AMES, Iowa – Iowa State was able to take the first set off No. 6 Kansas, but were unable to get anymore as the Jayhawks defeated ISU 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-19) Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum. KU improves to 14-2 overall on the season, 3-1 in the Big 12. The Cyclones are now 8-7 on the season and 1-3 against conference competition.
Hali Hillegas recorded a career-high 29 digs in defeat, while Jess Schaben led the ISU offense with her second-straight double-double at 15 kills and 18 digs. Ciara Capezio also had a double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs. However, ISU was hampered by Kansas’ 15.5 total blocks and All-American Kelsie Payne’s 18 kills at a .318 hitting percentage.
Iowa State Pushes Ahead to Take First Set
The Cyclones were able to take advantage of a trio of attack errors by the Jayhawks to get ahead 5-1. However, KU wasted no time getting back into things, as they were ahead at 10-8 after back-to-back Maggie Anderson aces. ISU battled back, balancing out the offense with Jess Schaben, Alexis Conawayand Morgan Kuhrt all contributing to bring ISU a 17-14 lead. Kansas battled back, as another strong serving run from Anderson got KU ahead at 19-18. Ciara Capezio got a kill to get Iowa State back in front 21-20, which KU turned around to get ahead 22-21, before the Cyclones got the edge back at 23-22 when Capezio and Conaway blocked Kelsie Payne. Conaway brought up set point at 24-22 with a kill, which was converted on the second effort on a Kuhrt kill at 25-23.
Mid-Set Run Enough for Jayhawks to Even Match
Iowa State was able to rely on some good blocking to get an early edge in the second set at 8-5. However, the Jayhawks went on a crucial 4-0 run to get ahead 9-8, a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the set. KU went on a mid-set 6-1 run to pull ahead 15-10 as the Cyclone offense struggled to a .094 hitting percentage for the frame. Kansas would get up 20-13, though ISU was able to cut the gap to three at 24-21 later on. The Jayhawks wrapped up the set when Tayler Soucie fired a shot off the top of the block to give KU the set 25-21 and tie the match.
Kansas Hangs On to Move Ahead 2-1
ISU dug itself in an early hole, with a consecutive trio of attack errors putting Kansas ahead 4-1. ISU battled back to within one, but Kansas was able to push ahead again, moving its lead to 11-6. Iowa State battled back, cutting the KU advantage down to two at 21-19 as the Cyclones continued to spread out the offensive wealth. However, Kansas was able to close out the set by going to its big-time arm as Kelsie Payne posted back-to-back kills to help bring up set point at 24-20. ISU was able to battle off a pair of set points, but KU got the 2-1 lead when Patricia Montero sent one down the line to make it 25-22 Jayhawks.
Payne Powers Kansas to Win
Once again, the Cyclones were second out of the gate, as the Jayhawks battled ahead to a 6-1 advantage. ISU struggled to get back into proceedings as Kansas fed its First Team All-American Kelsie Payne. The junior finished the fourth set with seven kills on 10 swings with no errors. KU’s other First Team All-American, setter Ainise Havili, closed things out for the Jayhawks as she won a 50-50 at the net on their second match point to claim the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
*Alexis Conaway notched 10 kills, her third match of the season in double figures and 18th of her career.
*Grace Lazard had 13 kills, the second time in her career she has reached double digits.
*Ciara Capezio posted 12 kills and 14 digs, her second double-double of the season and 26th of her career.
*Jess Schaben finished with 15 kills and 18 digs, her second-straight double-double and third of 2016.
*Hali Hillegas recorded a career-high 29 digs, her first career-match over 20 digs. Her previous career-best was 18 at UNI on Sept. 13.
Iowa State travels to Austin to take on No. 4 Texas on Saturday. First serve between the Cyclones and Longhorns will be at 7 p.m., with Longhorn Network televising the game.