Volleyball pulls off another ranked-opponent sweep in No. 3 Texas

Middle blocker Breanna Schmidt and outside hitter Aliyah Carter fend the net against Texas with a block. The Wildcats upset the Longhorns in a 3-0 sweep at home on Nov. 8. (Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State volleyball swept No. 3 Texas in a hard-fought game with a rowdy student section supporting the Wildcats. The crowd’s excitement turned into a court storming immediately corralled by security.

“The crowd was incredible,” head coach Jason Mansfield said. “The girls definitely fed off that, they were a huge part of what we did tonight.” 

Set 1 saw K-State hold the lead nearly the entire time, but the Longhorns always stayed only two kills behind. Eventually, Texas evened the playing field at 21-21.

Service errors were an issue for Texas all night and ultimately led to their demise in Set 1. After the tie, two service errors pushed the Wildcats over the hump, winning 25-22. Outside hitter Aliyah Carter scored seven kills in the first set alone. 

In the second set, the Wildcats made huge saves. Libero Mackenzie Morris and setter Izzi Szulczewski were determined to keep the ball off the ground all set, putting their bodies on the line on multiple plays. Morris ended the set with eight digs, and despite Texas’ best efforts with keeping it close, K-State could not be stopped and won 25-22. 

“I think Mackenzie Morris’s middle name is now dig,” Szulczewski said. “She was touching everything.” 

The Wildcats and Longhorns were going blow for blow early on in Set 3. Tied at 11, Texas started to rally, gaining two kills from outside hitter Madisen Skinner and one from setter Ella Swindle to gain a three-point lead. K-State would not get discouraged, as the team got themselves back in position to win. Szulczewski made her presence even more known as she racked up 13 assists alongside three kills and service ace in the set. A kill from Carter assisted by Szulczewski completed K-State’s sweep, winning the set 25-21. 

“We just have a whole bunch of dogs,” Carter said. “There was no possible way that the girls on this team were going to go out with another loss this time to Texas.” 

Carter totaled 20 kills in the huge win. Szulczewski was all over the place, totaling 31 assists, six kills, six digs and two blocks. Outside hitter Aniya Clinton totaled seven kills and middle blocker Breana Schmidt finished with six. 

K-State plays Texas Tech next at home at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17.