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No. 22 Cyclones Down No. 17 Kansas, 3-1

AMES, Iowa – The No. 22 Iowa State volleyball team (12-7, 6-3 Big 12) beat No. 17 Kansas (19-4, 7-2 Big 12) in four sets (25-22, 25-21, 27-29, 25-23) Wednesday in Hilton Coliseum behind 17 kills from sophomore outside hitter, Victoria Hurtt.

“This is a big win for us and helps us a lot,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “Kansas is very good; they are legit. They have a lot of offensive weapons and they are hard to slow down.”

After falling behind early in their set three loss, the Cyclones again found themselves in a hole in the fourth set, down 14-18, but rally to tie the score 18-18 on kills from Mackenzie Bigbee and Tory Knuth, followed by two Jayhawk errors. Unlike their comeback in game three however, the Cyclones would not be denied after making their comeback. Iowa State got two big kills from Rachel Hockaday, and a final Hurtt kill put an end to Kansas’ hopes, giving the Cyclones their fourth win over a ranked team this season.

Hurtt lead all players with her 17 kills in the match, showing a knack for making clutch kills when the Cyclones needed them. Sara McClinton registered 14 kills in the match for Kansas, followed by Caroline Jarmoc with 13. Both teams struggled on offense, the Cyclones attacking at a .168 clip and the Jayhawks hitting .147.

The Cyclones were out-blocked 14-8 on the night, but Jamie Straube was a force at the net for Iowa State, with six block assists on the night and was second on the squad with 11 kills. Jarmoc had a solo block and eight block assists for Kansas.

Coming off the bench for the final two sets, redshirt freshman Tory Knuth added six kills, five in the third set, and collected two block assists. Libero Kristen Hahn recorded 24 digs and Hockaday finished with her 11th double-double of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs.  Caitlin Nolan came one dig shy of her career high, grabbing 13 in the win.

Aces were the difference for the Cyclones in game one. Iowa State counted five aces, to Kansas’ one in the opening game, including two from Nolan. Kansas hit .273 in the set, compared with .196 by Iowa State. The Jayhawks also had more digs (19-14) and more blocks (3-2) than the Cyclones. Hurtt led all scorers with five kills in the game and Brianne Riley collected a game-high eight digs.

The teams swapped leads twice early in the second set but Iowa State stayed a step ahead to take the 2-0 match lead. Once again, Iowa State hit under .200, putting up a .194 mark, adding one ace and once block to their night. Bigbee and Straube were two of four players in the game with three kills. Ten attack errors hurt Kansas, who hit just .049 in the set. As the teams headed to the locker rooms, both teams were hitting sub-.200 on the night.

Iowa State fell behind, 10-3, in game three but rallied, eventually tying the set at 21-21 on a kill from Bigbee. Three-straight errors from the Jayhawks gave three match points to the Cyclones but Iowa State committed three errors of its own to tie the score at 24-all. The teams alternated scoring over the next six points but it was Kansas who pulled away on a kill from Sara and a Cyclone error that ended the set and put Kansas on the board. Knuth and Jarmoc each had five kills in the set. Knuth hit .444 in her first set of the night with one block assist.

Iowa State is back on the road this weekend, headed to TCU for a 1 p.m. CST first serve.

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