So what now? Kansas State lost to Baylor 31-12 at home and is now 0-2 in conference play. Those are the facts, and honestly, there is little to analyze here. As Jon Morse noted in his recap, the punting was great, but everything else was awful: the offense was woefully inconsistent, the defense was stout, but wasted most of Devin Anctil’s excellent work, and there is the not-insignificant problem of the in-game coaching showing little innovation or urgency.
That the season is at a crossroads is self-evident, and at least in my opinion, it’s not too early to experience the sort of existential dread that goes with being a Big 12 cellar dweller. Three weeks ago, everything was still on the table for this team. Now we’re staring down the barrel of a losing season, a possible last-place finish in the league, and Chris Klieman’s honeymoon is definitely over.
All is not lost, of course. It’s only two games and there are toss up games left on the schedule that the Wildcats could still maybe win. As we know from experience, there is always room for optimism in Manhattan. If Kansas State football could be built once, it can be built again. There’s even a blueprint and everything.
But let’s save the pumping of sunshine for a later time, when we are feeling more charitable. Right now, everything sucks and you know it. So how do we, the fans, adjust to this new/old normal where Kansas State is now a basketball school or at least definitely not a football school? I recommend nihilism.
Nihilism is how I survived the entire 2017 season of Minnesota football, when a new and promising head coach—armed with a catchy slogan and a can-do attitude—raced off to a 3-0 start only to stumble to an embarrassing 5-7 finish. Nihilism is how many of us trudged through the football wilderness of the Ron Prince years in Manhattan.
Nothing really matters and then, mercifully, the season will be over.
Bring on the Whatever.
Kansas State didn’t have a great time against Baylor on court either. The VolleyCats lost in straight sets (19-25, 15-25, 27-29) to the top-seeded Bears. The only consolation was that the defense held Baylor to a season-low hitting percentage of .240.
The team had 11 total blocks, with Megan Vernon getting a career-high eight, six of them in the third set. Anna Dixon led the team with 10 kills, and teammates Brynn Carlson and Gloria Mutiri added seven and six respectively.
Up next, the VolleyCats will host #6 Texas on Wednesday. First serve is set for 7 PM.
Junior Maria Linares won two matches in the pre-qualifying rounds of the ITA All-American Championships. She’s in the semifinals of pre-qualifying now, and is the first Wildcat to make it this far in the pre-qualifiers since the tournament began in 2008.
Doubles play at the Championships begins today.