LAWRENCE, Kansas – No. 18 Iowa State could not close out on a two-set lead as the Cyclones fell to No. 11 Kansas 3-2 (25-27, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 15-11) Wednesday night at the Horejsi Center. The loss drops ISU to 10-2 on the season, 1-1 in Big 12 play. KU improves to 13-2 overall, 2-0 in league play.
The Cyclone was led by double-doubles from Jess Schaben (season-high 18 kills, 10 digs), Monique Harris (season-high 53 assists, career-best 25 digs) and Alexis Conaway (season-high 15 kills, career-high 14 digs).
Set One: Iowa State 27 Kansas 25
The Cyclone defense did little to help the effort, as Kansas hit .667 en route to a 15-8 lead. ISU was able to recover via some strong transition offense, going on a 7-0 run to move ahead 18-17. The two teams kept the battle tight all the way to the end. It was the Jayhawks who got to set point first at 24-22, but ISU survived a pair of set points to extend the frame. ISU’s second set point came on a Grace Lazardkill, and was put away when Taylor Alexander fired her shot into the net at 27-25.
Set Two: Iowa State 25 Kansas 20
ISU’s momentum carried into the second set, as the Cyclones ran off five of the first six points of the frame. Lazard continued to cause problems for the Jayhawks, as she helped push ISU ahead 11-5 with three kills and a block in her shift up front. KU worked their way back into proceedings, cutting the Cyclone advantage to three on multiple occasions, but the Cyclones continued to find answers. Set point came up at 24-20 on a Samara West kill, and wrapped up on first asking on an Alexis Conaway kill.
Set Three: Kansas 25 Iowa State 20
Kansas got out quickly in the third, running ahead to a 6-3 lead after not leading at all in the second, but Izzy Enna knotted it back up with an ace at 6-6. The Jayhawks worked back ahead, but the Cyclone offense always kept it close. KU continued to lead, but ISU kept it close and eventually strung together a 4-0 run capped by a Genesis Miranda ace to move ahead 17-16. Monique Harris was called for an illegal attack to move KU back ahead 20-19, and the home side pushed ahead to set point at 24-20. KU extended the match with a Kayla Cheadle kill to make it 25-20.
Set Four: Kansas 25 Iowa State 16
A tight frame broke towards the Cyclones via a pair of Jada Burse errors to push ISU ahead 8-7. The lead moved up to 11-8, but was erased by the Jayhawks to 11-11. Iowa State was ahead 16-15, but Kansas went on a 10-0 run to close out the set and force a fifth at 25-16.
Set Five: Kansas 15 Iowa State 11
The Cyclones moved West to middle, and brought Hannah Bailey on to play RS to begin the fifth. Conaway and Lazard teamed for a block to put ISU ahead by a pair at 4-2. Iowa State was ahead 7-5, but Kansas went on a 7-0 to pull ahead 12-7. Schaben’s solo block made it a two-point set at 12-10 KU, but that was as close as ISU would get. Match point arrived at 14-10 KU, and was put away on the second asking when Kelsie Payne got her 22nd kill of the match at 15-11.
Iowa State’s Big 12 road swing continues on Friday at Texas Tech. First serve between the Cyclones and the Red Raiders will be at 6 p.m., with TexasTech.TV streaming the match.