Frogs Top Cats in Four Sets Wednesday Night

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According to K-State Athletics, despite claiming the opening set and having three players reach double-figure kills, the K-State volleyball team lost in four sets (30-28, 17-25, 29-31, 21-25) at TCU Wednesday night at the Swinney Recreation Center.

Senior opposite Bryna Vogel led K-State (8-9, 1-3 Big 12) with season highs in kills (16) and blocks (7) to go with 14 digs for her sixth double-double. Redshirt junior Kylee Zumach added 15 kills (.244) and Brynn Carlson turned in 10, a career best in a conference match in her freshman season.

“We’ve got a lot of room to grow,” said head coach Suzie Fritz after the 300th Big 12 match of her coaching career. “We are seeing progress in some areas, but we have yet to put it all tougher in a way that produces the results we want. I have to coach them better and hope that they will stay confident and invested in becoming a better volleyball team.

TCU (9-6, 1-3 Big 12) held a 71-57 edge in total kills and owned a .255-.189 advantage in team hitting percentage as the Frogs defeated the Wildcats for the third straight year in Fort Worth. K-State drops consecutive matches to TCU for the first time in the series’ history (7-4).

A match after not registering a single team block for the first time under Fritz, K-State turned in a dozen for its third-best output of the season. Vogel led a group of five Wildcats who picked up multiple blocks, including Peyton Williams’ six and Macy Flowers’ four.

In the opening game, K-State fought off six set points from TCU before a tandem block by Vogel and Williams ended capped a 3-0 run by the Cats. At the set’s media timeout, K-State held a 15-9 lead following a 6-1 run – its biggest of the game – only to see that lead evaporate. TCU immediately answered with its own 6-1 spurt and eventually took a one-point lead at 22-21 – its first lead since scoring the match’s first point – and reached set point at 24-22. The Wildcats clawed back to tie the score four different times before eventually claiming the opening set.

Set 1 saw 10 tied scores and three lead changes. Zumach led K-State with five kills on nine swings (.556) while Vogel had four kills and four blocks. The Cats recorded five team blocks in the set, holding TCU to a .172 team hitting percentage. Williams chipped in three blocks and two kills in the set as six Wildcats picked up at least three kills.

TCU rattled off the second set’s first four points on its way to an early 6-1 run. The Cats responded with a five-point run to cut the Frogs’ lead to a single point, but that is as close as K-State would get in the game, as TCU went wire-to-wire in its 25-17 set victory. The Frogs hit .414 compared to the Wildcats’ .129 efficiency in Game 2. Zumach had a team-high three kills (.333) in the set.

The third set was a game of runs, as TCU scored the set’s first seven points. Later, K-State strung together six consecutive points to erase a five-point deficit and take its first lead at 16-15. After exchanging blows, Zumach’s fourth kill handed the Cats their only set-point opportunity at 27-26. Eventually, the Cats would fend off four set points by the Horned Frogs before TCU ended the set on a 5-2 run. Vogel had seven kills in Game 3, giving her a double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs after three.

With the fourth set tied, 9-9, TCU scored seven of the next eight points to open up a 16-10 lead. From there, the Frogs kept K-State at arms’ length as the Cats were unable to cut TCU’s lead to less than three (21-18). TCU posted a team hitting percentage of .302 in the final set while holding the Wildcats to .133. Vogel added four more kills to complete her season-high effort.

Setters Brooke Smith and Sarah Dixon handed out 24 and 22 assists, respectively. Dixon also collected 14 digs for her team-leading seventh double-double on the year. Junior libero Reilly Killen led all Wildcats with 15 digs. Dixon and Flowers each tallied a pair of aces as the Cats had seven on the night.

K-State returns to Ahearn Field House on Saturday, October 7 to take on Texas Tech (12-5, 1-3 Big 12) at 1 p.m.

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