MANHATTAN, Kan. – No. 25 Kansas State won a pair of deuce sets and escaped a strong Creighton challenge with a 3-1 win over the Bluejays on Tuesday night at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, Kan.
Scores of the match in favor of KSU were 18-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-21. Both the second and third sets were tied before K-State won the final two points of the frame, including the set-clincher on a replay challenge both times.
Creighton (4-5) never trailed in the first set, rolling to a 25-18 victory. The Bluejays stormed to a 9-2 lead and never looked back. The lead grew to 15-8 and 21-12 before Jaali Winters put down her sixth kill of the set to close out the 25-18 set victory. CU hit .542 in the opening set while an error-plagued K-State team hit .128 in 39 swings, including nine attack errors.
Kansas State (8-2) fended off a strong Bluejay comeback in the second frame to even the match. The Wildcats appeared in control with a 21-18 lead before CU fought back to even the score at 23-all. A kill from Kylee Zumach got KSU to set point, and the Wildcats evened the match on a Bluejay attack error that withstood a challenge from the Creighton bench.
Both teams had set point opportunities in the third set before K-State emerged with a 28-26 victory to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Creighton trailed 23-21, only to rally back take leads of 24-23 and 25-2 after kils by Taryn Kloth. CU would win a highly-disputed challenge review to get that set point at 25-24, but KSU answered with a pair of kills to earn its own set point. CU saved one set point on double-block from Marysa Wilkinson and Lydia Dimke to knot the score at 26, but a CU service error followed by a K-State ace ended the set. Both teams celebrated initially, as the line judge ruled the ball out, only to have the up official reverse the call and rule the ball in. Kirsten Bernthal Booth used her final challenge to contest the play, but after video review the call stood.
The fourth set was another close battle. CU led by as much as 16-13 before a 9-1 run by Kansas State turned the tables on the visitors. CU saved a pair of match points before blocking error closed out the match with K-State winning, 25-21.
Kloth paced CU with 14 kills on .357 hitting in 28 swings, adding four blocks. Winters finished with 13 kills and 20 digs, while Lydia Dimke also had a double-double with 44 assists and 11 digs. CU had 57 kills, one ace, 72 digs and 10 blocks on .240 hitting overall.
Kansas State got a career-high 18 kills on .375 hitting from Bryna Vogel, while Zumach added 16 kills. Grand Island native Katie Brand had 51 assists and 15 digs to set the KSU offense to a .231 attack percentage. The Wildcats finished with 62 kills, five aces, 56 digs and 10 blocks.
Creighton returns to action this weekend with three matches in Lincoln, Neb., at the Ameritas Players Challenge. Creighton takes on Gonzaga at 10 am Friday.