Iowa State finished its regular season on a high note Friday night, sweeping Texas Tech in straight sets, 25-14, 25-13 and 25-22.
With it being the last game of the regular season, Friday night was also senior night for the Cyclones. Before the match, Iowa State honored seniors Jess Schaben, Grace Lazard and Hannah Bailey for their contributions to the program.
In fitting fashion, it was Schaben and Lazard that led the charge throughout the entire match. Each had a stellar night on the attack for the Cyclones, with Lazard hitting at a spectacular .867 percent clip and Schaben hitting an also-impressive .483 percent. Each also reached double digit kills, with Schaben getting 16 and Lazard 13.
These numbers reflected Iowa State's overall dominance of the match, as the Cyclones blew the Red Raiders out of the water statistically in a match that took only about an hour to complete.
Offensively, Iowa State out-hit Texas Tech by over 30 percent, winning the hitting percentage battle .424 percent to .117 percent. The Cyclones also won the overall kills battle 48-31, and were really only challenged in the match in the final set, when Texas Tech pulled to within one point late in the third.
Iowa State will finish the regular season with 16-13 record overall and a 9-7 record in conference.
The Cyclones will now have to wait until Sunday night to see if their late-season three-game winning streak was enough to power them to the NCAA tournament for the 13th straight year. Iowa State had an RPI of 74 coming into the week, but beat two teams — Kansas and Texas Tech — that were ranked above them.
According to the NCAA's website, an RPI of 49 is considered to be "safe" for making it to the NCAA tournament. What may help Iowa State's cause is the fact that this win will guarantee that that the Cyclones finish at least in a tie for third in the Big 12 conference.
The NCAA volleyball tournament selection show will be broadcast this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.