AUSTIN, Texas No. 23 Kansas State was looking for its first win at Texas since the 2001 season, but the No.16 Longhorns held off the Wildcats, 3-1 (30-25, 24-30, 30-30-27, 30-21). The Wildcats have now lost three of their last four matches.
Kansas State (15-6, 6-5 Big 12) was led by sophomore Rita Lilliom, junior Joy Hamlin and redshirt freshman Megan Kroeker. Lilliom tallied a career-high 16 kills, while adding eight digs and two service aces. Hamlin chipped in 13 kills on a .571 hitting percentage and recorded five kills. Kroeker registered five kills, five blocks and career-highs in digs (7) and service aces (2).
Sophomore setter Stacey Spiegelberg recorded 45 assists, the 14th time in her career she has reached 40 or more. Sophomore libero Angie Lastra registered a match-high 14 digs, the 44th time in her career she has surpassed double-digits. The Carolina, Puerto Rico product is five short of 800 for her career.
Texas (14-3, 9-2 Big 12) saw three players in double-figures for kills, led by Dariam Acevedo with 25. The Longhorns’ defense also proved strong, as four players reached double-digits in digs.
At the halfway point of game one, the teams had traded the lead seven times and were tied 11 times. The Longhorns held a 17-15 lead before K-State was able to even the frame at 18 on a Lastra service ace. The Wildcats took the lead at 20-19 and again at 21-20 on Lilliom kills.
Texas recuperated and took a 24-21 lead, but the Wildcats charged back with a Hamlin kill and tandem block by Hamlin and Rezende. The Longhorns again recovered and closed the game on a five-point run. Texas registered three more kills than the Wildcats, 19-16, and hit .395 to K-State’s .222.
Kansas State took its first game off the Longhorns in 2005 with a strong effort from Lilliom and Kroeker. Between them, the pair carded five kills, four blocks and two service aces in the game.
After being tied seven times through the midway point of game two, the Longhorns built a 18-15 advantage forcing a Wildcat timeout. After Texas scored the first point out of the timeout, K-State went on a 9-1 run to take the lead for good at 25-20. During the run, Kroeker and Lilliom accounted for seven of the Wildcats’ nine points.
K-State outhit Texas, .111 to .030, despite trailing in kills, 14-10, during the second stanza. The Wildcats forced the Longhorns into 13 attacking errors and recorded five total blocks.
After Texas opened a 4-1 lead to begin game three, K-State roared to a 20-15 lead punctuated by a Spiegelberg service ace. The Longhorns regained their composure and stormed back to capture a 25-24 lead. Texas was able to close out the Wildcats with a 5-3 advantage down the stretch. K-State tallied more kills than the Longhorns, 18-16, but was outhit .351 to .214. In the frame the Wildcats totaled five service aces.
K-State was able to pull within one at 5-4, after trailing by as much as three in the early stages of game four. At this point, Texas went on a 12-6 run to take a 17-10 lead. Lilliom and Kroeker pieced together two points with a kill and solo block, respectively, to force a Texas timeout. K-State tabulated two more points after the timeout on a Werner kill and Longhorn attack error, to trail 17-14.
Texas withstood the charge by the Wildcats and closed out the match with a 13-7 rally. The Longhorns outhit K-State, .250 to .042, and registered more kills, 17-10.
For the match, Texas led in hitting percentage (.264 to .148), kills (66 to 54), blocks (15 to 10) and digs (65 to 45). K-State held a significant edge in service aces (11 to 3). The Wildcats have now tallied at least one service ace in 214 consecutive matches.
Kansas State will return to Manhattan to face No. 10 Missouri on Wednesday. First serve is set for 7 p.m. in Ahearn Field House. The match will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest on a tape-delayed basis.