Wildcats Fall in Five

AMES, Iowa The No. 13 Kansas State Wildcats battled with Iowa State on the road but could not come up with the victory in another five-set match. For the second straight time on the road, K-State (17-4, 7-3 Big 12) went the distance with its opponent falling 25-20, 14-25, 25-13, 21-25, 8-15.


Iowa State (13-8, 5-5) played efficiently in the sets it won hitting .419, .359 and .450 in those stanzas. It was the opposite for the Wildcats in those sets as they hit .088, .237 and .100. When K-State won its sets, it was the other way around as the Wildcats hit .342 to open the match and .462 in the third set to take a 2-1 lead before Iowa State made the comeback.


The Wildcats were led by Rita Liliom with 20 kills on the night and Nataly Korobkova had another solid night with 16 kills. Chipman also contributed 10 kills without an attack error and led the team in blocks with four assists. Jantsch led the team with 16 kills and also had nine kills, but all the Wildcats’ effort was not enough to get the road win.


The first set saw the Cyclones hang around closely with the Wildcats thanks in part to a number of serving errors. K-State out-hit Iowa State .342 to .108 to win the set 25-20. With the set tied 8-8 the Wildcats accounted for half of Iowa State’s points with service errors. K-State would turn the pressure up, however, as its offense performed efficiently the rest of the way. The Cyclones went on a three-point run to pull within two points near the end of the set, but the Wildcats closed the set on a four-point run to close the door on the opening set.


Korobkova tallied five kills in the first set. Jantsch added four, while Liliom had three. Megan Farr and Kelsey Chipman each had two kills as setter Soriana Pacheco distributed the ball evenly.


The second set, however, was a completely different story.


Iowa State came out swinging and it was the Wildcats who could not get things moving offensively. K-State only scored consecutive points twice in the set and never scored more than three in a row while Iowa State went on a five-point run to put the set out of reach.


The Cyclones hit .419 in the second set en route to the 25-14 win. K-State hit just .088 in the second set with eight attack errors.


After struggling in the second set, the Wildcats came back in the third opening an early lead and forcing Iowa State to use both its timeouts. A four-point run gave K-State the 8-3 lead and a 4-1 streak kept the lead at five points 13-8. The Wildcats would continue applying the pressure opening a 10-point lead at 20-10 by continuing the run to 11-3.


The Wildcats spread the ball around offensively again in the third set seeing Jantsch, Chipman and Liliom play big roles in the 25-13 win. K-State hit .462 in the set and held Iowa State to .233 as the Wildcats had just one attack error.


In the fourth set, both teams battled back and forth early before a four-point run by the Cyclones gave them an 11-9 lead. Iowa State would extend the lead to 17-14 forcing K-State to use a timeout with the Cyclones hitting at a .435 clip up to that point in the set.


The Wildcats battled back within three points at 24-21 but could not complete the comeback and the Cyclones forced a fifth and final set. It was K-State’s second consecutive road match to go five sets.


To open the fifth set, Iowa State went on a quick 3-0 run to gain the early advantage 4-1 thanks to a hitting and blocking error by the Wildcats. K-State could not slow the Cyclones however, as they rolled to the win 15-8 in the final set to upset the Wildcats.


K-State will complete its road trip for the week when the Wildcats travel to Waco, Texas, to take on the Baylor Bears at 7 p.m.