Kansas Runs into Red-Hot No. 14 Iowa State, Defeated in Three

AMES, Iowa –After earning a No. 3 RPI ranking, the highest in program history, the Iowa State Cyclones lived up to the projection as they defeated the University of Kansas volleyball in three sets, Wednesday evening at the Hilton Coliseum, 15-25, 16-25, 11-25.

Senior outside hitter Allison Mayfield, redshirt sophomore middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc and freshman outside hitter Sara McClinton cranked out five kills apiece to pace the offense. Senior setter Nicole Tate also posted a pair of kills, giving her at least two kills in every match she has started this season.

For the first time this season, Kansas (13-9, 1-8) failed to reach the 20-point plateau in a match. The Big 12’s leader in opposing hitting percentage held the Jayhawks to just 24 kills, a season low, while handing them just their third sweep of the year.

“They got into a defensive and offensive rhythm early in the match,” head coach Ray Bechardsaid. “We went with 12 or 13 different players tonight, trying to find what worked. They played at a very high level tonight and we did not.”

Defensively, Jarmoc led the way with three blocks as Kansas was out-blocked for just the fourth time in conference play. Sophomore libero Brianne Riley’s11 digs paced the Kansas defense.

On the other side of the floor, No. 14 Iowa State (17-3, 8-1) hit .315 as a team, highlighted by a .360 effort in the final set. Senior outside hitter Carly Jenson led the Cyclones with eight kills on a night when no player hit double-figures.

The most notable stat, however, came at the serving line. Kansas did not record a service ace for the first time all year. ISU, who entered the week as the Big 12’s aces leader in conference-only matches, dropped in 10 of them on Wednesday.

In the opening set, the Cyclones sprinted out to an early 8-3 lead using a pair of kills from sophomore middle Tenisha Matlock. Another off the hands of senior Kelsey Petersen prompted the timeout from head coach Ray Bechard. The Cyclones kept coming as redshirt freshman Hannah Wilms got involved, chipping in a pair of kills to push the ISU lead, 10-3, to bring on another Kansas timeout.

While combating a Cyclone team that swung for a .310 attack efficiency in the first set, the Jayhawks tried to chip away. Freshman outside hitter Chelsea Albers knocked down a big kill to keep the ISU lead at single digits, while Tate dished out on-point assists to the hard hitting Tayler Tolefree, who finished the opening frame with four kills on an .800 attack percentage.

The effort did little, however, to slow the nationally ranked Cyclones as they controlled the set with a 25-15 victory.

McClinton blasted a kill off the hand of a Cyclone defender and Jarmoc stepped up for an impressive solo block to hand Kansas its first lead of the match to open set two, 6-5.

A 5-1 run by the home team returned the lead to ISU, an advantage the Cyclones wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the evening. Unwilling to let the Cyclones take the momentum without a fight, Bechard signaled for the timeout. Tate came out of the break to notch a quick kill. The senior setter shared time with sophomores Kara Wehrs and Erin McNortonat different stretches as Bechard used all of his setters on Wednesday, looking for the right combination.

Mayfield put a solid swing on a ball to spark a slight rally, but the Cyclones were rolling. A kill from sophomore middle Hannah Johnson finished the set in ISU’s favor, 25-16, and the Cyclones went to break with the 2-0 lead.

Matlock and senior outside hitter Carly Jenson teamed up for back-to-back blocks to start the third set much like they ended the second. After ISU jumped out to a commanding 8-1 lead, the Jayhawks took a timeout.

Jarmoc and Mayfield came out of the break to drill consecutive kills as they worked to keep the set within reach. McNorton dropped in a sneaky kill and Mayfield backed that with her fifth of the match, but it would be her last one.

Unable to slow the red-hot Cyclones, who have now won eight of their last nine matches, Kansas fell in the final set, 25-11.

The Jayhawks stay on the road to play their only Sunday match of the conference season when the team heads to College Station, Texas to meet up with Texas A&M. The Oct. 30 start time is slated for 2 p.m.