave UCF a tough fight, as it was the first time UCF was taken to five sets this season. The match would not end in the Wildcats’ favor as the Knights stay undefeated in Big 12 play.

It was a very zealous first half between the Wildcats and the Golden Knights until UCF started to take advantage of the game. At one point, K-State trailed eight points with a 21-13 score. UCF’s Abby Hansen and Claudia Dillon each had four kills to help end the set 25-16. 

The Wildcats made some visible adjustments for the second set, going on an 8-2 scoring run against the Knights. K-State also posted a .375 hit percentage, the last set only saw a .233 hit percentage from the Wildcats. The ending of the set saw Outside hitter Aniya Clinton rack up a clutch kill and block to help put the set away. Blocker Sydney Bolding also got a crucial service ace to help put the set away 25-18.

The third set almost saw the Wildcats complete an impressive comeback. UCF jumped out to a 19-10 lead and the Wildcats slowly made it a game again. K-State went on a 12-3 scoring run and eventually tied the game at 22 apiece. Outside hitter Aliyah Carter led the set with six kills, but all of this would not be enough as UCF ended up winning 26-24 in a hard-fought set.

The Wildcats came out rolling in the fourth set with a 5-1 lead against the Knights. UCF never saw the lead in the set while the Wildcats put up 13 kills total on the stat sheet. K-State would finish with a hitting percentage of .300 and the win at 25-16.

The fifth set was dismal for the Wildcats as the Knights held them to zero hitting efficiency. Mental mistakes were also a factor as three Wildcat service errors occurred. This would be enough for UCF to increase its lengthy winning streak to eight and close out the set 15-7.

Carter put up a season-high 22 kills while outside hitter Shaylee Myers racked up 10 of her own. Bolding continues to dominate on the blocks this season, finishing this game with six.

“Lots of positive things to take from this match,” head coach Jason Mansfield said to K-State Athletics. “We know where we need to improve and will get back in the gym and walk towards those things.” 

The Wildcats will focus its attention on Oklahoma as they face off at 6 p.m. Thursday in Norman, Oklahoma.