Aug. 20, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State volleyball team put two weeks of work on the court Saturday night for the annual Purple-White Scrimmage as training camp closes and the first match of the 2011 season is less than a week away.
The Wildcats return seven players with significant starting experience from last season and two of those key players showed they can be reliable again in 2011. Sophomores Lilla Porubek and Kaitlynn Pelger led the way for the Purple squad on Saturday with each tallying double digits in kills and hitting percentages significantly higher than their averages from a year ago.
Porubek pounded out 18 kills on 42 swings over the four sets played for a hitting percentage of .381. Porubek also had her strong serve on display with a trio of aces to go with three digs. Pelger was named to the Big 12 Conference All-Freshman Team last year after leading the Wildcats in kills and backed up her Preseason All-Big 12 Selection this year with 17 kills on a .375 clip. Pelger also was a force at the net posting 10 blocks, two solo and eight assisted.
“I think we played hard tonight,” said K-State Head Coach Suzie Fritz. “I think we were a little fatigued and you’ll see that at the end of two-a-days. It’s been a difficult last two weeks, and I feel like they gave tremendous energy in the scrimmage tonight and there were some bright spots.”
In addition to Porubek and Pelger, Fritz said one of those bright spots was junior college transfer Kuulei Kabalis, who posted nine digs for the Purple in the libero position. She also had an ace.
“Kuulei’s ability to keep us in system was very important for us,” Fritz said. “I think Lilla and Dakota Kaufman on the left side was exactly what we needed out of them in reception attack as well.”
Kaufman tallied six kills and a .176 hitting percentage while playing with the Purple and had nine kills and .381 percentage for the White. Kaufman also had four blocks for Purple. Chelsea Keating led the White with 12 kills on 30 swings for a .233 hitting percentage with five errors.
Setter Caitlyn Donahue posted a double-double with 45 assists and 11 digs on the night. Sophomore defensive specialist also had a big night with 10 digs for Purple and six for White.
The Wildcats open the season Friday when they take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a tournament hosted by Georgia Tech. K-State will also take on Tennessee Tech and NCAA Tournament team Louisville at the Georgia Tech Courtyard Classic before returning home to play Creighton on Aug. 30.
Season tickets are still available for all the exciting action in Ahearn Field House this season with multiple seating and pricing options. Last season, K-State ranked 18th in the nation in attendance. Single game tickets are also now on sale. For more information on purchasing tickets visit www.kstatesports.com, call 800-221-2287 or visit the K-State Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum.