TULSA, Okla. — The undefeated season continues for the Kansas State volleyball team as the Wildcats bested their second ranked opponent of the week in No. 20 Dayton to win the Golden Hurricane Classic on Saturday morning.
The Wildcats dominated the Flyers 25-23, 25-20, 25-15 for their 10th sweep of the season to move to a perfect 12-0 start to the year.
Junior middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger had her way with Dayton as she pounded out 19 kills and hit .654 to lead the way for the Wildcats.
Senior setter Caitlyn Donahue guided the Wildcats to another consistent offensive performance with 41 assists, as the team hit .352 on the day.
Dayton (8-4) came into this weekend’s tournament hitting .275 as a team to rank 24th in the NCAA. The Wildcats were able to slow the Flyers’ attack significantly as Dayton hit only .155 for the match thanks for 47 digs and seven blocks from K-State.
The Wildcats spread their offense around with Donahue mixing it up against Dayton’s defense. Alex Muff posted seven kills on a .556 percentage, and Lilla Porubek posted nine kills. Kathleen Ludwig added six kills.
Defensively, the back row of libero Kuulei Kabalis and defensive specialists Tristan McCarty and Gina Madonia kept rallies alive throughout the match as they combined for 28 of the team’s digs.
After K-State took the first two sets, the Wildcats came out of the intermission on fire and used an 8-0 run to put Dayton behind 11-3 and put the match out of reach early.
K-State went on another 5-0 run late and Dayton could not overcome the Wildcats in a matchup of two ranked teams.
Pelger was the one with the hot hand out of the gates as she posted eight kills in the first set on nine swings for an early hitting percentage of .889.
Donahue guided the offense well with 17 assists on K-State’s 19 kills and the team hit .415 overall to start the match.
Muff posted four kills on five swings with one error in the 25-23 win.
Dayton’s top player, Rachel Krabacher, also posted eight kills, but the Flyers hit .262 and could not top the Wildcats. Krabacher finished the match with 16 kills and 13 digs.
It was more Pelger in the second set as she posted seven more kills and took a total of 15 and a .700 hitting percentage into the locker room with the Wildcats leading 2-0 at the break.
The Wildcats slowed Dayton even more in the second set with two blocks and a number of diving digs from McCarty, Kabalis and Madonia on the back row. The Flyers hit just .111 in the second set as Pelger also dodged two balls hit right at her on the back row to sail out of bounds and score points for K-State.
Porubek found her swing in the second set after only posting two in the first set. She tallied three kills on six swings and Ludwig also added three kills in the 25-20 win in the second frame.
The Wildcats open Big 12 play this week when they travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners on Wednesday night. K-State will then return home for a nonconference match against Nebraska-Omaha next Saturday at Ahearn Field House at 3 p.m.