The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
AMES, Iowa – Iowa State and Kansas played one of the best Big 12 matches in recent memory, but the Cyclones came out on top 3-2 (18-25, 25-16, 25-17, 21-25, 15-12) Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum. The win elevates ISU to 11-7 overall, 3-4 in Big 12 play. Kansas falls to 15-6 overall, 3-4 in conference.
Caitlin Nolan tied a Big 12 record and set an Iowa State record with 43 digs. Ciara Capezio led the ISU offense with 16 kills, while Victoria Hurtt chipped in 13 kills.
Story of the Match
Kansas was in control of the first set from the start. However, Iowa State was able to hang in there and were able to use a 3-0 run to reduce the KU lead down to 17-15. A Capezio service error saw the demise of ISU’s first set chances as KU went on an 8-3 run to close out the set, capped off by a kill from Kelsie Payne to give the Jayhawks the first, 25-18.
ISU did not waste any time getting over the first set loss, running the first five points of the second frame. There was never really a path back for Kansas as ISU put the pressure on the entire way, seeing its block step up while hitting .320 on the offensive end. After failing to convert its first two set points, KU setter Ainise Havili saw her serve sail wide and ISU took the second 25-16.
It was déjà vu in the third as Iowa State again ran out to a 5-0 advantage to start the frame. The Cyclones got off to a relentless start to the third frame, opening up a 14-4 advantage. Though Kansas built their way back in, reducing the lead to 18-12, there was never any doubt as to who would come out on top. Hurtt fired a kill to end the third in ISU’s favor 25-17.
The fourth set finally presented a close competition as both teams saw the lead in the early proceedings. KU was able to find a 4-0 run to move ahead 13-10. ISU battled back to tie the set at 15-15, but once again Kansas found separation with another 4-0 run to move back ahead 23-18. Mackenzie Bigbee was blocked by Payne and Madison Rigdon, giving KU the fourth 25-21.
Iowa State flew out of the gates in the fifth set, running out to a 7-3 advantage, with Capezio leading the way with three kills. KU fought back with three in a row and eventually tied the set at 8-8. After that came the rally of the season for Iowa State, a back-and-forth affair that saw both teams make multiple outstanding defensive plays to keep the point alive. Finally, Hurtt powered a kill down to give ISU a 9-8 lead it would not relinquish. Samara West came up with some big kills down the stretch to help steer ISU on its way. Capezio closed the match by firing a kill down in the back-corner, it was originally ruled out by the line judge, but the head official intervened and called it a kill to end the match and send ISU home victorious.
Cyclone Match Ball Goes to…
Caitlin Nolan. It is the role of the libero to take the brunt of shots and actively lead the defense, but it is a role that needs to be embraced and executed and Nolan did that tonight. The numbers speak for themselves, a school-record and Big 12 record-tying 43 digs. Nolan also committed no service receiving errors on the night.
*Iowa State is now on a seven match winning streak at Hilton Coliseum. Its only home losses in 2014 have come to current AVCA Coaches Poll No. 1 Stanford and No. 4 Florida State.
*The Cyclones out-dug Kansas 83-72 in the match, marking the 15 time in 18 matches this year ISU has had more digs than its opponent.
*Mackenzie Bigbee had her fourth consecutive match with at least 10 kills, finishing with 10.
*Caitlin Nolan set the Iowa State record and tied a Big 12 record with her 43 digs. The previous ISU record was 42 by Ashley Mass against Baylor in 2009. The Big 12 record is shared with Kansas’ Brianne Riley, who had 43 at Oklahoma in 2013.
*Nolan had the fourth 40-plus dig match in school history. The other three were by Mass (42, Baylor ’09), Steph McCannon (41, Colorado ’95) and Jenny York (40, UMKC ’89).
*Nolan’s 43 digs ties for the fourth-most by a player in the country this season.
*Samara West finished with 10 kills for the fourth time this season.
*Victoria Hurtt’s 13 kills marked her eighth match this season, 45th of her career, with at least 10 kills.
*Ciara Capezio’s 16 kills was her eighth match with at least 10 kills this season.
Iowa State is back on the road to take on Baylor. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. in Waco.