Texas State volleyball (27-3 overall, 15-1 Sun Belt) completed a 3-2 (19-25, 15-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-9) reverse sweep against the Kansas State University Wildcats (10-7 overall and Big 12) on March 4 in Manhattan, Kansas.
The Bobcats are now 3-1 in the spring portion of their schedule. The Wildcats have now lost three in a row.
The opening set started with the teams tied 2-2 before K-State went on an 8-2, run capped off with a kill by freshman outside hitter Aliyah Carter, to lead 10-4 early on. Texas State then responded with a 4-0 run and close the gap to 10-8.
The teams traded points in the following rallies as the Wildcats led 14-12. K-State seemed to be poised to pull away after it found itself ahead 17-12 after a 3-0 run. The Bobcats fired back with a 5-2 run to come within two at 19-17.
The Wildcats finished the set strong with a 6-2 spurt and won the set 25-19 after an ace by junior defensive specialist/libero Jacque Smith.
K-State outhit Texas State, raking up 16 kills on a .353 hitting percentage and had three aces. On the other side of the net, the Bobcats only managed 11 kills on a .147 hitting percentage. The Wildcats also took better care of the ball, only committing four errors while Texas State committed six.
Much like the first set, the Wildcats jumped out ahead early leading 8-1. Texas State stopped the bleeding eventually but the early deficit proved to be too much to overcome. The Bobcats came within four, trailing 14-0, but K-State weathered the storm and once again began to separate itself.
The Wildcats outscored Texas State 11-5 to close out the second set and win 25-15 and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The Bobcats only hit .062 for seven kills while committing five errors. K-State once again had a higher hitting percentage at .412, totaling 16 kills, one service ace and two errors.
The third set initially appeared like it would play out like the previous two as the Wildcats led 5-1. However, as the set progressed Texas State’s energy and mood improved leading to a comeback. The Bobcats mounted a 7-3 run to tie the game at 8-8 and force a K-State timeout.
Out of the timeout, Texas State continued its momentum with three straight points. The Wildcats responded with three points of their own to once again tie the set at 11-11. The Bobcats separated themselves with a 5-0 run to lead 16-11 heading into another K-State timeout.
The teams traded runs for the remainder of the set but the Wildcats were unable to recover from the Texas State surge midway through the set as the Bobcats won 25-20 and prevented the sweep.
While K-State had more kills in the third, leading 14-11 in that category, it only had a hitting percentage of .019 and committed nine errors. Texas State was much more efficient in the set, hitting at a .216 clip, registering three aces and only committing three errors.
With renewed energy, the Bobcats did not allow the Wildcats to get an early lead and kept the score close to start the fourth set. Trailing 9-7, Texas State mounted a 5-0 run to take the lead 11-9.
The rest of the set was tightly contested, seeing nine tie scores, as the teams matched each other all over the court. Down 20-19, the Bobcats closed out the set by outsourcing the Wildcats 6-2 to win 25-22 and tie the match at 2-2 and force a fifth set.
Both teams had 14 kills in the fourth but once again Texas State was more efficient hitting .192 and only committing four errors compared to K-State’s .111 hitting percentage and eight errors.
In the race to 15 points in the fifth, the Bobcats asserted themselves early on as they led 7-3. The Wildcats gave Texas State a scare coming within two at 9-7, but a 6-2 run by the Bobcats won the set 15-9 and the match 3-2.
For the game, Texas State hit .177, had 50 kills, 48 assists and committed 19 errors. Leading the way was junior setter Emily DeWalt, who had a near triple-double, with 34 assists, 11 digs and nine kills (.600 hitting percentage). DeWalt showcased her veteran savvy with several sneaky dumps over the net at key points in the match. Sophomore outside hitter Caitlan Buettner led Texas State in kills with 13 (.136 hitting percentage), followed by senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott with 10 (.258 hitting percentage).
The Wildcats were led by Carter who had a game-high 27 kills (.235 hitting percentage) and three block assists. Freshman middle blocker Kadye Fernholz followed with 13 kills. Defensively, K-State was led by freshman defensive specialist/libero Mackenzie Morris and sophomore defensive specialist/libero Loren Hinkle with 24 and 18 digs, respectively.
Next up, the Bobcats will face the University of Kansas at 6:30 p.m. on March 5 in Lawrence, Kansas.