Three Big Takeaways: Kansas shifts momentum, takes down Iowa State


Jacob Rice

Maya Duckworth leaps for a kill during an exhibition game versus Missouri on Aug. 19.

Iowa State volleyball lost the momentum and then the match Saturday afternoon against Kansas.

The Cyclones won the first two sets of the road Big 12 conference matchup. But the Jayhawks got the momentum on their side and won the final three sets by convincing margins.

Tides turn

Iowa State finished a tight first set with a 3-0 run to take an edge over Kansas early on. Kills from senior Eleanor Holthaus and Maya Duckworth gave the Cyclones set point. Then a tandem block by Duckworth and Brooke Stonestreet gave Iowa State the win.

In the next set, Iowa State survived to take a 2-0 lead in the match. But signs began to show the momentum of the match had shifted.

In the second, Kansas went on a 6-0 run to tie the set at 21. Two attack errors by Iowa State and two kills by Ayah Elnady provided a morale boost for Kansas.

The Cyclones survived the second, winning 25-22, but in the next three sets Kansas built on the momentum gained late in the second set.

In the third, Kansas got three consecutive kills from Elnady and earned the biggest set win of the day. The Jayhawks ended the third ahead of the Cyclones 25-14.

Elnady became the match’s leading scorer, finishing with 19 kills on 58 swings on the ball.

In the fourth, Kansas’ momentum continued. The Jayhawks earned the set win 25-18. And in the fifth, Kansas started the set on a 9-1 scoring run. They finished off the Cyclones with a 15-8 win.

Duckworth’s hot streak continues

For Iowa State, freshmen Maya Duckworth continued her run and stellar debut season as a Cyclone. Duckworth was Iowa State’s leading scorer with 14 kills on 41 attempts. She added 11 digs to her box score to complete another double-double.

Saturday’s performance marked the fifth straight match Duckworth has recorded double-figure scoring. In the last five matches, the reigning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week has recorded three double-doubles.

Duckworth notched 10 digs against Texas and Kansas State while scoring 10 and 11 kills for Iowa State in those matches.

In her first season in Ames, Duckworth ranks second on the Cyclones in total kills. She sits behind only the senior Holthaus, who ranks fifth all-time in kills for Iowa State.

One more

The 18-11 Cyclones will have one final match on Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum.

Iowa State will honor its senior class, including Holthaus, for its final performance in Ames and look to add one more Big 12 conference win to its resume before the postseason begins.

The NCAA volleyball tournament welcomes the 32 automatic qualifiers, who must win their conference, and 32 at-large bids.

Iowa State, who received votes in the latest top-25 poll, will need to earn an at-large bid from the selection committee on Nov. 27 to participate in the NCAA tournament.