Kansas State sweeps Cougars aside in road match
The University of Houston volleyball team dropped its first road match of the season 3-0 (30-18, 30-16, 30-23) to No. 24 Kansas State Tuesday night at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, Kansas.
The loss to Kansas State puts head coach Bill Walton at 1-4 all-time against the Wildcats and the Cougars at 3-4 in the all-time series.
The Cougars (1-1) got production from some of their younger players, including freshman libero Amanda Carson, who led the team with 14 digs, and sophomore outside hitter Ashley Calhoun, who tied for the team lead in kills with seven.
Junior outside hitter Justine Farmer also contributed seven kills to go along with eight digs. Sophomore right side hitter Kinsey Cave and freshman middle blocker Lucy Charuk chipped in with five kills and four kills, respectively.
Junior setter Kelsey King provided 21 assists for the Cougars.
Kansas State improved to 4-0 after sweeping its home opener for the sixth consecutive season.
The Wildcats were led by junior outside hitter Rita Liliom who tallied 11 kills on a .391 hitting percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Chipman and junior outside hitter Jenny Jantsch put down eight kills apiece.
Senior libero Angie Lastra led the team with 18 digs. Russian transfer and Big 12 Newcomer of Year Nataly Korobkova was held to just eight kills. The junior outside hitter came into Tuesday’s match with an average of just over 16 kills per match.
UH came out of the halftime determined to spoil any plans of a sweep for the Wildcats, taking an early lead in the third game.
Kansas State did not lead until it gained a 19-18 advantage. The Wildcats then went on an 11-5 run to win the match in straight sets.
Service-reception errors played a big role in the match as UH committed 12 service-reception errors to Kansas State’s three. Janstch, Lastra, and senior setter Stacey Spigelberg all tied a game-high with three service aces. The three service aces also set a new career-high for Jantsch and Lastra.
The Cougars will not play again until Friday when they host the University of Texas, another Big 12 opponent, in the opening round of the Houston Invitational at the Athletics/Alumni Center. The match is slated to start at 5 p.m.
The Cougars will follow Friday’s match with a contest against New Mexico State at 1 p.m. Sunday.
All matches for the Houston Invitational will take place at the Athletics/Alumni Center.