LUBBOCK, Texas The No. 13 Kansas State Wildcats ended the regular season with a sweep over the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday. The Wildcats got the win 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 to finish third in the Big 12 Conference.
K-State (24-7, 14-6 Big 12) handed Tech (5-26, 0-20) its 39th consecutive conference loss. Tech’s winless season in conference play was the third in Big 12 history. The Wildcats were led by Rita Liliom with 15 kills in the match as she rebounded from just one kill against Iowa State on Wednesday. Jenny Jantsch added eight kills and middle blocker Kelsey Chipman had seven kills and led with five blocks. Libero Lauren Mathewson tallied 10 digs helping hold Tech to a .144 hitting percentage for the match while the Wildcats hit .318.
In the first set, the Wildcats got the early lead 6-3. The Red Raiders chipped away at the lead until tying the match 9-9. K-State responded with five straight points to pull ahead 14-9. Tech again chipped away at the lead trailing by just two at 19-17. K-State scored six of the next seven points to open the match with a 25-18 win.
The Wildcats’ offense worked efficiently in the opening set hitting .357 percent and just three attack errors two coming on blocks by the Red Raiders. Liliom had five kills for the Wildcats and Nataly Korobkova tallied three in the opening stanza.
K-State remained steady in the second set building a large lead as the defense was able to slow the Raiders down. Tech did not score consecutive points until getting back-to-back points to make the score 20-13. The Raiders scored runs of two and three points to pull within four points at 22-18. K-State scored the next three points out of a timeout to win the set 25-18 and go into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
In the third set, K-State kept the pressure on the Raiders with blocking up front. The Wildcats got two blocks early in the set as the two teams traded blows until K-State could pull ahead thanks to runs of three, four and three points to hold the lead 14-10. Another four-point run by the Wildcats with two kills from Chipman and another block backed the Raiders into a corner at 20-12.
Tech scored the next three points to threaten the Wildcats. K-State continued to struggle out of a timeout but recovered to close the door and the Raiders and finish the regular season with a win on the road.
The Wildcats will wait to see who they will play in the NCAA Tournament with the Selection Show airing at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.