Nov. 17, 2010
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Texas A&M historically has struggled and come up on the short end when playing Kansas State at Ahearn Field House. Tonight the Aggies reversed that trend, pulling off a 25-16, 25-21, 18-25, 25-22 victory over the Wildcats to post only its second win ever in Manhattan.
A&M's Kelsey Black led all players with 19 kills and also recorded a double-double with 11 digs. Lindsey Miller added 11 kills while hitting .450 and also tallied five blocks. Tori Mellinger led all players in digs with 20, giving her 429 for the season, eighth most in A&M history. Chelsea Ringel pitched in nine kills and 15 digs as the Aggies led the Wildcats 60-50 in kills and 75-57 in digs.
Freshman setter Allie Sawatzky had 44 assists and led A&M to a .271 hitting percentage while holding K-State to a .174 hitting percentage.
A&M jumped out to a quick start and used an 11-1 scoring run and a .471 to .132 hitting advantage to cruise to a 25-16 opening-set win. K-State had scored the first point of the match with a kill, but A&M reeled off the next four points and never let up. Leading 6-4, Stephanie Minnerly got a kill on a slide attack, which sparked the scoring spurt for the Aggies. K-State hit wide and then had miscommunication issues as the Wildcats let a ball drop between two players, giving A&M a 9-4 lead. A K-State kill halted the run, but only for one play as A&M's Alisia Kastmo got a kill and then stepped to the service line to help the Aggies pull away to a 17-5 lead. Miller had two kills and two blocks during the surge.
K-State got no closer than eight points at 23-15 when Sawatzky set the ball over to a wide-open center court to put the Aggies at set point. The Wildcats got a kill on the ensuing play, but Ringel blasted a kill to midcourt to give A&M the win.
It was a good sign for the Aggies, who entered the match 10-0 when winning the opening set.
A&M used a four-point run to build its largest lead of the second set, 18-13. K-State chipped away at the lead and cut the margin to 21-20 following its own four-point rally. Black ended the run with a kill off the fingertips of the block. The Wildcats then hit wide and blew a kill opportunity to keep the set going when they sent an A&M overpass long to give the Aggies the win and a 2-0 lead going into the intermission.
K-State used a three-point run to take an early 4-2 lead in the third set. A&M tied the score at 4- and 5-all but were unable to ever take the lead. The Wildcats held and 18-15 advantage before reeling off three unanswered points on a kill, an ace and a block. The teams traded points before K-State got consecutive kills to build a 24-17 lead. A&M fought off one set point with a back-row kill from Black, but K-State countered with a kill off the block to clinch the set.
A&M appeared in control of the fourth set after doubling up the Wildcats, 14-7. K-State called a timeout and then went on a 9-2 run to knot the score at 16. The teams exchanged sideouts before the Wildcats went on a 3-0 run to take their first lead of the set, 21-19. After A&M used its second timeout, the Aggies came back and reeled off five consecutive points to be serving for the match. Miller, who had two kills during the run, then hit long, but Black got a kill on the next play to clinch the victory for A&M.
Kaitlynn Pelger led K-State with 18 kills and five blocks. Lauren Mathewson had a team-best 13 digs.
With the win, the Aggies snap a three-match losing skid and improve to 13-14 overall and 7-10 in Big 12 play. K-State, which swept A&M in College Station earlier this season, suffers its third consecutive loss and falls to 10-18 overall, 4-13 in Big 12 matches.
A&M returns home for a rare Sunday match as the Aggies play host to the No. 16 Iowa State Cyclones. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. at Reed Arena. A special ticket discount has been announced for the match. All fans that show a ticket from the Texas A&M-Nebraska football game can purchase a general admission ticket for only $3.
The Aggies have only two matches remaining in the regular season after the Iowa State match. A&M plays at No. 8 Texas on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Gregory Gym in Austin and then conclude the season against No. 5 Nebraska on Saturday, Nov. 27 at Reed Arena. The match also will be the final Big 12 match ever against the Huskers as they join the Big Ten Conference next season.
It will be ResLife night against the Huskers, and students who show their dorm key will get in free. In addition, the dorm with the most attendees will win a free pizza dinner.