Kansas State 3, Cal State Northridge 0



Los Angeles, Calif. - Senior First Team All-Big 12 selection Vali Hejjas had 17 kills and nine digs, while Big 12 Libero of the Year Angie Lastra had 22 digs in three games as No. 23 Kansas State swept Cal-State Northridge, 30-20, 30-23, 30-25, Thursday night to advance to the NCAA Second Round at the Lyon Center.

The win for Kansas State (20-10) was its seventh straight NCAA First Round, while the victory also gave the Wildcats their 20th win of the season, marking the sixth straight 20-win season for the Cats.

I thought we were well-prepared for the match, head coach Suzie Fritz said. We knew that Jen Ryan (CSUN outside hitter) was about 60-percent of their offense, so we knew we had to stop her. The girls did a nice job of executing the game plan for the first two games, but we got away from it a little bit in game three. But, towards the end of the match, they got back on track and closed out the game on a positive note.

Hejjas picked up 17 kills on .361 hitting Thursday, while sophomore Sandy Werner had 11 to lead the Wildcat offense. Gabby Guerre dished out 35 assists on the night, moving her into second place all-time in school history in the category. Lastras 20 digs and Martins five blocks paced the defense for Kansas State as the Wildcats held Cal-State Northridge (17-11) to .045 hitting on the night.

In game one, neither team took leads larger than two points as Northridge grabbed an early 5-3 lead before a Guerre block gave the Wildcats the lead at 10-8. Down 14-15, K-State answered with six straight points, highlighted by kills from Martin and Werner, a block by Rezende/Liliom and a Liliom ace to give the Wildcats a 20-15 lead. Led by a strong block in the game, two blocks by Martin and Guerre upped the Wildcat lead to 25-19 as K-State cruised to a 30-20 win in game one. The Wildcats recorded eight blocks in the game while holding the Matadors to a -.111 mark.

Led by Werner early in game two, K-State jumped out to an 8-4 led and extended that margin to 13-7 after a Hejjas kill. After the Wildcats built a lead of 18-10, Northridge answered with four straight to cut the lead to 18-15. But, the Wildcats answered with Hejjas and Werner from the left side as K-State extended the margin to seven at 23-16. K-State then took a 10-point lead at 28-18 on a Hejjas kill before holding on for a 30-23 win on an uncharacteristic kill on a dig from Angie Lastra.

K-State broke open a 4-4 start in game three as two kills from Hejjas and a tip shot from Martin gave the Cats an 11-6 lead. Northridge answered with a small run to cut the deficit to 11-9, but K-State extended the lead back to five at 17-12 after a Werner kill. Northridge closed the gap back to two at 21-19 and 22-20 late, but the Wildcats answered with three late blocks and two more Hejjas kill for a match-clinching 30-25 win.

Kansas State will face the winner of No. 8 Southern California/College of Charleston Friday night at 9 p.m. CT. The match will air live on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN in Manhattan, while live stats can be found at www.ncaasports.com.

-- Courtesy Kansas State