MANHATTAN, Kan. In the opening round match of the 2007 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, ninth-seeded Kansas State captured the win over Tulsa 3-0 from Ahearn Field House Friday night. The Wildcats advance to the second round to take on Oregon at 7 p.m. in Ahearn on Saturday. K-State (23-8) passed through the first round over the Golden Hurricane in scores of 30-24, 30-20, 30-23, while Oregon (21-10) defeated Missouri State 3-0 earlier in the evening.
The Golden Hurricane gave the Cats a fright in the first game, as the two battled with 13 ties and four lead changes. Each team fired its highest hitting percentage in the first set as the Cats hit .382, converting for 17 of 34 attempts, while Tulsa was swinging at .278. K-State finished the night with a hitting clip of .324 with 50 kills on 111 attempts.
The Wildcats were led by juniors Rita Liliom and Nataly Korobkova as each finished with 12 kills against the Golden Hurricane. Liliom tallied a hitting percentage of .429, while Korobkova was at .276 percent. Kelsey Chipman added numbers with nine kills on .364 hitting while putting together three of K-State’s nine service aces.
Angie Lastra recorded another match of 20-plus digs as she led defensively with a match-high 22. Chipman led the KSU block that finished with 11.5 team blocks, as the Topeka, Kan., native put back seven assisted. Megan Farr and Stacey Spiegelberg each added four.
Kansas State will play a Duck team that had a tight match against the Bears in Ahearn Field House on Friday. Oregon won the contest that featured 30 ties and 10 lead changes in sets of 31-29, 30-20, 31-29. The Cats’ advancing marks the 10th time in school history that K-State has moved on in the NCAA Tournament past the first round.
“It’s time to play our best volleyball,” head coach Suzie Fritz said. “Our team has expectations to advance. We are going to play as long as we can play. We do not mean that in the way that we are looking over anyone, but we have every intention to advance.”
The Cats and Ducks will fight to press forward to the regional competition in Stanford, Calif., which begins play December 7th. Tickets for Saturday’s second round match can be purchased at the door with the entrance opening one hour prior to the 7 p.m. match start. For complete coverage of Kansas State volleyball, please visit www.kstatesports.com.