KU Volleyball Rallies to Defeat Iowa State in Five Sets
LAWRENCE, Kan. — After falling behind two sets to none, the Kansas volleyball team rallied to win the final three sets and record a 3-2 comeback victory over the Iowa State Cyclones Saturday afternoon at Horejsi Center.
“It’s just something we really needed,” KU head coach Ray Bechard said. “We’ve been down deep in some games and we’ve come back but to play that well for that long, I think that’s a great sign.”
Karina Garlington, a sophomore outside hitter, led the Jayhawks with a career-high 29 kills, and senior Natalie Uhart added 13 more to help KU overcome the early deficit. Nicole Tate had 58 assists while Melissa Grieb finished with 18 digs.
“I was just trying to do the best I could for my team,” Garlington said. “The 29 kills just came naturally.”
In the first two sets, Iowa State came out with a .357 attack percentage to win 25-21 in the first and 25-23 in the second. The Jayhawks then took control in the third set, taking the lead at 2-1 and consistently keeping the leaden route to winning the set, 25-20.
In set four, the Jayhawks fell behind 11-8, but scored three consecutive points to even the score at 11-11. The match stayed close, and both teams were tied at 19 when KU reeled off three consecutive points to put itself in position to win the set. The Jayhawks then won the next three points to force a decisive fifth set.
As the fifth set began, you could tell the momentum had shifted in the Jayhawks direction. Behind the energy from a raucous crowd of 837, KU came out with a vengeance to start the set, taking the first four points. The Jayhawks then won ten of the next 17 points to put them on the brink of victory, leading 14-7. Iowa State wouldn’t go away easily, as the Cyclones took the next three points to cut the KU lead to 14-10. Uhart then took the game into her own hands, providing the winning kill to give the Jayhawks a 15-10 victory, their first Big 12 victory of the season.
With the win, KU improves to 7-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Iowa State drops to 9-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Next up for the Jayhawks is a trip to Lincoln, Neb., to face the No. 2-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers on Sept. 24.