Aliyah Carter continues to power the Kansas State volleyball team.
Carter, a freshman, recorded her second consecutive 20-kill outing Sunday, as K-State swept past Wayne State in straight sets (25-23, 25-23, 25-19) at Bramlage Coliseum.
Carter accounted for nearly half (22 of 45) of the Wildcats’ total kills. She hit .288 in her sixth 20-kill performance of the season. Brynn Carlson and Kadye Fernholz each had six kills while Megan Vernon added five for the Wildcats (13-7), who won their third straight match.
“I liked our defensive effort,” K-State head coach Suzie Fritz said. “One of our goals going into it was feeling like we knew they were going to attack the high edges of the block. That turned out to be pretty accurate in addition to mixing in some off-speed stuff. I thought from that perspective, just defensively, we did a nice job of being on task. We were able to generate productive touches at the net and, for the most part, handled the off-speed stuff in a way that allowed us an opportunity to get a swing.”
Wayne State, a Division II school from Wayne, Neb., had just 29 kills in the loss.
K-State’s 12 blocks marked its highest total in its last 16 outings, while Wayne State’s .083 hitting percentage was a season-low for a K-State opponent.
Freshman libero Mackenzie Morris notched 22 digs, just two shy of matching her personal best.
Morris has played every set as the Wildcat libero. She’s also led the team in digs in all 20 matches this season. Sunday was the sixth time she eclipsed the 20-dig mark.
“I can remember several plays from the match where a back-row effort play really sparked the momentum that was needed,” Fritz said. “All of the liberos and Carter playing back there. Morris really did a nice job. There are a lot of ways to dig it. Sometimes you have to go to the floor to do it.”
Shelby Martin filled the stat sheet for the Wildcats, tallying 23 assists, two digs and two blocks. Fellow setter Teana Adams-Kaonohi finished with 14 assists, one ace and one block. Loren Hinkle and Dru Kuck each had eight digs.Alyssa Ballenger’s 10 kills marked a team-high for Wayne State. Maddie Duffy paced Wayne State with 17 digs.
K-State concludes the 2020-21 regular season Wednesday, when it travels to Waco, Texas, to take on No. 6 Baylor. Despite both teams being in the Big 12, Wednesday will be a non-conference contest. The Bears won both matches the teams played last fall.
Wednesday’s non-conference affair will start at 2 p.m. and air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.