MANHATTAN, Kan. In the opening match of the Varney’s Kansas State Invitational, the host Wildcats swept the Arkansas Razorbacks 3-0 during the noon-time contest. The victory takes the Cats to 6-2 on the year, while the Lady Backs, who received 24 votes in the latest polls, fall to an identical record. K-State took the match by scores of 30-23, 30-23, 30-27.
K-State was led by its middle blockers, Kelsey Chipman and Megan Farr, who each finished with double-digit kills on .500 hitting or better. Chipman notched 10 kills with no errors on 17 attempts for .588 hitting while also tallying the Cats’ only solo block. Farr had a team-high 11 kills with one error on 20 attempts (.500 attempts). Senior Stacey Spiegelberg dished out 39 assists and had a match-high three service aces.
Senior Angie Lastra became Kansas State’s leader in career digs during Friday’s match, as she recorded 11 on the day. With the effort, Lastra passed Kim Zschau (1995-98), who was ahead by eight digs prior to the Arkansas match.
Kansas State’s struggles to come out strong continued against the Razorbacks and the Cats were behind for much of the first game. As the Cats clawed their way back to tie the match at 23-all, Arkansas took a timeout to regain its form. From the break, K-State scored seven-consecutive points to gain the 1-0 lead in the match with a 30-23 game one.
As K-State fought for the 2-0 advantage, Arkansas tried to capture the second game that featured eight tied scores but only three lead changes. The Razorbacks gained their first lead at 4-3 and held on until 14-13 when the Cats took over with a kill from Rita Liliom. K-State maintained its momentum, backed by .421 hitting with only three errors in the game. The Cats gained the 2-0 lead with a 30-23 win in the second game.
Game three belonged to the Wildcats, as K-State captured the lead at 3-2 and never fell behind the rest of the match. Up by as much as six on two occasions, the Cats forced eight costly Arkansas errors in the third. As the Cats were up by five at 26-21, the Razorbacks tried to avoid the sweep by rallying back, but the 6-4 run allowed K-State to earn its match point and victory with a 30-27 score.
The Wildcats will play in an evening match on Friday, Sept. 7, at 7:30 against Northern Iowa in the third contest of the Varney’s Kansas State Invitational. For live stats of the event, please visit www.kstatesports.com. A complete recap of the match will be posted as it becomes available.