Kansas State 3, Florida A&M 1Dec. 1, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Kansas State volleyball won its eighth straight opening round match in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night, slithering past Florida A&M, 3-1 (27-30, 30-14, 30-27, 30-28). Head coach Suzie Fritz is now 5-0 in NCAA first round matches.

Kansas State (21-10,), the first team to advance in the 2005 tournament, was led by sophomore outside hitter Rita Liliom. The Budapest, Hungary product led two others in double figures with a career-high 23 kills. Her previous career-best was 16 at Texas on Oct. 22 at Texas. With the total, she tied Liz Wegner for the sixth-most kills in a four-game postseason match. Liliom also registered her seventh career double-double with 14 digs.

Also in double figures were juniors Joy Hamlin and Sandy Werner. Hamlin tied a career-high with 20 kills and a match-high .692 hitting percentage. The Douglass, Kan., native set her career-high earlier this season at Arkansas on Sept. 2. Werner tallied 17 kills and chipped in four digs and three total blocks.

Sophomore setter Stacey Spiegelberg carded her ninth career double-double with 63 assists and 11 digs. It was the first time she has reached 60 or more assists in a four-game match and first time since Nov. 2 at Iowa State. With the effort, the Overland Park, Kan., native moved into fourth on the K-State list for assists in a four-game postseason match.

Sophomore libero Angie Lastra tallied a match-high 23 digs, the 12th time in her career she has reached 20-or more in a match. The Carolina, Puerto Rico product tied Laura Downey-Wallace for fourth in K-State postseason history in a four-game match with her effort.

Florida A&M (22-6) was led by MEAC Player of the Year Adriana Kostadina with 21 kills and 14 digs. The Lady Rattlers also received strong efforts from Maria Andonova with 17 kills and Jayli Jackson with 14 kills and three block assists.

K-State opened game one with a 5-1 lead. The Wildcats were paced with two kills from senior Agata Rezende during the run. FAMU equaled the frame with a kill at 8 apiece. The Rattlers captured their first lead at 19-18 and were able to push the advantage to two at 25-23 on a service ace.

The Wildcats were led in game one by Liliom and Werner with five kills apiece. K-State was outhit by the Rattlers, however, .372 to .277. Florida A&M enters the tournament second in the nation in hitting percentage at .333.

K-State owned the second game with an astounding hitting percentage of .545 and 20 kills. The Wildcats sprinted to an 11-1 advantage on the strength of the service by sophomore Lauren Rosenthal. The San Antonio, Texas native tallied two service aces and forced the Rattlers out of system during a six-point run during her service. She was also responsible for a five-point run in later in the game.

Hamlin led K-State with eight kills on a perfect hitting percentage and two block assists. Liliom also improved her total with six in the frame.

The schools traded the lead five times and were tied on 10 occasions during the third stanza. The Wildcats recorded a season-high for a game with 23 kills in the frame and escaped a late Florida A&M lead. K-State received a balanced effort from Liliom with eight, Werner with six and Hamlin with five.

Kansas State sealed the match with a solid effort in game four. The Wildcats used four kills from Liliom, Hamlin and Rezende to capture the win.

The Wildcats will play host Florida on Friday in the O'Connell Center. First serve in Gainesville is set for 7 p.m. (ET).

-- Courtesy Kansas St.