The Kansas State volleyball team won its Big 12 opener against TCU behind a season-high 18 team blocks and 18 kills from Brynn Carlson in a four-set win, 15-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-23, Saturday evening at The Ricket.
The Wildcats (6-7, 1-0 Big 12) recovered after dropping the first set, getting 15 team blocks in the second and third sets. TCU (5-7, 0-2 Big 12) was limited to a .125 hitting percentage for the match. Carlson had 10 of her match-high 18 kills in the fourth set.
“I thought there was a significant upgrade in a couple of areas, particularly serving and passing starting in Game 2,” head coach Suzie Fritz said in a release. “We really struggled passing early on in the match, and we kind of settled in in that area. I thought there was a really nice upgrade from our serve-to-block sequence” ... “Eighteen blocks in a four-game match is really, really good. That felt really good for us because we’ve spent a lot of time trying to sure up our defensive system this week. So to see some things come together like that was really positive.”
Kansas State put a lot of pressure on TCU, forcing 29 of the Horned Frog’s 33 attacking errors after the first-set loss.
The Wildcats got career-highs in blocks from Peyton Williams (9), Megan Vernon (8) and Sarah Dixon (7) as the 18 total blocks reached the third-best in program history in a four-set match with rally scoring.
Carlson only had one attacking error as she hit a team-high .362. Freshman Anna Dixon added 13 kills.
Jacque Smith also had a career-high, with 19 digs, which led the team.
The Horned Frogs controlled the lead for the entire first set, tallying 16 kills. Anna Dixon and Brynn Carlson both had two kills in a set where the Wildcats only had seven. TCU opened the set with a 4-0 advantage before jumping out to a 9-3 lead.
The Wildcats tied the match in the second set behind Williams’ four blocks (seven team blocks). TCU was held to a .045 team efficiency as the Wildcats didn’t commit an attacking error. The Wildcats claimed a set that had eight ties with a 9-2 run to close the second set.
Kansas State added another eight blocks in the third set to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Williams had three more in this set and Vernon had four. The Horned Frogs had more attacking errors (12) than kills (10).
Carlson took four swings on her 10 kills in the final set. She hit .474 with six kills during a 7-2 run in the frame. The Wildcats had 19 kills in the fourth set.
Kansas State only had 10 attacking errors, an only two in the second and third sets.
Kansas State hosts Texas Tech in its next matchup, which is the Big 12 home opener, on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Ahearn.