TCU dropped a five-set road contest against Kansas State Saturday despite strong individual performances from middle blockers Katie Clark and Afedo Manyang.
Clark and Manyang each had a career-high night in hitting percentage, which helped TCU set a new season-best with 13 aces in the loss.
“Although we did not come away with the result we wanted, we made big strides in some areas tonight,” said head coach Jill Kramer. “It was great to see Katie and Smiley [Manyang] capitalize on that. We also had one of our better serving performances on the road in a tough KSU environment.”
TCU got off to a good start in the first set thanks to Kansas State’s errors — the Frogs took a 10-7 lead; however, the Wildcats tightened up their plays and took the first set 25-21.
The tone of the second set was set early thanks to Audrey Nalls and Manyang, who combined for the first of four TCU blocks.
The Horned Frogs jumped to a 4-1 lead shortly thereafter and never looked back. Outside hitter élan McCall had her best set of the season, finishing with a team-best four kills on .364 hitting, three digs and a block. TCU’s defense also improved in this set with four digs from Dani Dennison and two blocks apiece from Nalls, Manyang and Clark.
The Horned Frogs would win the second set 25-18.
TCU held the lead until late in the third set — the Wildcats would win the set 25-23. Clark had found her rhythm on offense though, with five kills on .625 hitting.
Once again, the Horned Frogs responded to a close set loss to win the fourth set 25-17. Clark and Manyang led with strong offensive performances: Clark would finish the set with five kills on .714 hitting and Manyang had four kills on .429 hitting.
Nalls also contributed to the offensive performance with four service aces, including three consecutive aces at one point.
The momentum gained from the fourth set came to a bitter end halfway through the fifth as K-State won the final nine points to win the set, 15-7, and the match.
The Horned Frogs have a week before they return back to action against the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday at the Rickel. The time of the match has not been announced yet and will be announced Monday.