Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State falls to Kansas State in straight sets


Daniel Jacobi II

Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch and her team huddle during a timeout in Iowa State’s upset win over No. 13 Baylor.

Kansas State completed a sweep of Iowa State volleyball Sunday afternoon, halting the team’s momentum and moving the Cyclones to 1-2 in the Big 12.

Iowa State traveled to Kansas State fresh off an upset victory over No. 13 Baylor on Wednesday night. Iowa State gained its first Big 12 conference victory in the thrilling 3-1 match. Kansas State, who was searching for its first Big 12 win on Sunday, stopped the Iowa State momentum and prevented back-to-back wins for the Cyclones.

The Wildcats commanded the match, taking all three sets and moving Iowa State’s record to 9-7 on the season. 

A tale of two serves

The Wildcats proved to be the more effective squad serving the ball in Sunday’s conference battle. 

In the first set alone, Iowa State struggled to consistently challenge the Kansas State defense on the serve. The Cyclones posted six service errors in the first frame. 

In spite of the service mistakes, the Cyclones rallied to force a Kansas State timeout with the score 14-14. Kansas State, however, gained the edge in the first set thanks to six service aces by the Wildcats, including three down the stretch. Kansas State had the lead 1-0 after a 25-18 first set. 

The service trend held, and Kansas State finished the match with 11 service aces as they captured the next two sets. 

The Wildcats won the second set 26-24 and completed the sweep after a 25-20 third set. 

Iowa State finished with eight service errors and two service aces in the match. 

A tight second

The teams traded blows in the second set of the match, and Iowa State threatened Kansas State’s lead with a 6-0 scoring run. 

The match was tied 11 times, but Kansas State kept the Cyclones at bay as they earned the set win. 

In the second set, senior Iowa State hitter Eleanor Holthaus made her fifth kill of the match and 200th of the season. Holthaus continued her streak of offensive prowess in Sunday’s match. Again, she led the way for Iowa State, posting 10 kills on 26 swings. Holthaus added 10 digs to her box score in the Iowa State loss. 

Holthaus earned 20 kills Wednesday night against Baylor and continues to climb up the Iowa State all-time kill leaders list. She is now 11 kills away from tying fifth-best all-time Cyclone volleyball producer. 

Sunday the senior earned her 24th double-double of the season. 

‘Really deep conference’

Iowa State’s win over the Bears on Wednesday night was a marquee win for the program. But, Sunday’s sweep revealed the relentless nature of the team’s Big 12 conference schedule. 

The Cyclones will need to replicate the intensity that took down a top-15 nationally ranked opponent every time out as they fight for a position in a crowded conference landscape. 

“Obviously Baylor’s a great team, but everyone else in the Big 12 is just as good as they are,” said junior middle blocker Abby Greiman following the upset over the No. 13 ranked Bears. “We have a really deep conference, and I think every single night we’re going to have to play like that. 

Iowa State will now return to Hilton Coliseum to face Kansas on Friday.