Aug. 28, 2010
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The Kansas State Wildcats opened their 2010 season from Hawaii with a 3-0 loss to No. 16 UCLA 24-26, 18-25, 19-25 in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational. The Wildcats saw senior JuliAnne Chisholm lead the offense with a strong showing of 14 kills on a .205 hitting percentage. Senior libero Lauren Mathewson led the team defensively with 11 digs on the night.
UCLA was led by sophomore opposite hitter Rachael Kidder with nine kills and no errors for a percentage of .750. Senior Dicey McGraw posted the most kills with 10 for the Bruins.
Head coach Suzie Fritz said her team failed to get into a rhythm on offense, which played a role in the loss. She was happy to see how well her team passed throughout the match, however, as that was a part of the game she and her staff were interested in gauging over the weekend.
"I felt our passing was consistent. That was an area of concern going into the match, and it was an area of excellence during the match for us," Fritz said. "Offensively we couldn't get anything going. I think if we had played better offensively we would have been right there in it."
In the first set the Wildcats battled back and forth with the Bruins. UCLA opened up an early lead building it up to 12-8 at one point with a series of attack and service errors by K-State. The Wildcats would rally from behind and take a 23-22 lead, but K-State could not hold off UCLA as the Bruins took the first set 26-24 after another service error, block error and attack error by the Wildcats. Chisholm kept the Wildcats' offense churning in the opening set with an impressive five kills and .385 hitting percentage. She also added two digs to her effort.
The Bruins stormed out to an early lead in the second set thanks to strong serving from setter Lauren Van Orden forcing Suzie Fritz to call an early timeout trailing 5-1. The Wildcats responded out of the timeout scoring the next three points forcing UCLA to make a pair of hitting mistakes out of system and a kill by Chisholm after a long rally.
After taking a 10-8 lead after scoring six straight points, however, the Wildcats would not score consecutive points again until they pulled within three points at 18-21 as the Bruins continued to cut into the lead and build their own with a series of two- and three-point runs. UCLA scored the final four points of the set to take the win 25-18 and head into the locker room at the break up two sets to none.
In the third set it was again a case of the Wildcats being unable to string together consecutive points after taking an 8-6 lead. UCLA found its rhythm on the arm of Rachael Kidder to take an 18-16 lead. Following a K-State timeout, the Bruins scored three more straight points to hold a commanding five-point lead at 21-16 pushing K-State into a corner. The Wildcats tried to rally from behind but it was too late falling 25-19.
The Wildcats will be back in action on Saturday for their second match of the Rainbow Wahine Invitational as they take on host No. 5 Hawaii at 7 p.m. Hawaii time (midnight Central Standard Time). The match can be heard on KMAN 1340 AM and online at kstatesports.com. KFVE TV in Hawaii will be broadcasting the game, which will also be available for live streaming at www.hawaiiathletics.com.