Volleyball struggles offensively, drops match to Iowa State in three sets

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Gloria Mutiri and Peyton Williams block a spike during the KSU vs TCU match on Nov. 2, 2019. The Wildcats defeated the Horned Frogs in five sets in Ahearn Field House. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

After a full week of rest following a big three-set victory over TCU, the volleyball team was back in action in Ahearn Field House on Saturday night against an Iowa State team that didn’t allow the Wildcats a single set in their first meeting on Oct. 26. That trend continued in the second match-up, as Iowa State (16-8, 7-5) defeated Kansas State (8-15, 3-8) three sets to none, holding the Wildcats to just 30 total kills — a season-low.

K-State couldn’t get it going offensively. Freshman outside hitter Anna Dixon had the most kills on the night for K-State, recording eight. The Wildcats finished the night with a .108 hitting percentage compared to Iowa State’s .217.

Despite a slow start, K-State kept with the Cyclones throughout the majority of the first set, producing 11 kills and a .185 hit percentage. After falling in an 11-4 hole at the start, the Wildcats proceeded to mount a rally, tying the score at 14 after five straight points.

K-State held a 19-18 advantage going into the final stretch of the first set, but a run by the Cyclones ended the Wildcats’ hopes of taking a first set lead. Iowa State proceeded to score seven of the next 10 points, winning the set 25-21.

Iowa State stayed in front for the rest of the match while holding K-State below a .100 hit percentage in the next two sets.

ISU took the second set almost the same as the first, as another big Iowa State lead was brought down to just one point at 19-18 after another rally by K-State. The Cyclones finished the set strong once again, going on a 6-2 run to end the set at 25-20.

The trend of going down early and then rallying late continued for the Wildcats in the third set, trailing by as much as nine points, down 12-3 after eight Iowa State kills to start the set. The Wildcats brought the lead down to 19-17, but once again couldn’t finish. Iowa State scored six of the final seven points, taking the third set 25-18, sweeping K-State on the season and extending their win streak over the Wildcats to seven games.

Two players had double-digit kills for Iowa State on the night — sophomore right side Eleanor Holthaus and redshirt sophomore middle blocker Avery Rhodes both had ten kills. For the Wildcats, freshman defensive specialist Dru Kuck led the way in digs with 11, while redshirt freshman outside hitter Holly Bonde and redshirt junior middle blocker Peyton Williams ended their nights with three block assists. K-State had six total team blocks in the match.

K-State is on the road twice this week, starting it off with a huge test at No. 1 Texas on Wednesday night before traveling to Lawrence on Saturday to take on Kansas for the second the Sunflower Showdown this season.

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