No. 25 Iowa State ends eight-match winning streak


Daniel Jacobi II

Iowa State libero Brooke Stonestreet falls to the floor in a match against West Virginia.

AMES — No. 25 ranked Iowa State volleyball fell to Kansas State Friday night in Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones dropped their first game since Oct. 2 when they lost to the Wildcats in a road matchup.

Iowa State had won eight consecutive matches before the 3-1 loss in its return to Big 12 conference play.

“I feel like we should still be playing,” Iowa State head coach Cristy Johnson-Lynch said.

Iowa State fought hard to push the match to a fifth set but lost the fourth set in extra points by a final score of 28-26. In the fourth set, Eleanor Holthaus had six kills, Solei Thomas added four and Cyclone libero Brooke Stonestreet defended for six digs.

Iowa State, however, let the key fourth set slip away after having set point at 24-21. Set point was held by either team six times in the set.

Iowa State made two attack errors in the final points of the fourth set, including one to allow Kansas State to gain set point and another before the final kill was made by Kansas State’s Kadye Fernholz.

Kansas State completed a reverse sweep, winning the match by scores of 17-25, 25-13, 25-22 and 28-26.

“They [Kansas State] exposed us tonight,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We’ll learn from this match as painful as it is.”

Fernholz finished with 11 kills on 24 attempts in Friday night’s match. Fellow Kansas State middle blocker Sydney Bolding led her team with 14 kills with a .414 hitting percentage on the night.

Both teams tallied over 70 digs in the contest as long rallies extended play. Iowa State finished with 76 digs and eclipsed its season average of 13.9 digs per set with 19 digs per set in the match. Kansas State also totaled 72 digs.

Stonestreet recorded 25 digs against the Kansas State hitters from her libero position. The Iowa State sophomore holds an average of 4.41 digs per set for the 2022 season and finished Friday night’s match with 6.25 digs per set.

Stonestreet, playing in her first full season as Iowa State libero, earned back-to-back Big 12 Libero of the Week honors on Nov. 1. In Iowa State’s last 10 matches, Stonestreet has tallied over 20 digs five times, including her 32-dig performance in five sets against West Virginia.

Holthaus with 19 digs and freshman Maya Duckworth with 10 digs each recorded double-doubles. Duckworth posted 11 kills but 7 attack errors during the match.

When Iowa State last faced Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., the Wildcats challenged Iowa State from the service line. In the Oct. 2 loss, Kansas State finished with 11 service aces. On Friday night, the serve receive was much improved, Johnson-Lynch said.

Kansas State finished with six service aces in the match.

“This isn’t a devastating loss,” Johnson-Lynch said. “It’s a loss to a good team in conference that can beat anyone on any given night.”

Iowa State’s loss pushed it to third on the Big 12 conference standings. The Cyclones are now behind the 9-2 No. 11 ranked Baylor Bears. Iowa State has five Big 12 games remaining in the 2022 season.