No. 4 Kansas’s Kelsie Payne Posts Big Numbers In Win Over Rival K-State

  0 Carly DeMarque | November 03rd, 2016 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Stats

Kansas extended their win streak to nine matches, remaining in a tie for first place in the Big 12 with No. 5 Texas.

All-American and AVCA player of the week, Kelsie Payne recorded her fourth 20-kill match and second consecutive double-double with 23 kills and 11 digs for the Jayhawks. Defensively, Cassie Wait picked up 33 digs in the win, her third 30-dig match of the season, while Tayler Soucie added seven blocks.

K-State’s Katie Brand moved to second on the Wildcat’s all-time career assists list at 4,586, dishing out 55 in loss. Brooke Sassin and Bryna Vogel each recorded double-doubles, Sassin with 18 kills and 14 digs, and Vogel put down 14 kills and 23 digs.


Press Release

Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – From the first day of practice in early August, Kansas head coach Ray Bechard emphasized the importance of grit to his 19th team at Kansas. Coming off a Final Four appearance, Bechard knew the Jayhawks would have a target on their backs the entire season and would need to fight through adversity to succeed.

Wednesday night in a hostile environment, the Jayhawks showed a perfect example of grit during the Dillons Sunflower Showdown.

Kansas prevailed over Kansas State in five sets, 3-2 (25-18, 26-28, 25-22, 21-25, 15-11), for the fifth-straight win in the series against the Wildcats. The fourth-ranked Jayhawks (21-2, 10-1 Big 12) extend their winning streak to nine matches to remain in a tie for first place in the Big 12 standings with No. 5 Texas.

Junior All-American right-side hitter Kelsie Payne notched her fourth 20-kill performance of the season and second-consecutive double-double, finishing with 23 kills and 11 digs.

Cassie Wait

“There was a lot of ebb-and-flow in this match, but Kelsie got enough kills at the right time,” Bechard said. “That’s the best match we have had in a long time just from a competitive standpoint. It was good, competitive volleyball. They played well. We played well. We had enough in the end to make it happen.”

Kansas natives and seniors Cassie Wait and Tayler Soucie made sure that they remained undefeated in Manhattan during their four-year careers (4-0) with heroic performances. Wait finished with 33 digs and dominated a countless number of rallies for her third 30-dig outing of the season. Soucie contributed seven blocks as KU out-blocked their in-state rivals, 16.0 to 10.0.

Junior All-American setter Ainise Havili notched a 54-assist, 13-dig double-double, while junior outside hitter Madison Rigdon remained consistent with 14 kills and 11 digs to round out KU’s trio of double-doubles.

Kansas State (17-7, 6-5) was held to a .182 hitting percentage despite entering the match with a .248 hitting clip. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in kills per set (14.2), but were held to 12.4 digs per set on Wednesday.

“K-State is going to be a postseason team,” Bechard insisted after the match. “They have had a great season so far. I was proud of the way our players competed, and I’m sure coach (Suzie) Fritz is proud of the way her team competed too.”

Payne, this week’s AVCA National Player of the Week, got things started for the Jayhawks with a kill for the first point of the night. Rigdon, the Big 12’s leader in aces per set, follow-up with an ace to put Kansas ahead, 2-0. Rigdon’s early ace proved to be KU’s only of the match as both teams struggled at the service line for a combined 26 service errors and two aces.

The Jayhawks continued to control the pace of the first set with three blocks while holding the Wildcats to a .054 first-set hitting percentage. On the second set point, Kansas clinched the 25-18 opening set win on a first-ball kill from Havili to Soucie on a slide.

K-State jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the second set and extended their lead to 10-4 before the Jayhawks gathered steam to rally. Kansas overcame its six–point deficit with a block from junior middle blocker Kayla Cheadle and Havili to tie the set at 16. The in-state rivals continued to exchange blows to a 26-26 tie. A block gave K-State set point, 27-26. On the next play the Wildcats recorded an attacking error to seemingly tie the set at 27. But upon further video replay review, the attacking error was ruled in to clinch the second set for K-State, 28-26.

Kansas led 7-5 before K-State went on a 5-0 run to take the lead. Freshman middle blocker Zoe Hill gave the Jayhawks a breath of fresh air by checking into the match midway through the set and recording her first kill since Oct. 1. But Kansas continued to flounder while seeking any sort offensive momentum. The Jayhawks frustrating offensive night was encapsulated by the most attacking errors (22) through three sets in a match this season.

Kansas scrapped for a 17-17 tie after a K-State attacking error, followed by Payne’s 16th kill of the night. Havili, KU’s All-American setter, kept on going back to Payne three more times before Kansas pulled away with a 25-22 third set victory. On set point, Tori Miller whipped an aggressive serve to put K-State out of system and force a K-State ball handling error.

The fourth set was hotly contested early on with six ties and four lead changes. After K-State took a 10-8 advantage, the Wildcats maintained their lead until an 18-14 score. Freshman outside hitter Jada Burse tooled off the K-State block for a kill to tie it at 20 and immediately followed with a kill to tie it a 21. That’s all Kansas would score in the fourth set and K-State’s Brooke Sassin scored back-to-back kills to guide KSU to a 25-21 fourth-set win and force a fifth set.

From the onset of the fifth set, Kansas left little doubt that their winning streak would continue. Soucie recorded two blocks and Payne contributed a kill as Kansas took a 4-0 lead. Moments later Soucie would help give Kansas an 8-2 lead with another block followed by her 11th kill of the night. The Jayhawks completed the five-set victory as Kansas State recorded a service error on KU’s second match point.

The fourth-ranked Jayhawks continue the final stretch of the season with a trip to face the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman on Saturday night (8 p.m., Sooner Sports Network). Kansas has five matches remaining in the regular season.

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Press Release

Courtesy of Kansas State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – For the second time this season, the Kansas State volleyball team took the fourth-ranked team in the country to five sets before ultimately falling. Wednesday night at Ahearn Field House, K-State succumbed to in-state rival Kansas, 18-25, 28-26, 22-25, 25-21, 11-25, on a night that senior setter Katie Brand moved into second place on K-State’s all-time career assists list in the rally-scoring era (since 2001).

Brand’s 55 assists bring her career total to 4,586, passing Stacey Spiegelberg (2004-07) for sole possession of second on K-State’s list. The Grand Island, Nebraska, native added 15 digs for her fifth consecutive double-double and 66th of her career – three shy of equaling the program record.

Brooke Sassin and Bryna Vogel also recorded double-doubles with Sassin posting a team-high 18 kills and Vogel led K-State (17-7, 6-5 Big 12) with 23 digs. Vogel, a junior right-side hitter, picks up her fourth straight double-double.

KU (21-2, 10-1) takes both meetings in the Sunflower Showdown for the second straight season and fourth time in five years.

“I thought we outplayed them at certain points in the match,” said head coach Suzie Fritz. “I don’t want to take anything away from them, they are a talented team. There was a lot of good volleyball that was played tonight.”

Kansas scored the first four points of the final set and opened up a lead as big as seven at 9-2 but after its second timeout, K-State cut the deficit to 13-10 before falling 15-11. The Cats committed four service errors in the game and finished with 14 for the match. Sassin tallied four kills in the frame.

“They found a different level,” Fritz added. “I thought we got a little high error and we got a little tentative at the service line. In the end, in the fifth, it came down to serve and pass. They were a little better at it than we were.”

The Jayhawks claimed the opening set as the two sides alternated set victories throughout in a match that saw 26 tie scores and 10 lead changes. Neither team was able to break .300 in any set, as KU recorded 16.0 team blocks and K-State tallied 10.0. The two rivals finished with similar team stats – K-State finished with a .182 (65k-28e-190ta) hitting percentage while Kansas ended hitting .195 (62k-29e-181).

K-State fought off two set points in the second set and scored the final three points to take the deuce set, 28-26. Redshirt sophomore Kylee Zumach picked up five of her 14 kills in the set.

Tied at 20 in the fourth set, K-State finished on a 5-1 run in a set in which it recorded 17 kills and hit a match-high .273 (5e-44ta). Sassin, who had one kill after the first set, tallied 10 kills in the fourth and fifth sets.

“We knew we could play with them,” said Sassin. “We didn’t start out the way we wanted to, obviously, in the fifth set.”

It’s going to burn for a while,” Sassin added. “But you have to let that feeling remind you next time you get in that situation.”

Freshman middle blocker Elle Sandbothe added 10 kills as four Wildcats reached double-figures.

Senior libero Kersten Kober tallied 16 digs and was one of five players that reached double-digit digs.

Kansas State heads to Fort Worth, Texas, for the season’s second meeting with TCU (10-11, 3-8) Saturday, with first serve scheduled for 5 p.m. The Cats claimed the first meeting at Ahearn Field House in four sets. Fans can also listen to Rob Voelker call the match on local radio on 1350 KMAN and at


·         K-State is now 63-50-1 vs. KU and 28-28 at home. KU has now won five straight in the series and nine of the last 10 overall.

·         This marked the third match (0-3) K-State has faced the No 4 team in the country (Wisconsin, Texas, KU).

·         K-State is now 2-2 in five-set matches this season.

·         Kersten Kober moved into third place on K-State’s career digs list (rally-scoring era) with 1,462.

·         Brand now has 66 career double-doubles, ranking second on K-State’s career list (Kim Zschau, 69).

·         K-State is now 9-2 when recording at least 10.0 team blocks.

·         Kober now has 1,446 career digs, just five from moving into third on K-State’s career digs list in the rally-scoring era.

·         K-State is 12-4 in the fourth set this season and 6-2 in Big 12 play.

·         This was just the third home loss for K-State this year.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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