Sept. 24, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team opened Big 12 Conference action with a bang on Saturday night as the Wildcats swept the Baylor Bears easily in front of a raucous crowd. K-State defeated Baylor in three sets 25-19, 25-15, 25-18 with a trio of Wildcats providing the firepower for the win.
Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger again showed why she is the current leader in kills in the league as she pounded out 17 to lead the way for the night. She was joined in double digits by sophomore outside hitter Lilla Porubek with 13 and junior opposite Kathleen Ludwig with 11. Baylor was led offensively by Torri Campbell and Adri Nora each with nine kills. The Bears struggled to get their offense going as they hit .075 on the night.
K-State (12-3, 1-0) jumped to an early lead in each set, including a 9-0 storming in the second set. The Wildcats never trailed Baylor (11-5, 0-2) in the match and the score was only tied once the entire way as well, 1-1 in the third set.
“I am very excited about the way we played tonight,” said K-State Head Coach Suzie Fritz. “That is three consecutive matches we’ve played really well. Baylor digs the second most balls in the league, and we almost out-dug them. We knew they were going to put pressure on us with their ability to dig balls and we responded very well tonight.”
The Wildcats posted 59 digs compared to Baylor’s 60. K-State had three players reach double digits in that category as well just like kills. Pelger was a force on the back row digging balls for the Wildcats with a career-high 18 digs. She tied her career-high set last week against Drake, a mark that came in five sets that night. Libero Kuulei Kabalis tallied 13 digs, and setter Caitlyn Donahue posted 10 digs to notch her sixth double-double of the season.
The win marks the eighth straight for the Wildcats and the 12th win of the season ties last year’s entire win total. Those marks are nice to achieve but are not a focal point for the Wildcats at this point, Ludwig said.
“It feels good, but I think the easiest way to keep this going is to forget about it and start focusing on the next one,” Ludwig said. “We really have to stay in the present.”
K-State will be on the road for both matches next week against opponents that are both receiving votes in this week’s AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Wildcats open the week at Missouri on Wednesday night and finish at Texas A&M on Saturday. Both matches can be heard on 1350 KMAN and online at kstatesports.com.