Cyclones lose in straight sets to Kansas State, remain third in Big 12

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Iowa State senior Candelaria Herrera goes up for a kill against Kansas State on Nov. 11 (Photo courtesy of Luke Lu/Iowa State Athletics)

Aaron Hickman

On Senior Day, and in another important match, the Cyclones fell short in their last home match of the 2021 season with a straight-set loss to Kansas State.

Iowa State got out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first set before a Brooke Andersen service error gave the Wildcats their first point. Eleanor Holthaus was a big part of the early run just like she was in Thursday’s win, with three kills in the team’s first five points.

Kansas State responded with an 8-3 run that tied the set up and forced a timeout by the Cyclones. After some back and forth, a big kill by Kenzie Mantz continued a scoring run that put Iowa State up 17-14 and forced a timeout by the Wildcats. The set would come down to the wire, and Kansas State was able to take it 25-23.

The Cyclones got off to a rough start defensively in the second set, allowing the opposition to hit .615 before taking a timeout down 10-6. The rest of the set wasn’t very competitive, as the Wildcats hit .545 and cruised to a 25-13 win to go up 2-0 in the match.

Starting out pretty flat once again in the third set, Kansas State was up 9-5 before a 4-0 run by Iowa State tied things up. The set stayed pretty tight from that point on, as both sides battled to a 23-23 tie. A Kadye Fernholtz kill and error by the Cyclones’ offense won the set 25-23 and match 3-0 for the Wildcats.

Holthaus led the Cyclones offensively with 11 kills, while Jaden Newsome contributed 24 assists and 11 digs. Candelaria Herrera had six kills and three blocks in her final match at Hilton Coliseum, and Marija Popovic tallied 11 digs.

The third-place Cyclones travel to Waco, Texas, next week for two big matches against the Baylor Bears to end the season. Once again, final standings in the Big 12 will be at stake.