Kansas volleyball returned home to play in its last matchup of the season at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena where it took on Iowa State, came back and stole the match 3-2.
The first set was not the start Kansas was looking for Wednesday. The Jayhawks were outmatched in the opening set, as the Cyclones were able to finish every attack with a kill. Iowa State was able to finish the set with an astronomical .591 hitting percentage, which is almost impossible to overcome for any team. Kansas was able to play well in the first, just not quite well enough to match the furious hitting by the Cyclones.
The Jayhawks finished the opener with a respectable .273 hitting percentage, and even controlled the ball well, committing only three errors. Kansas was able to open on the right foot, but dropped the first set 25-14.
The second set was much more competitive than the first. Kansas jumped out to a late 20-15 lead, as the team looked as if it would take the second set and have momentum going into the third. The Cyclones saw that and put their foot on the gas, rallying to a quick 6-0 run to take a one-point lead.
The Jayhawks were able to take advantage of the Cyclones' nine errors, along with their five service errors, which allowed Kansas to take its lead, but Kansas couldn’t come close to matching Iowa State's kill totals. The Cyclones tallied 19 kills compared to the Jayhawks' nine.
Iowa State junior middle blocker Candelaria Herrera and freshman outside hitter Michal Schuler had their way at the net against Kansas. Kansas went on to drop the second set 25-23 after the Cyclones went on a 6-0 run to take the lead and never looked back.
The third set was another fight, but the Jayhawks managed to come back. Both teams played very well, with Kansas securing a .389 hitting percentage and the Cyclones securing a .368. With Kansas freshman outside hitter Morgan Christon recording three kills in the team's final five points, Kansas was able to break away from Iowa State and steal the third set 25-22.
The fourth set was an all-out battle from both sides. Neither Kansas nor Iowa State hit well. Both teams’ hitting percentages were below the .200 mark, but Kansas was able to come away at the end, despite numerous runs made by the Cyclones. The Jayhawks made a late run of their own, bringing them a lead over their opponent, narrowly defeating the Cyclones in the fourth set 26-24 with an exciting final set to come.
The fifth set showed just how resilient the Jayhawks can be. Down two sets with the momentum all on the Cyclones side, the Jayhawks came back, winning three straight sets. Thanks to a 6-0 run to end the final set, Kansas took down Iowa State 15-12.
Redshirt senior Ashley Smith led Kansas with 20 kills, followed by 19 from Christon. The Jayhawks ended with .255 hitting percentage and raised their home record to 6-5.
Kansas will finish the season in West Virginia against the Mountaineers. The match is set for 12 p.m. Saturday.