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Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State outlasted by No. 14 Kansas

The+Cyclones+huddle+before+the+volleyball+game+begins+at+the+Iowa+State+vs.+Kansas+volleyball+game%2C+Hilton+Coliseum%2C+Nov.+10%2C+2023.+%0A
Maeley Rosengren
The Cyclones huddle before the volleyball game begins at the Iowa State vs. Kansas volleyball game, Hilton Coliseum, Nov. 10, 2023.

AMES — Down two sets to one, Iowa State was in the same situation in match two as in match one. A fifth set was forced, but unlike the first match, Iowa State fell short, losing to Kansas 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 18-25, 25-23, 19-17).

Iowa State won the first and fourth sets, and Kansas took sets two and three in both matches. The only difference in match two was that the Jayhawks ended up the victors.

The Cyclones stayed aggressive again all match, but Kansas found a little bit more on Saturday and stole a win.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from the second match between Iowa State and No. 14 Kansas:

Aggressive serving

One thing Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch has said all season is that serving is important. Teams that serve aggressively tend to stay in games longer, and Iowa State served with more aggression in both matches against Kansas.

Iowa State got 11 aces in the match, six coming in the opening set. The aggression also accounted for 11 service errors which tend to happen with aggressive serving.

“We’re serving well. I think we’re probably serving the best we have all season,” Johnson-Lynch said.

The 11 aces tied the season best for Iowa State this season. Maya Duckworth and Nayeli Gonzalez each had four aces, Brooke Stonestreet had two and Alexis Engelbrecht had one.

Hitters hit

Iowa State and Kansas each had 70 kills on the night. The 70 Cyclone kills is the second-highest total Iowa State has had all season.

Of the 70 Iowa State kills, 19 came from Lilly Wachholz, Duckworth and Gonzalez had 15, Engelbrecht had 14 and Jordan Hopp had seven.

For the second straight night, four Cyclones recorded 10 or more kills. The offense has started to become the focal point of Iowa State down the stretch.

“We’re getting there. We’re getting better,” Johnson-Lynch said. “[Wachholz] has really emerged in the last couple of weeks. I think that [Engelbrecht] has emerged in the last couple of weeks. We need as much as we can get of them.”

Jayhawks outlast Cyclones

Key areas Kansas excelled at were blocking and forcing attack errors. Defense was where Kansas grabbed some scores and forced Iowa State into some mistakes.

The Jayhawks had 13 defensive blocks and forced the Cyclones into 26 attack errors. Iowa State could only get seven blocks and forced 17 attack errors on defense.

Iowa State won both of its sets by two points. Kansas won its first two sets by five and seven. That ability to gain a few more points seemed to give Kansas a slight edge in the match heading to the fifth set.

“They played great. They made great adjustments and it was a great battle,” Johnson-Lynch said. “I’m so proud of how we played. You couldn’t get much closer than this, so I’m really proud of the weekend we put together and how we competed.”

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