MANHATTAN, Kan. After winning 3-0 against Arkansas Friday afternoon, 22nd-ranked Kansas State handled the Northern Iowa Panthers in three during the evening match of the Varney’s Kansas State Invitational. The win brings the Wildcats to 7-2 on the season, as UNI, who received votes during preseason’s poll, drops to 3-5. K-State hit .391 to win by scores of 30-15, 30-25, 30-23.
During the first game, the Wildcats finished with 17 kills and zero errors for .548 hitting. KSU jumped to an early lead at 6-3, powered by a four-point run during Jenny Jantsch’s serving rotation. The Panthers took a timeout with a 9-4 deficit, but Kansas State returned to the court to produce a 6-2 run, including two Rita Liliom kills. After burning a second timeout, the momentum remained with the Cats as they continued to create strings of runs including two of four points.
After winning 30-15 in the first game, Kansas State grabbed the first points of the second and never trailed. Despite having their first attack errors of the night with nine, the Cats had .316 hitting during the second with 21 kills. As K-State led by as much as seven, UNI crept back and held the Cats to game point for four rallies. With a kill by Stacey Spiegelberg, the Panthers fell to 0-2 in the match with a 30-25 second-game score.
Having the 2-0 advantage, the Cats came out of the 10-minute break to gain a 10-4 lead before the Panthers called a timeout. UNI then rallied back to within three after a 5-3 run, but were unable to inch any closer to the Cats in the game. With .341 hitting and 20 kills, K-State won the third game 30-23 to earn its second straight victory in a sweep.
Liliom, who finished with eight kills against Arkansas, had a match-high 16 against UNI. Adding 11 kills each were Megan Farr and Kelsey Chipman. Jantsch finished the night with three service aces along with seven kills and nine digs. Spiegelberg led in assists with 44, while Angie Lastra notched 14 digs.
Kansas State will finish play in the Varney’s Invitational against Fresno State at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Fresno State upset Arkansas during the second match of the tournament on Friday. Live stats will be available for the match on www.kstatesports.com, while a complete recap will be posted following the conclusion of play.