Reed Sunahara’s Mountaineers sweep Kansas State

Gold and Blue Nation

The West Virginia University volleyball team swept Kansas State on Friday evening, in Manhattan, Kansas, at Bramlage Coliseum. The Mountaineers (13-4, 3-3 Big 12) took the match from the Wildcats (11-6, 2-4 Big 12)  in set scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-22.

“I thought we played together as a team tonight compared to last night,” said coach Reed Sunahara. “Our Energy and execution were a lot better. I thought we did a good job bouncing back and leaving here with a win.”

Senior setter Lacey Zerwas led the Mountaineers with her eighth double-double of the season and second on the weekend. Zerwas recorded 25 assists and 14 digs in tonight’s match. 

Additionally, four Mountaineers tallied double-digit scores, including senior outside hitter Adrian Ell (14) and senior outside hitter Kristin Lux (10), who recorded double-digit kills.

Fifth-year senior libero Alexa Hasting recorded 11 digs, and she was followed by senior outside hitter Natali Petrova who tallied 10 digs.

Also contributing to the WVU win was sophomore outside hitter Skye Stokes who recorded three aces, with one tallying a set and match-winning point. 

WVU finished the match hitting .146 with 36 kills and 10 team blocks. The squad tallied seven total service aces. 

West Virginia opened the match with a kill from Lux. A few scoring runs kept the team’s toe-to-toe, but the Mountaineers held the 15-10 lead going into the media timeout. Following the timeout, WVU continued its 7-0 scoring run and took a 17-10 lead. West Virginia flew to a 25-14 first set victory after Ell hit a kill and Petrova a service ace.

Kansas State took an early 11-4 lead in set two. The Mountaineers used a 3-0 scoring run to force a Wildcats timeout. Following the timeout, WVU continued its scoring streak to bring the score to 10-11, KSU. West Virginia tied the game, 13-13 and the teams’ traded points. A 3-0 West Virginia scoring run gave the Mountaineers a 19-17 lead and forced a Wildcats timeout. A couple of WVU scoring runs brought the set to match point and a kill from Lux closed set two in WVU’s favor, 25-20.

Similar to set two, Kansas State took an early lead, 7-3. The Wildcats tallied a handful of short runs to bring the set to a media timeout with a score of 15-12. The Mountaineers gained a few runs of their own to tie the set, 18-18. The teams traded points, but Kansas State ultimately held the lead, 22-20. A trio of kills from Ell gave West Virginia the lead, and Stokes closed out the match with a service ace. West Virginia took the set and match, 25-22.

Looking ahead, the Mountaineers return home for a two-match series against Baylor, at the WVU Coliseum, from Oct. 22-23. Friday’s match will begin at 6 p.m. ET, followed by Saturday’s match at 5 p.m. 

Friday’s match will be the annual Luau night. The first 300 fans in attendance will receive a gold/blue lei as part of the promotion. It will also be a Happy Hour from 5-6 p.m.

Saturday’s match will be the annual Pink match presented by the WVU Cancer Institute. There will be a pink ribbon giveaway to the first 500 fans. The WVU Cancer Institute will be on site selling shirts for a minimum $10 donation. It will be Mountaineer Kids Club Day for WVU volleyball with a special giveaway and food for Kids Club members in attendance, as well as a t-shirt pickup day. The MKC mascot Musket as well as Mr. Twister will be in attendance.

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