Sept. 10, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kansas State Wildcats opened the UK Invitational with an exciting see-saw battle against No. 17 Florida State but came up just short of comeback falling in five sets. K-State battled back from being down 2-1 to force a fifth set against one of the top teams in the nation and saw strong performances from a handful of Wildcats before dropping the match 25-19, 19-25, 15-25, 25-20, 11-15.
Senior outside hitting JuliAnne Chisholm led the team with 16 kills and libero Lauren Mathewson posted her third 20-dig match of the season with 26 to lead the defensive effort. Sophomore setter Caitlyn Donahue posted a double-double with 40 assists and 14 digs, while Kathleen Ludwig just missed on a double-double of her own with 10 kills and nine digs. Kaitlynn Pelger added 10 kills to K-State's effort and had an impressive seven blocks as well.
K-State (4-4) could not find a way to slow down of pair Florida State (6-1) hitters as Jekaterina Stepanova tallied 20 kills and Visnja Djurdjevic posted 17. The pair also had double-doubles with Stepanova adding 17 digs and Djurdjevic with 21.
The Wildcats fired away at the Seminoles in the opening set hitting .344 as a team led by Chisholm with seven kills. Four more Wildcats each added two kills with just one error among them to help elevate K-State's hitting percentage.
K-State used a four-point run with kills from Dakota Kaufman, Pelger and two from Chisholm to open up an 11-6 lead that Florida State could not recover from with more quick runs coming from the Wildcats each time the Seminoles knocked on the door to narrow the gap before K-State closed the door 25-19 to take the early lead over the No. 17 team in the nation.
Florida State responded in the second set with a dominating performance from Stepanova and Visnja Djurdjevic as the pair combined for nine kills. Hitting errors kept the Wildcats from coming back as FSU three five-point runs en route to the 25-19 win. K-State battled back early with a five-point run to take a 6-5 lead and four straight near the end of the set helped reach the final score as the teams entered the locker room tied at one set apiece going into the break.
In the third set, the Wildcats could not slow FSU down as the Seminoles went on multiple runs to open up a large lead early in the set. K-State would tie the set at 11 points apiece, but FSU answered scoring the next six points and 11 of the next 13 overall to take a 22-13 lead. With the 25-15 win the Seminoles pushed the Wildcats back into a corner down 2-1.
The Wildcats responded to their slow third set jumping to an early lead in the fourth up 10-3 before the Seminoles rolled off six straight points to narrow the gap to just one point. K-State then scored seven of the next eight points on the arms of Chisholm and Muff to go up seven points. FSU would try to claw back into the set, but a kill from Chisholm would send the match to a decisive fifth set at 25-20.
K-State continues action at the UK Invitational late Friday afternoon as the Wildcats take on Virginia Commonwealth at 5 p.m. Eastern (4 p.m. Central) before closing against host No. 16 Kentucky on Saturday.