With a 3-1 loss to Baylor on Wednesday, Iowa State fell to 12-13 overall with four more games left to be played.
Iowa State lost the first set 25-13 and the second 25-19, but the Cyclones won the third set 25-19 to avoid a sweep. Baylor took the match with a 25-21 fourth set win.
Jess Schaben dominates
Against Baylor, senior Jess Schaben set a season-high for herself with a 26-kill effort on a .344 hitting percentage.
Schaben was one kill away from tying Victoria Henson, who set the school record in 2008, for the most kills in a four-set match during the rally scoring era.
The previous two seasons have seen Schaben being named to the AVCA Honorable Mention All-American team, and Schaben has been an offensive focal point for Iowa State all year with her ability to attack the defense from the front and back rows.
Iowa State suffers without Grace Lazard
Despite Schaben’s strong night, the other Cyclones' offensive output sputtered.
No other Cyclone had double digit kills, and they failed to hit with efficient hitting percentages as a team. Iowa State’s next player with the most kills was middle blocker Candelaria Herrera, who had nine kills and a .217 hitting percentage.
After not traveling to play TCU on Saturday, Iowa State coach Christy Johnson-Lynch announced Lazard was in the middle of a two-game suspension.
Johnson-Lynch did not comment on the cause of Lazard’s suspension.
Because of the suspension, Lazard didn’t travel to Baylor and Iowa State was without Lazard’s explosive abilities.
Prior to the suspension, Lazard set a season high for herself in kills against Kansas State with 17 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. In addition, Lazard added two solo blocks and five block assists.
Defensively, Iowa State was so-so against Baylor, holding the Bears to a .287 hitting percentage and recording 9.5 blocks through four sets.
Back below .500
For the second time this season, Iowa State has a losing record.
The remaining games on Iowa State’s schedule are West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Tech.
So far this season, Iowa State has beaten West Virginia 3-1 and had swept then-ranked Kansas on the road. Iowa State lost to both Oklahoma and Texas Tech 3-1.
If Iowa State finishes the season with a losing record, it will be the first time since 2004, when Iowa State finished 8-21.
After the 2004 season, Iowa State made a coaching change and hired Johnson-Lynch as the head coach.