🏐 Jayhawks Downed in Five Sets at Iowa State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 14 Kansas Volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker (22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-23, 15-3) at Iowa State on Friday night.
With the loss, the Jayhawks move to 18-5, 9-4 Big 12, while Iowa State is now 17-7, 8-5 Big 12.
Four different ties kicked off the first set until Kansas was able to break the streak with a little four-point run, forcing a Cyclone timeout up 8-4. Iowa State posted six attack errors through a 10-5 scoreboard while the Jayhawks had zero. Things got a bit closer at 12-10, but KU remained steady in their lead. That was until Iowa State closed in to make things 17-17 and went on to knock down two quick points for a 17-19 lead. The Jayhawks were not able to flip the script after that, and Iowa State edged them in a narrow first-set victory.
Kansas looked much more comfortable in the second, keeping a consistent lead for the duration of the set. The Jayhawks hit .265 in this set as opposed to the Cyclones’ .160. KU’s largest lead of the set was 15-8, but Iowa State was able to claw their way back into it as close as 19-17, which pushed Kansas to take a late set timeout. At 20-20, the Jayhawks called their second timeout, but things would go to 21-21 shortly after. 24-24 would push the match into extra points, but a kill from Ayah Elnady got the Jayhawks up 25-24. A huge block by Toyosi Onabanjo and Camryn Turner would secure the second set victory for Kansas, tying up the match 1-1.
After two sets of play, the Jayhawks tallied nine total blocks as opposed to Iowa State’s one, with six of these blocks coming from Onabanjo.
There were five ties through the beginning of the third set, all the way up through 10-10. Iowa State was able to knock down two points in a row, but the Jayhawks did the same to tie it back up at 12’s. Iowa State started to catch a wave of momentum after this, however, running up a 12-17 lead on a five-point scoring run. The Jayhawks remained gritty in their efforts and were able to tie things up at 19’s. It would be a tough battle for the duration of the set, but Kansas held strong to get the two-point victory.
Set four was the closest between the two teams, with various ties and lead changes throughout the entirety of play. Neither side held more than a two-point lead at any time until Iowa State went up 20-23. Caroline Bien answered with a point for the Jayhawks, but Iowa State got to match point right after. KU held them there for two more points, and the Cyclones ended up calling a timeout. Iowa State was able to secure the victory in the end, forcing things to a fifth set.
Kansas got down early in the fifth, with Iowa State freshman Nayeli Gonzalez surpassing 30 kills to help the Cyclones get up 1-6. The Jayhawks would only go on to score two more points for the duration of the fifth set, with Gonzalez heating up even more for the Cyclones with three aces in a row at one point.
Two Jayhawks ended the night in double-digit kills, with London Davis racking up 16 and Elnady 13. Elnady posted a double-double by adding 14 digs to her stat line as well, while Raegan Burns led the way with 16 total digs. Katie Dalton was the final Jayhawk with double-digit digs adding 12.
Onabanjo ended the night with 11 total blocks, which is a new team-high this season, as well as a new career-high for the junior. Her previous best was eight blocks in a match, which she achieved twice this season already. Onabanjo also added eight kills to her stat line of the night, hitting a strong .300 in the process.
The Jayhawks will turn around and play the Cyclones again tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. in Ames.