MANHATTAN, Kan. – Freshman Brooke Kanas powered down 19 kills to lead three Red Raiders in double figures as the Texas Tech volleyball team spoiled Kansas State's senior night with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-15) victory late Saturday night at Ahearn Field House.
Kanas followed her 23-kill effort from October's five-set win over the Wildcats in Lubbock with a match-high 19 Saturday on .306 hitting. The 19 kills matches the second highest total by a Red Raider this season. Juniors Chandler Atwood and Emily Hill finished with 11 and 10 kills, respectively as the Red Raiders (17-11, 6-8) earned tight second and third set wins before running away with the fourth.
The victory was Tech's first win in Manhattan since 2004 and gave the Red Raiders their first-ever series sweep of the Wildcats. Tech has now won three in a row in the series, picking up Big 12 win No. 6 to tie the 2004 Red Raiders for the most conference wins in a season since 2002.
The Red Raiders out-killed K-State 59-40 and outhit the Wildcats .226-.142. Senior setter Missy Owens engineered a potent Red Raider offense with a match-high 45 assists, which sent her over the 1,000 season assist mark for the third consecutive season. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native had 1,225 assists her sophomore season at Long Beach State before posting back-to-back 1,000 assist seasons as a Red Raider.
Atwood finished with one of her most impressive matches of late, getting her 11 kills on 23 swings for a .435 hitting percentage. She also added a match-high five blocks as well as two key kills at the end of the third set that helped Tech turn a 22-22 deadlock into a 25-22 set win that evened the match at one set apiece.
Hill, meanwhile, tallied 12 digs to go with her 10 kills for her 12th double-double of the season and 31st of her career. The Denton, Texas, native has had double-digit kills 23 times this season, including 13-of-14 Big 12 matches.
Kansas State (14-12, 4-11) was led by Brooke Heyne's 11 kills on .267 hitting. Peyton Williams was the most efficient Wildcat, connecting on eight kills at a .500 clip. After hitting .270 in the opening frame, the Red Raiders limited K-State to just .093 hitting through the remainder of the contest.
While Atwood helped Tech close out the second set, it was a kill from Kanas in the third that saved set point before junior Kylie Rittimann delivered an ace to reverse the advantage and give Tech set point. A K-State attack error secured the third set for Tech, giving Tech the 2-1 lead. In the fourth, Tech posted three blocks and held the Wildcats to -.065 hitting to end it.
Libero Emerson Solano played a major role in Tech's strong defensive effort as the Amarillo native tallied a match-high 23 digs in the contest to match the second most by a Red Raider this season. Owens added 13 digs to post her eighth double-double of the season and 34th for her career.
The win keeps postseason hopes alive for the Red Raiders, who will now gear up to host No. 5 Texas for senior night on Wednesday. First serve is at 6 p.m., and fans are encouraged to 'Red Out' United Supermarkets Arena.
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