Iowa State looks to repeat history against Kansas


Daniel Jacobi II

Morgan Brandt celebrates after the team gains a point in the game against Texas Tech on Saturday Nov. 12, 2022.

Iowa State looks to reclaim a winning record on the road against Kansas Saturday. The Cyclones have struggled away from Hilton Coliseum recently, but an opportunity to top Kansas could spark some late-season momentum.

The last time Iowa State faced the Jayhawks, a tightly contested 3-1 win helped spark the Cyclones’ eight-match winning streak. The team is in need of a similar spark after dropping three of its last four matches.

“Once you get to like late October, November, (every match) feels critical,” head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said.

Iowa State was able to scrap out a critical win the last time the two teams faced off. Although the Cyclones breezed past Kansas in the first set, the final two were decided by four points combined.

Long rallies and tight sets characterized the match, and Iowa State stepped up in multiple critical moments. The close win evened out the team’s conference record, and at that point in the season, Big 12 wins were challenging to secure.

“We’re fighting for our lives a little bit in the conference, and so I would honestly say every single match is key,” Johnson-Lynch said following Iowa State’s win.

The Cyclones are now stuck in a similar rut, most recently dropping their road matchup 3-1 against No. 15 Baylor. Iowa State was competitive, capturing the third set 25-19, but the team fell short in the fourth 26-24.

With the loss, Iowa State locked itself out of a top-two spot in the conference. The Cyclones are tied for third place with TCU, both with a 9-5 conference record.

Iowa State will look to bounce back against Kansas Saturday, taking advantage of its strong frontcourt of junior Alexis Engelbrecht and freshman Kelsey Perry. Engelbrecht was dominant against the Jayhawks previously, shutting down their attacking lane and finding 11 kills in the win.

Iowa State will face Kansas on the road 11 a.m. Saturday.