Kansas State volleyball went 1-2 in the Wolfpack Invitational over the weekend, dropping the final match against Maryland Saturday night. The lone win came against Austin Peay Saturday afternoon; the Wildcats fell in the season opener against N.C. State on Friday.
Kansas State was down two sets to one against Maryland before putting together a strong Set 4, winning 25-25. However, the Wildcats came out flat in the final set and went down 9-2 and never recovered, losing the match in five sets, 25-20, 23-25, 21-25, 25-15, 9-15.
Sophomore Gloria Mutiri lead the Wildcats in kills against the Governors in the second match of the tournament (14). The Wildcats won in four sets, 25-17, 19-25, 25-10, 25-23.
The Wildcats dropped their season opener against the Wolfpack after Brynn Carlson registered a career-best 18 kills and Sarah Dixon notched a double-double at Reynolds Coliseum on Friday.
N.C. State won the match in four sets, 25-23, 13-25, 20-25, 19-25.
“I think it’s disappointing,” head coach Suzie Fritz said in a release. “I thought we played inconsistently in a lot of different areas. Not that there weren’t some positive takeaways, at one point we had three true freshmen on the floor — Dru Kuck, Loren Hinkle and Anna Dixon — who I thought all played relatively well for their first real match. But way too many ebbs and flows. We struggled in nearly every phase, at different times. Like most coaches this time of year, we are just looking for more consistency.”
Carlson, a redshirt sophomore, was the only Wildcat who had double-figures for kills in the season opener. She hit .222 (8 errors, 45 swings) with two block assists. Dixon had 35 assists and 11 digs for her 21st career double-double. Mutiri had eight kills and junior Peyton Williams had seven with no errors on 13 attacks, leading the team in blocks with three (two assisted, one solo).
N.C. State had 11 service aces and led the match in kills, 56-46. .
Three Wildcats joined Dixon in double digits for digs. Kuck had 14, redshirt sophomore Jacque Smith had 11 (career high) and Hinkle picked up 10. Kansas State lost a season opener for the first time since 2011.
The Wildcats took the first set after exchanging the lead five times. The Wildcats started strong and had five straight points to go up 11-7 after back-to-back kills from Williams and Holly Bonde. Kansas State trailed 21-19 in the set but went on a 6-2 run to secure it on three kills by Carlson, who had a team-high in that category with six.
The Wolfpack retaliated with a 25-14 Set 2 victory where they hit .387 with 12 kills on 31 swings without an error. The Wildcats only hit .098 while N.C. State blocked them four times to even the match. N.C. State then won two of the next three sets to capture the victory.
NC State went on another large run in Set 3 (11-4) that eventually led to a 2-1 lead in the match. The Wildcats had a 9-7 lead during the set and were able to get within two points after The Wolfpack’s run, but NC State went on another 6-3 tear to take the third set.
The fourth set was intense, including four lead changes. The Wildcats led 16-15 late, but the Wolfpack scored six of the next seven and won 10 of the final thirteen points to close out the match. Carlson had six kills in the last game.
Anna Dixon and Bonde had four and three kills respectively in their Kansas State debuts.