Kansas Suffers Setback at Home, Falls to No. 16 Iowa State

LAWRENCE, Kan. –More than 1,100 fans welcomed the University of Kansas volleyball team back to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center after nearly a month away, but No. 16 Iowa State spoiled the homecoming Wednesday evening, taking the match, 22-25, 17-25, 15-25.

Twenty-five days passed between Wednesday’s televised matchup and the last time the Jayhawks (11-3, 0-2) hosted a home match. The Jayhawk faithful came out in droves to watch the number one and number two leaders in blocks in conference play – Iowa State’s Tenisha Matlock and Kansas middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc.

The two would finish the evening with three blocks apiece, but it was the Jayhawks who held the team blocking edge on the evening, 7-5. Unfortunately for the home team, that was the only category the Top-25 Cyclones (12-2, 3-0) would trail in Wednesday evening. ISU used a .310 attack percentage as a team to power past Kansas’ .145 – its second lowest mark of the season.

Jarmoc paced the offense with nine kills, while fellow middle blocker Tayler Tolefree swung for seven kills and a .429 attack percentage. Freshman outside hitter Chelsea Albers chipped in a .500 effort, while senior outside hitter Allison Mayfieldrecorded an uncharacteristic performance. It was the first time this season the senior captain didn’t record double-digit kills.

Kansas jumped out to a solid start, powered by five kills and an .833 hitting efficiency from Albers. Early kills from both Albers and Iowa State’s Carly Jenson tied the first set at 5-5, setting the tone for a back and forth first set. A kill from Tolefree following a Cyclone attack error put Kansas ahead, 13-9, prompting Iowa State coach Christy Johnson-Lynch to call a timeout.

Although, Kansas built a 15-11 lead after the break, Iowa State rallied to cut the Jayhawk lead to one, 16-15. Three kills from Big 12 Newcomer of the Week Hannah Willms, and another from Jenson, tied the score at 21-21. This time it was Kansas head coach Ray Bechardwho wanted a moment with his team. The Jayhawks responded with a late rally, but a final kill from Willms finished the first set, 22-25.

Three quick kills by Mayfield put Kansas ahead early in the second set, 6-2, as Kansas worked to turn the moment in favor of the home team.

A couple of kills by Jenson coupled with costly errors by the Jayhawks led Iowa State to go on a 10-0 run in the second set. Despite late kills by Mayfield and Tolefree, Kansas suffered a 25-17 loss. Despite Iowa State’s logging more attack errors, Kansas only had nine kills against the Cyclones’ 16.

Kills from Matlock, Willms and Jamie Straube led the Cyclones on a 5-1 run to start the third set. An attack error by Jenson and a kill from Tolefree helped KU chip away at the lead, but the Big 12 preseason second-place choice hit its stride.

Despite four kills from Jarmoc, Kansas struggled to keep the offensive momentum going and suffered a third set defeat. Iowa State tallied 13 kills in the final set – six of those coming from Jenson. Back-to-back kills from redshirt sophomore outside hitter Catherine Carmichaelcouldn’t close the gap as Kansas fell, 15-25.

The Jayhawks’ homestand was a short one as they travel to Waco on Saturday, Oct. 1, for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Baylor Bears.