AMES, Iowa – No. 22 Iowa State (12-7, 6-3 Big 12) beat No. 17 Kansas (19-4, 7-2 Big 12) in four sets (25-22, 25-21, 27-29, 25-23) Wednesday in Hilton Coliseum behind 17 kills from sophomore outside hitter Victoria Hurtt.
“This is a big win for us and helps us a lot,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “Kansas is very good; they are legit. They have a lot of offensive weapons and they are hard to slow down.”
After falling behind early in a third-set loss, the Cyclones again found themselves in a hole in the fourth set but rallied to tie the score at 18 on kills from Mackenzie Bigbee and Tory Knuth, followed by two Jayhawk errors. Unlike their comeback in set three, the Cyclones would not be denied after making their comeback. Iowa State got two big kills from Rachel Hockaday and a final Hurtt kill put an end to Kansas’ hopes, which gave the Cyclones their fourth win against a ranked team this season.
Hurtt led all players with her 17 kills in the match, making kills when the Cyclones needed them. Sara McClinton registered 14 kills in the match for Kansas, followed by Caroline Jarmoc with 13. Both teams struggled on offense with the Cyclones attacking at a .168 clip and the Jayhawks hitting .147.
The Cyclones were outblocked 14-8, but Jamie Straube was a force at the net for Iowa State with six block assists and 11 kills. Jarmoc had a solo block and eight block assists for Kansas.
Coming off the bench for the final two sets, redshirt freshman Tory Knuth added six kills, five in the third set, and collected two block assists. Libero Kristen Hahn recorded 24 digs and Hockaday finished with her 11th double-double of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs. Caitlin Nolan came one dig shy of her career high, grabbing 13 in the win.
Aces were the difference for the Cyclones in game one. Iowa State counted five aces to Kansas’ one in the opening game, which included two from Nolan. Kansas hit .273 in the set, compared to .196 by Iowa State. The Jayhawks also had more digs (19-14) and more blocks (3-2) than the Cyclones. Hurtt led all scorers with five kills in the game and Brianne Riley collected a game-high eight digs.
The teams swapped leads twice early in the second set, but Iowa State stayed a step ahead to take the 2-0 match lead. Once again, Iowa State hit under .200, putting up a .194 mark and added one ace and once block. Bigbee and Straube were two of four players in the game with three kills. Ten attack errors hurt Kansas, who hit just .049 in the set. As the teams headed to the locker rooms, both teams were hitting sub-.200.
Iowa State fell behind 10-3 in set three but eventually tied the set at 21 on a kill from Bigbee. Three consecutuve errors from the Jayhawks gave three match points to the Cyclones, but Iowa State committed three errors of its own to tie the score at 24. The teams alternated scoring during the next six points, but it was Kansas who pulled away on a kill from Sara and a Cyclone error that ended the set and put Kansas on the board.
Despite the setback, the Cyclones clinched the victory by winning the fourth set.
Knuth and Jarmoc each had five kills in the set. Knuth hit .444 in her first set of the night with one block assist.