Cassie Wait barely had a voice in the postgame conference on Saturday. The senior libero had “left it all on the floor” in No. 5 Kansas’ hard-fought five-set loss to No. 21 Creighton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Wait was a defensive force, covering the floor and notching 27 digs.
She shined in the Big 12 this season, leading in digs per set with 5.10 and total digs with 581. She was named Big 12 Libero of the Year, and finished ranked second on KU’s career digs list with 1,931, behind only Brianne Riley, who had 2,053.
Wait, the team captain, was an integral part of Kansas’ best four-year stretch, helping the team win the program’s first-ever Big 12 Championship and leading them to a 27-3 (15-1 Big 12) record.
But the effort wasn’t enough to topple Creighton in the fifth set — which went past the deciding 15th point to a final score of 20-18 — and advance to the Sweet 16.
“It was really close to where I wanted to be, but that one percent made the difference, and that’s what we’re talking about here — who had the momentum a little bit longer in the match,” Wait said after the match, according to a Kansas press release. “They got us this time.”
Kansas coach Ray Bechard told The Lawrence Journal-World in November that Wait’s competitiveness and athletic ability had impressed him most.
“Cassie can just make plays out of pretty pure athleticism,” he said. “Then her technical skill has caught up with her athletic ability, and as those two have come together, we’ve seen a pretty special competitor and defensive player.”
Bechard said Wait “embodies the type of work ethic, the type of enthusiasm, the type of intensity we want in our program.”