MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Sports) – After dropping the opening set, the 25th-ranked Kansas State volleyball team battled to a four-set victory (18-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-21) over Creighton Tuesday night at Ahearn Field House.
“It’s a big win for us,” head coach Suzie Fritz said postgame. “As much as I didn’t like the way the match started, I thought we got better as the match went on.”
K-State (8-2), winner of its last six matches, responded after a first set in which it never led and trailed by as many as nine points. The Wildcats committed nine attacking errors and hit just .128 in the first set, falling 25-18.
With the match level at a set apiece, K-State fended off two set points from Creighton (4-5) in the third. Kylee Zumach responded both times with a crucial kill before finally closing the frame with her third service ace of the match, clinching the pivotal set, 28-26. The redshirt sophomore would finish with 16 kills.
The Wildcats, trailing 16-13 midway through the fourth, regained momentum and went on a 9-1 run to take a five-point lead and eventually close out the match, 25-21. Sophomore middle blocker Macy Flowers recorded three of her eight kills in the key fourth-set rally.
“That’s hard to do during the course of a match,” Fritz added. “It’s hard to shift momentum back and hold momentum in volleyball. I was proud of them for the way they managed that. I feel good about winning. I feel good about finding ways to win.”
Junior outside hitter Bryna Vogel led all players with a career-high 18 kills with just three errors on 40 swings (.375 percentage). Vogel and Flowers tied for the team lead in blocks with five.
“It was rough, obviously,” said Vogel of the Cats’ slow start. “But we had to work through it. It was a big battle.”
Senior setter Katie Brand recorded her team-leading fourth double-double with 51 assists and 15 digs while senior libero Kersten Kober led all Wildcats with 16 digs.
Kansas State will conclude its non-conference schedule Friday and Saturday at the Arkansas Invitational against host Arkansas, UMKC and Southern Miss. K-State will open Big 12 play at Ahearn on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. against Iowa State.