Volleyball gets revenge on Sooners, complete sweep after five-set loss

Setter Izzi Szulczewski sets the ball. The Wildcats swept No. 25 Iowa State 3-0 on Oct. 11 at Morgan Family Arena. (Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State volleyball suffered a tough 3-2 loss against Oklahoma on Thursday night after taking a 2-1 lead. The next night, the Wildcats took their turn to win, in a dominant sweep.

The first set of the sweep was the toughest for K-State. The set started with four early Oklahoma kill errors before play tightened. The Wildcats pushed ahead late after four straight points to go up 23-21. Two kills from outside hitter Aliyah Carter ended the set 25-23.

The Sooners started the second set with the lead but it would fall early. Back-and-forth play continued until K-State took a five-point lead late. Carter would grab two more kills of her 15 total on the night to finish the set 25-18. Setter Izzi Szulczewski matched Carter’s 15 total kills with 15 assists in the second set alone.

The final set featured the greatest command from the Wildcats. K-State went up 9-1 early with kills from four different K-State players. Oklahoma fought back, bringing the score to 14-9 but to no avail. The Wildcats responded with six straight points with three coming from outside hitter Liz Gregorski scoring service aces. Carter again scored the last two points of the set for K-State with the Wildcats finishing the match with a 25-15 victory.

“The theme of the day was to be resilient, and I’m really proud of them for executing that,” head coach Jason Mansfield said to K-State Athletics. “It’s the first time that we’ve lost the first match of a weekend and had to compete the next day, and I just loved the resilience they showed throughout the day in preparing for this team. OU does a lot of things that are a little unorthodox, that they are good at, and so I think playing them last night prepared us for today. We opted to a 5-1 offense tonight with Izzi and moved Aniya to the left, and I thought our team played well together. I’m really proud of what they did here.”

K-State moves to a 11-8 record while going 5-5 in Big 12 play. The Wildcats return home for another two-day conference bout on Oct. 26-27, this time against No. 9 BYU.