AUSTIN, Texas In the final regular season match of 2007, No. 12 Kansas State was unable to secure a win over third-ranked Texas, as the Wildcats lost 3-0 in Austin, Texas. The Wildcats finish the season with a 22-8 overall record and 14-6 in the Big 12. The win total marks the most since the 2003 season when K-State finished 28-4 in the regular season.
The Longhorns won in scores of 30-25, 30-18, 30-26 to capture at least a share of the 2007 Big 12 Championship. Texas finishes with a regular-season record of 24-3 overall, 19-1 Big 12.
Kansas State finished with a .203 hitting percentage Saturday as junior Nataly Korobkova led the team with 13 kills on 37 attempts. Rita Liliom added eight kills, while Megan Farr pitched in for seven. Stacey Spiegelberg notched 38 assists while setting for the Wildcat offense.
For the defense, Angie Lastra led with nine digs, while Farr and Korobkova each tallied four blocks.
Texas was led to the victory with 19 kills from freshman Juliann Faucette as she finished with .500 hitting and a double-double with 11 digs. Ashley Engle added 11 kills for the Longhorns that averaged .408 hitting on the night. Alyson Jennings recorded a match-high 14 digs, while Michelle Moriarty had 47 assists.
Playing with a week’s worth of preparation, K-State was sparked to an early 4-0 lead on the third-ranked Longhorns. Texas was forced into its first timeout when the Wildcats captured an 8-3 lead, including a pair of kills from Jenny Jantsch. When the Longhorns went on a 7-3 run with all three K-State points on Longhorn errors, the Wildcats called their first timeout as Texas pulled within one at 11-10. A back-and-forth battle followed and a rotation error on the Wildcats gave the Longhorns their first lead at 13-12. K-State had a final lead at 17-16 with a UT attack error, but the Horns responded with a four-point run to lead by three at 20-17 and force the final KSU timeout. The .281 hitting attack of the Longhorns pushed them to the game one victory at 30-25.
The start of the second game featured the same sideout battle that much of the first set displayed, but the Cats found only one lead at 4-3. The Longhorns held off the Cats and had their first convincing lead at 12-8 in the midst of a four-point run. A timeout from K-State was not able to become the difference maker as Texas produced a 6-4 run to gain the 18-12 advantage and force the final KSU timeout. As K-State came out with a kill from Rita Liliom, Texas had five-straight to earn a 10-point lead on the Cats, who hit .225 in the second contest. Texas rolled to the second game win in a score of 30-18 with nine kills from freshman Juliann Faucette on team hitting of .600.
Megan Farr opened the third game with a kill for the Cats and Kelsey Chipman and Nataly Korobkova were able to keep K-State on top at a 5-4 score. Six-unanswered points from the Longhorns pushed Texas to a 10-5 lead and K-State to its first timeout. A 15-7 lead forced the Cats into taking their final timeout and K-State returned to the court with a 3-1 run to pull within six. After Texas called its only timeout of the game, K-State was unable to continue any momentum from the run as the Longhorns maintained a seven-point lead, including a final time at 27-20. With four-straight points from the Wildcats, K-State pulled to within three at 27-24, but Texas pulled out the 30-26 game three victory to win the match 3-0.
Kansas State will next await the announcement of NCAA Volleyball Championship participants, which will be announced live in a 30 minute broadcast on ESPNU Sun., Nov. 25th, at 7 p.m. A release will be posted on www.kstatesports.com as more information becomes available.