MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State volleyball redeemed itself on Wednesday night in Ahearn Field House, when it avenged an earlier five-game loss to Colorado with a five-game win, 3-2 (19-30, 30-21, 28-30, 30-23, 18-16). It was the first home win for the Wildcats since Oct. 8 against Iowa State in Bramlage Coliseum and the first win in Ahearn since Oct. 1 against Texas A&M.
Kansas State (18-9, 9-8 Big 12) received double-figure kill numbers from four players. The Wildcats were led by senior Agata Rezende’s 19 kills. The effort by the Franca, Brazil product is the 23rd time this season she has surpassed double figures in kills and the 13th time she has led K-State in the category.
Also in double figures were redshirt freshman Megan Kroeker with 15, sophomore Rita Liliom with 13 and junior Sandy Werner with 12. Kroeker, a native of Solomon, Kan., fell one kill short of tying her career-high of 16. It is the fourth time this season she has surpassed double figures. Kroeker also tied junior Joy Hamlin for match-high honors in total blocks with seven apiece.
Liliom reached double-digits for the sixth time in the last seven matches. Werner reached double-digits for the 20th time this season and the 35th time in her career.
Sophomore setter Stacey Spiegelberg tallied 57 assists on the night. The Overland Park, Kan., native is eight assists away from moving into eighth place on K-State’s single-season assist list. Sophomore Angie Lastra recorded 12 digs and is now 18 from moving into 10th on K-State’s career dig list. The Carolina, Puerto Rico product surpassed 400 digs for the second straight season with the performance.
Colorado (14-9, 10-8 Big 12) was paced by the duo of Amber Sutherland and Allie Griffin. Sutherland carded a match-high 26 kills, while Griffin totaled 17.
The Buffaloes captured game one with a blistering performance. The Colorado attack registered 24 kills on 38 total chances for a sizzling .605 hitting percentage. The Wildcats fared well in the frame with a .243 hitting percentage.
The Wildcats were able to rebound in game two by registering three service aces in the stanza. Junior Jamie Perkins paced the Wildcats with a pair of aces. K-State defense also ratcheted up the pressure with five total blocks and 11 digs. K-State held Colorado to a paltry .029 hitting percentage with just 12 kills and 11 attack errors in the game.
Colorado did not go quietly into the night, capturing the third game on the strength of seven kills by Sutherland. The Buffaloes recorded a .378 hitting percentage, but K-State continued its solid play with a .405 hitting percentage and 21 kills. The Wildcats received five kills from Kroeker and four from Rezende in the stanza.
K-State rebounded with a solid performance in the fourth game, carding a .467 hitting percentage and 15 kills. In the fourth frame, the Wildcats were led by Rezende and Werner with four kills apiece, Liliom picking up three, whiling serving up two aces for the Wildcats.
The fifth game was back and forth, as there were 10 ties and five lead changes keeping the 708 fans in Ahearn on the edge of their seats. Rezende brought the Wildcats into a tie at 13 with a kill and gave K-State its first match point at 14-13. Colorado broke the K-State service to equal the match, but Rezende gave the Wildcats their second match point at 15-14. Again, Colorado broke the Wildcat service and again Rezende pushed the Wildcats to match point at 16-15.
After Colorado broke the Wildcat service with a Sutherland kill, Kroeker strung together consecutive kills to put the Wildcats in the win column.
For the match, both teams were neck and neck in nearly every statistical category. The Buffaloes held the edge in kills, 81-72, but K-State was able to hit for a higher percentage, .327 to .314. The win by the Wildcats was just the second over a ranked foe in seven chances this season.
The Wildcats will trek north to border rival and the No. 1 team in the nation Nebraska on Saturday. Match time is set for 7 p.m.