NORMAN, Okla — Senior Kaitlynn Pelger had a match-high 17 kills along with 10 digs and five blocks, but the Kansas State volleyball team could not match Oklahoma as the Wildcats lost in four sets (22-25, 25-20, 19-25, 19-25) on Saturday in McCasland Field House.
The Wildcats (13-5, 1-4 Big 12) were forced to overcome a large early deficit and long rallies in the first set, while they controlled the entire second set. K-State had six of its nine blocks in the second as the Wildcats controlled the up-the-middle attack by Oklahoma (15-4, 3-2 Big 12) early on in the match.
Pelger was among three Wildcats with double-digit kills, with senior Courtney Traxson adding 13 and junior Taylor Johnson chipping in 10. Redshirt freshman Katie Brand had six kills to go along with her 46 assists, eight digs and three blocks.
Junior Gina Madonia had a career-high 21 digs, making up over a quarter of the Wildcats’ 80 digs during the evening. Senior Tristan McCarty had 18 digs and freshman Kersten Kober had 15. It was the fifth straight match for McCarty in which she had double-digit digs.
The Wildcats never trailed in the second set — their only win of the night — thanks to a .306 hitting percentage offensively and five blocks and a .195 hitting percentage allowed. K-State and Oklahoma were tied 4-4, but three straight points, capped by kills from Pelger and Johnson, gave the Wildcats a three-point lead.
With a 14-12 advantage later in the second set, the Wildcats grabbed a five-point lead when McCarty dropped in K-State’s first ace of the night that made it 17-12. A block by Dakota Kaufman and Johnson started the 3-0 burst. The Wildcats forced the Sooners to use a timeout when Pelger and Keating stuffed a Kierra Holst attack and Pelger delivered a kill down the line to make it 20-15 K-State. Brand later dumped a ball deep into the Oklahoma corner to give the Wildcats’ their largest lead of the set, 22-16.
Pelger’s 17 kills gives her 1,393 in her career, one shy of tying for fourth in KSU history.
K-State returns to action on Saturday against Texas Tech in Ahearn Field House.