FRESNO, Calif. For the third straight year, Kansas State opened a volleyball season with a win, dropping Fresno State 3-1 (30-27, 24-30, 31-29, 30-24) in the Fresno State Invitational.
K-State had four players reach double figures in kills led by senior Sandy Werner with 17. Werner, a product of Topeka, Kan., tallied her 39th career match of 10-or more kills. Redshirt freshmen Tiffany Johnson and Ginta Gabruseva tallied 16 and 14 kills in their first appearances in a collegiate match. Sophomore Jenny Jantsch carded the first double-double of her career with 11 kills and 15 digs. Junior Stacey Spiegelberg dished out 57 assists, the 12th time in her career she has surpassed the 50-assist barrier.
On the defensive side of the ball for the Wildcats, junior Angie Lastra recorded 26 digs. The Carolina, Puerto Rico native has 56 career matches of 10 or more digs, 30 career matches of 15 or more digs and 13th career match of 20 or more digs. Lastra moved into eighth on the K-State all-time digs list with 1,009, surpassing Rhonda Hughes from 1988-91 (988). Spiegelberg led K-State in blocks with seven block assists, while Johnson added six.
The Wildcats received a strong game one effort from Werner and Johnson. Werner registered five kills, while Johnson tabulated four kills on a .571 hitting percentage. Overall, K-State hit .224 with 15 kills and one service ace. The Wildcat defense was also up to the challenge with seven total blocks, holding the Bulldogs to a .075 hitting percentage.
Fresno State rebounded to even the match at one with a .279 hitting percentage in game two. The Wildcats received five more kills from Werner and four more from Johnson. In the second frame, K-State recorded 16 kills, but were held to a .163 hitting percentage.
The third game was a back-and-forth affair as the teams were tied 15 times and exchanged the lead four times. Kansas State parlayed back-to-back kills from Gabruseva and Johnson to take control of the game at 27-26. The Bulldogs equaled the match for the final time at 29, but kills from Megan Kroeker and Werner sealed the frame for the Wildcats.
K-State muscled its way to 22 kills and a .357 hitting percentage in the third game, led by Gabruseva with seven kills. Fresno State registered a .353 hitting percentage and 17 kills.
The Wildcats tallied 19 kills and a .310 hitting percentage while winning game four and capturing the match.
Fresno State was led by Alisha McKee with 22 kills and Lacey Gera with 21 kills. Overall, the Bulldogs hit .199 and recorded a 70-67 advantage in digs.
will continue action at the Fresno State Invitational on Saturday, when they play No. 6 Santa Clara at 4 p.m. (PDT).