AUSTIN, Texas (Kansas State Sports Information) – Against the nation’s No. 2 team, K-State outside hitter Aliyah Carter led all players with 12 kills, as the Wildcats dropped their final Big 12 road match to the Texas Longhorns in three sets Friday night at Gregory Gymnasium, 19-25, 16-25, 13-25.
Carter, a sophomore, hit .800 in putting down four kills in the opening set before adding five more in set three at a .417 pace. Carter has reached double-figure kills in all 25 matches this season.
“It’s a tough task in a tough environment, but I thought we were better today (than yesterday),” said head coach Suzie Fritz. “We made some nice adjustments, and I thought Aliyah’s swing management and her decision making were really good in that one.
“Going into the break between games two and three, I felt we were out-working them. We hit really well in game one, but sustainability against (Texas) is difficult. They’re a hard team to side-out against and we gave up too many points in bunches.”
K-State (15-10, 6-8 Big 12) owned a 15-13 edge in kills in the first set, hitting .429 to Texas’ .310. In sets two and three, the Wildcats failed to hit above .100 while the Longhorns (22-1, 13-1 Big 12) hit above .300 in all three frames.
Holly Bonde and Haley Warner each logged six kills while Kadye Fernholz led the Cats with a .300 hitting percentage, picking up five kills on 10 attacks.
Defensively, Sydney Bolding led K-State with three blocks while Teana Adams-Kaonohi had a team-best six digs. Carter, Loren Hinkle, Mackenzie Morris and Jacque Smith each tallied five digs.
Texas finished the night with a .360 team efficiency, getting 10 kills from both Brionne Butler and Skylar Fields. Butler did not commit an attacking error, as she needed just 15 attempts in picking up 10 kills (.667).
Asjia O’Neal hit .636, managing eight kills on 11 swings, while also adding three blocks.
K-State’s offense clicked at a .429 pace in the opening set, getting four kills apiece from Carter and Warner, hitting .800 and .500, respectively. The Wildcats owned a 15-13 edge in kill production, however, K-State committed four service errors while the Longhorns collected five aces.
A late three-point run, capped by back-to-back blocks from Bolding and Warner, brought the Cats within a pair at 20-18. Out of a UT timeout, the Longhorns went on to score the next four as part of their 5-1 closing run.
Texas got five kills from O’Neal on seven swings (.714), while the Longhorn offense hit .310 in the set.
Following a kill from Bolding, the Cats were within a point at 9-8 in set two. The Longhorns responded by scoring seven straight points to open a 16-8 gap. The run included two kills from Butler to go with kills from Fields and Molly Phillips. Later, a four-point spurt created a nine-point lead at 21-12.
In total, K-State was forced into as many errors as it managed kills (11) for a .000 efficiency in the second. Carter recorded three kills while three Wildcats added a pair of kills apiece.
Butler put down five kills on five swings to lead the Texas offense in set two. The Longhorns committed just three errors in registering 13 kills.
In set three, the Cats took an early lead at 6-5 after Bonde powered home a kill. The Longhorns replied by scoring 12 of the next 16 points for a 17-10 lead. Later, UT closed out the night on a 7-1 spurt.
Carter accounted for five of K-State’s nine kills in the final frame. Her five kills came on 12 swings without an error (.417). Fernholz added two kills on four attacks.
Texas hit .400 in closing out the series sweep, committing two errors in picking up 14 kills, with four coming from Fields.
Texas finished with nine aces for the second straight night while K-State failed to register an ace for the third time this season.
The Longhorns extended their Big 12 home winning streak to 57 matches, dating back to the 2014 season. Additionally, Texas finished its home conference slate without dropping a set.
Next up on K-State’s schedule is the Dillons Sunflower Showdown with Kansas, as the two-match series will take place Friday and Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.