Kansas snaps ISU volleyball’s 7-match win streak


Suhaib Tawil/Iowa State Daily

No. 12 Tory Knuth spikes the ball into the Jayhawk defense on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Hilton Coliseum.

Mike Randleman

No. 24 Iowa State saw its seven-match winning streak begin and end at the hands of No. 22 Kansas.

On Wednesday, the No. 22 Jayhawks (21-6, 11-3 Big 12) defeated the No. 24 Cyclones (17-7, 10-3 Big 12) in four sets (25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20) at Hilton Coliseum.

“I think we struggled to get a competitive sense going,” said sophomore right side hitter Mackenzie Bigbee. “I thought we went on runs, and then we had our lulls.”

Those lulls, said ISU coach Christy Johnson-Lynch, were attributed to a poor offensive outing, notably in the team’s serving.

“We missed them at some bad times, times when we maybe had an opportunity to make a run when we needed to,” Johnson-Lynch said of the Cyclones’ 12 service errors. “We’re the best serving team in the Big 12 and when you take that away, what are you left with?”

As a result, Iowa State was left with only four service aces to Kansas’ nine, a battle Iowa State often wins.

Though they struggled to attain momentum throughout the match, the Cyclones jumped out to a 3-0 start in the first set and appeared poised to stretch their winning streak to eight matches.

Kansas had other plans, though, and the Jayhawks took the next six points and did not relinquish the lead en route to winning the set. It was Iowa State’s first dropped set since their match against Texas Tech on Oct. 30.

All four sets were within reach for both teams, but Kansas, led by outside hitter Chelsea Albers’ 14 kills, was the team able to surge late in sets.

On the night, Iowa State was led by a career-high 15 kills from redshirt sophomore middle blocker Tory Knuth.

Though Knuth gave credit to Kansas’ blocking defense in holding down Iowa State’s team offense, she attributed her individual success to her passers.

“Just connecting well with [setter] Jenelle [Hudson],” Knuth said of the key to her kills. “The passers were putting up good balls so that makes it easier for me to attack.”

Senior libero Kristen Hahn led the team with 22 digs and redshirt freshman outside hitter Morgan Kuhrt stepped up with nine kills after receiving increased playing time in substituting for freshman starter Ciara Capezio.

“She has shown an ability to come in and make an impact,” Johnson-Lynch said of Kuhrt. “Ciara was struggling a little bit … but Morgan seized the opportunity and she did a fantastic job. Not only did she attack, but she blocked really well.”

The Cyclones will return to the court on Saturday at TCU with first serve at

1 p.m.