Iowa State Beats Baylor 3-2 in NCAA Tournament Bubble Showcase

  0 Braden Keith | November 24th, 2016 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Stats

The Baylor Bears were aggressive in their non-conference scheduling, and won 6 of their first 8 Big 12 games, but several stumbles late in the season has them trending toward being out of the NCAA tournament when selections are announced on Sunday.

The latest trip came in a 3-2 loss to Iowa State on Wednesday, their third-straight 5 set match, and the second of which they’ve lost.

It was an offensive game, with Iowa State out-hitting the Bears .312-.288, including 9 aces. Jess Schaben and Morgan Kuhrt tied to lead the Cyclones with 16 kills each. The Cyclones had 3 players with double digit kids, and the three combined for a .449 hitting percentage.

Baylor fell in spite of 32 kills from Katie Staiger. She piled them up big early, going for 7, 9, and 9 in the first 3 sets. But 7 kills and 3 errors in sets 4 and 5, both of which Iowa State won, was enough to sink the game.

That loss drops Baylor to 9-6 in the Big 12 and into a tie for 3rd place with Iowa State. Their final game is against top-10 program Kansas, while Iowa State plays a winnable game against Oklahoma, and Kansas State plays a winnable game against Texas Tech. If those three games all go as presented, that would mean losses in 3 of Baylor’s last 4,in 4 of their last 6, and being tied for 4th in a 9-team Big 12.


Press Releases

Courtesy Iowa State Athletics:

WACO, Texas – Iowa State battled back from 2-1 down to defeat Baylor 3-2 (27-25, 14-25, 22-25, 25-11, 15-9) Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center. The win moves ISU to 17-10 overall and moves into a tie for third in the Big 12 at 9-6. Baylor falls to 21-10 on the year and 9-6 in conference play.

Morgan Kuhrt led Iowa State with 16 kills at a career-best .583 hitting percentage. Jess Schaben also had 16 kills, while Samara WestClick here to hear it posted 12 kills. Hali HillegasClick here to hear it led the ISU defense with 23 digs.

ISU Rallies Back to Take Set One
Jess Schaben delivered a pair of solo blocks to kick off the set to help establish the Cyclones at the net. While one sophomore did work on defense, it was another doing damage on offense as Grace LazardClick here to hear it put down her first three shots for kills. The Cyclone offense dominated early, recording eight kills on their first nine swings as the lead moved to six at 13-7. Baylor inched its way back into the set, eventually tying it at 19-19 and taking its first lead at 22-21, both achievements coming on ISU attack errors. Iowa State got back via a strong serving run from Abby Phillips, who fired an ace to get ISU a set point at 24-23. After missing a pair of chances, ISU got it on the third chance when BU’s Nicole Thomas was in the net trying to put away an overpass at 27-25.

Baylor Leads Whole Way to Take Second
ISU found itself in a hole early, as Baylor got six of the first seven points of the set in its favor. The Cyclones got to work on the comeback with Lazard running off three-straight behind the service line to cut the home side’s advantage to 7-5. However, BU thwarted the Cyclones’ effort to get back into set, building the lead up to seven points at 17-10. There was no patch back for ISU, as Baylor arrived at set point at 24-13, and evened the match when Anna Philo fired down the line at 25-14.

Bears Pull Away to Take 2-1 Lead
Iowa State found some points via the service game, with Suzanne Horner and Genesis MirandaClick here to hear it firing early aces as ISU got ahead 7-4. However, Baylor got back into it, continuing to feed Katie Staiger, who passed 20 kills early in the set as the Bears got ahead 11-9. ISU wasted no time getting back ahead, going on a 4-0 run with Samara WestClick here to hear it providing three point the points with a pair of blocks and a kill to make it 14-13 Cyclones. The lead continued to be traded, as Baylor moved ahead 17-16, ISU found its way in front at 18-17 and BU got back ahead at 20-19. This time, the Bears were able to keep their lead as set point arrived at 24-20 BU, and was put away on the third try when Nicole Thomas fired one through the block at 25-22 Bears.

Cyclone Defense Steps Up to Force a Fifth Set
The Cyclones again served strong early, allowing ISU to build to a 9-2 advantage which included a pair of service aces. The Iowa State defense finally got involved, restricting the BU attack to a .154 hitting percentage in the set. From there, the Cyclone offense was on-form, firing at .583 for the set, with Morgan Kuhrt in particular continuing her strong match on the right side. The lead would get up to as many as 13 points in the set. Iowa State got to set point at 24-11, and was finished off on first asking when Conaway fired a kill on the quick at 25-11.

Kuhrt Leads Cyclones to Victory
Kuhrt was the go-to Cyclone to get ISU ahead as she had three kills during her front-row pass to help Iowa State get ahead 8-5 at the switch. The Cyclone offense continued to produce, but the visitors ran into Staiger again, as the redshirt junior put her kill total into the 30s to cut the ISU advantage to one at 10-9. That was the last time BU would make the scoreboard tick, as the Cyclones took advantage of a pair of Baylor attack errors to take it to 13-9. Lazard fired one off the block to move to match point, which Kuhrt took care of with her 16th kill of the evening at 15-9.

Cyclone Notes
*Iowa State finished with nine service aces, a season-high.
*ISU’s .583 hitting percentage in the fourth set was its best hitting clip in a set on the season. Its previous best was .483 on two occasions.
*The Cyclones are now 4-5 in five-set matches in 2016.
*Morgan Kuhrt fired 16 kills, the third time in the last four matches she has been in double figures for kills. She has had at least 10 kills seven times in 2016 and for the 32nd time in her career.
*Kuhrt’s .583 hitting percentage is a careeer-high. Hre previous-best was hitting .500 at TCU last season.
*Samara WestClick here to hear it recorded 12 kills, her fifth double-figures effort of the season and 16th of her career.
*Jess Schaben fired 16 kills, her fifth-straight match in double figures, 17th of the season and 36th of her career.
*Schaben also had three solo blocks, a new career-best. Her previous best was two against Miami (FL) in the NCAA Volleyball Championship First Round last season.
*Hali HillegasClick here to hear it recorded 23 digs, her eighth match of the season with at least 20 digs and third in a row. She has posted at least 10 digs in 16-straight matches.

Up Next
Iowa State closes out the regular season on Saturday against Oklahoma. First serve between the Cyclones and Sooners will be at 8 p.m. with the match televised on Cyclones.TV Powered by Mediacom.

Courtesy Baylor Athletics:

With 21 wins, including a plus-.500 record in Big 12 Conference play, an RPI in the low 40s and four wins against RPI top-50 teams, Baylor may be in a good shape to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2011.

However, if Baylor’s name is not called in Sunday’s selection show (8 p.m. CT, ESPNU), the Bears likely can point to a pair of five-set losses in an eight-day span in November as the pin that burst their bubble. One week after dropping a tooth-and-nail five-setter at TCU, the Bears (21-10, 9-6) squandered a two-sets-to-one lead at the Ferrell Center against Iowa State (17-10, 9-6). The Cyclones, who have won seven of eight since falling to Baylor in Ames five weeks ago, steamrolled the Bears 25-11 in set four and 15-9 in the final stanza.

“It was a very frustrating loss, for me personally,” head coach Ryan McGuyre said. “The team tonight did not reflect some of the core values and training principles that have been important to us all year. Ultimately, that’s a reflection of the head coach in making sure they’re doing that, inspiring them to do that, motivating them to do that.”

Baylor fell behind by as many as six points on three occasions in the first set, but rallied to snag a 23-21 lead. After the Cyclones recaptured the lead with three straight points, the Bears staved off two set points before an attack error gave Iowa State the 27-25 victory.

The second set was all Baylor. The Bears allowed consecutive points only three times en route to a 25-14 win. Baylor hit .310 (14 kills, two errors, 31 attempts) in the second set while holding ISU to a .081 mark (10-7-37).

Baylor pulled away late in a back-and-forth third set, using a 6-1 run to build a 24-20 lead. Iowa State fought off a couple set points before Nicole Thomas ended the set with a kill.

But, that is where the match turned. Iowa State hit .200 (37-17-100) through the first three sets but tallied 27 kills against only three errors in 41 swings (.585 attack percentage) the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the Bears had 44 kills over the first three games but managed only 16 kills over the final two sets.

Katie Staiger terrorized Iowa State for the first three sets with kill totals of seven, nine and nine, respectively, against only four errors. However, the Cyclones limited her to seven kills against three errors in sets four and five.

Even before the final two sets, Baylor struggled in the serve receive game all night. Iowa State tallied nine service aces, the most against the Bears this season.

“We weren’t ready to battle,” McGuyre said. “We’ve only been good this year because we’ve shown up ready to battle. Tonight, we didn’t battle the way we know how to, and we’re disappointed in the outcome.”

Staiger finished with 32 kills, tied for the seventh-best match total in program history and the most by a Baylor player since 2001 when Stevie Nicholas tied Elisha Polk’s school record of 36 in a five-set match at Kansas. Along the way, Staiger eclipsed Polk’s single-season Baylor record for kills and now has 642 — 58 shy of the Big 12 record (700) established by Texas A&M’s Laura Jones in 2004.

Aniah Philo had 13 kills, and Camryn Freiberg added nine. Thomas led the Bears with seven blocks. Baylor concludes the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m., hosting No. 4 Kansas (25-2, 14-1). The Jayhawks, who have won 13 straight, would clinch the Big 12 title with a win, ending Texas’ five-year reign.

WACO, Texas – Baylor volleyball (21-10, 9-6 Big 12) saw a 2-1 lead slip away, falling to the Iowa State Cyclones (17-10, 9-6 Big 12), 25-27, 25-14, 25-22, 11-25, 9-15, on Wednesday evening in the Ferrell Center.
The BU offense was paced by Katie Staiger, with the redshirt junior logging 32 kills to break the Baylor record for single-season kills.

With her 11th kill in the match, Staiger topped Elisha Polk’s program record for kills in a season (620, 1998), now holding the top spot with 642 kills and counting this year.

In set one, the Bears let a late lead at 23-21 slip away, with the Cyclones closing out the frame on a 6-2 run to steal the 1-0 match lead.

In the second, BU bounced back in a big way, tying the match at 1-1 with a 25-14 win, holding ISU to a .081 hitting clip while the Bears hit .387.

In the third, Baylor took a 25-22 set win, taking a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Cyclones took control in the fourth and fifth, hitting .583 and .588 to take the final two sets and the match.

• Katie Staiger (32 kills) set a new season and career-high in kills, posting the fourth-highest match kill total in program history.
• Staiger (642) passed Stevie Nicholas (613, 2000) and Elisha Polk (613, 1997 and 620, 1998) to set a new Baylor record for the most kills in a single-season.
• Nicole Thomas (7 blocks) set a new season and career-high in blocks.

“Very frustrating loss. It was frustrating for me, personally, because the team didn’t reflect some of the core values from training that have been important to us all year. It’s ultimately on me in making sure they’re doing that, inspiring them to do that, motivating them to do that. Sometimes you could just see looks on faces where we weren’t ready to battle. We’ve only been good this year because we showed up ready to battle, and know the outcome, we can’t control. Tonight we didn’t battle like we know how to and we were disappointed with the outcome.” – Baylor head coach Ryan McGuyre

15-2 – Baylor’s record in matches where BU has led 2-1 under Coach McGuyre, falling to 8-1 this season and 3-1 in Big 12 play.

Baylor closes the regular season, hosting Kansas for Senior Night on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. in the Ferrell Center.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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