Kansas State volleyball got a career-high 18 kills out of Gloria Mutiri, but still fell to Missouri State in five sets (25-18, 23-25, 25-13, 17-25, 14-16) in the opening day for the MSU Fall Invitational at Hammons Student Center.
Mutiri, a sophomore, had a .429 clip for her career night and only committed three errors on 35 swings. Freshman outside hitter Anna Dixon and redshirt junior middle blocker Peyton Williams both added 13 kills each to make it three Wildcats in double figures. Williams also had a match-high .435 attacking percentage.
Kansas State hit over .400 in the first and third sets, but struggled in the sets it lost, hitting .250 or less.
The Bears went on a 8-2 run to close the fourth set and force a final one. The Wildcats had a great opportunity after opening the fifth set on a 6-2 run, but the Bears got six of seven points later in the set to take an 11-10 lead. The score was tied at 14, but the Wildcats couldn’t confirm another point.
Missouri State’s fifth set was solid, holding Kansas State to a .115 hitting efficiency with a few blocks. The Wildcats didn’t have a block in the final two games.
Despite losing, the Wildcats had a 59-55 advantage in kills. Freshman libero Dru Kuck had a match-high 23 digs, with redshirt sophomore Jacque Smith adding 10 more.
Kansas State’s opening set was its strongest. Williams had two service aces during a five-point run and the Wildcats never trailed in the set.
Missouri State set the tone in the second set, taking eight of the first 10 points.
The Bears had a 21-13 advantage later in the set before Kansas State rallied hard on a 10-4 run, but still lost the set, 25-23.
The Wildcats didn’t trail in the third set, either. Abigail Archibong had two of the team’s four blocks during the set as they limited Missouri State to a .038 hitting efficiency.
There were four lead changes and three ties in the fourth set.
Missouri State sealed it with eight of the final 10 points.
Missouri State had twice as many blocks at Kansas State, holding a 12-6 advantage. Archibong had four blocks and Mutiri had three. Both teams had a total of seven service aces. Williams led the Wildcats with three.
The Wildcats conclude the MSU Fall Invitational with a Friday doubleheader against Weber State at 1 p.m., and Dayton at 7 p.m.