TULSA, Okla. — The Kansas State volleyball team turned on the heat against Tulsa in the third set on Thursday night to extend the best start in school history to 10-0.
The 19th-ranked Wildcats swept the host of the Golden Hurricane Classic 25-19, 25-22, 25-18 thanks to another impressive night blocking and slowing Tulsa’s main weapons.
K-State (10-0) saw junior middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger put together another complete effort with 11 kills on a .455 hitting percentage. She added 12 digs to post her fourth double-double of the season and assisted on five blocks.
Senior Kathleen Ludwig continued her hot streak of late with 10 kills and a .364 percentage to go along with six digs.
The Wildcats allowed Tulsa’s Tyler Henderson of to tally 18 kills on a .262 percentage, but slowed the rest of the Golden Hurricane (7-5). Henderson leads the NCAA in kills per set at 5.50, but her teammates could not hit efficiently enough to defeat the Wildcats.
A major contributing factor in Tulsa hitting .082 as a team was K-State’s block. The Wildcats posted 14.5 blocks, led by Alex Muff with six block assists. It marked the fourth straight match K-State has tallied at least 10 blocks as the team entered the Golden Hurricane Classic ranked 14th in the NCAA in blocking.
K-State found a way to slow Tulsa’s attack early in the match by limiting the other weapons outside of Henderson.
Tulsa hit just .086 as a team in the first set thanks to four blocks by K-State and a series of unforced errors. The Wildcats were solid with a .294 clip and a spread attack to win 25-19.
The second set saw the Wildcats take an early 3-2 lead, but Tulsa would find its rhythm on offense and go on two 4-0 runs to build a 13-8 advantage.
K-State would be pushed into a corner with Tulsa still ahead 17-14, but the Wildcats got hot with Porubek down the stretch to reclaim the lead 20-19 before eventually winning 25-22 after outscoring the Golden Hurricane 11-5 to close the set and take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
K-State came out of the break on a mission jumping on Tulsa quickly with a 5-0 run to go ahead 8-4. A 5-1 run followed by another quick points almost put the match away with the Wildcats up 23-14.
Tulsa tried to come back, but it was not enough with the Wildcats completing the sweep 25-18 in the third set.
The Wildcats were se t to take on No. 10 Minnesota today at 4:30 p.m. for their second match of the Golden Hurricane Classic.