With a three-set sweep over Tulane on Wednesday night — 25-21, 30-28 and 25-16 — Iowa State volleyball finished its 2018 season as champions of the second annual National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
The championship victory serves as a solid cap to what's been a season filled with adversity for Iowa State. After losing several key players throughout the season due to injury and suspension and missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005, the Cyclones finished the season 21-13 and winners of nine straight games.
Although the championship match was perhaps closer than the stats would indicate, the Cyclones were generally in control throughout. The only bit of danger for Iowa State came in the second set, when both teams extended the set past the 25-point mark. The Cyclones eventually took the set 30-28 on a Jess Schaben kill to the left side of the court.
As a whole, Iowa State held Tulane to a .114 percent hitting percentage, while hitting at .286 percent rate. The Cyclones also doubled the Green Wave's block total, holding an 8.0-4.0 advantage in that department.
Leading the way statistically for Iowa State was senior outside hitter Jess Schaben, who finished with a double-double of 14 kills and 10 blocks in her final match as a Cyclone. After the match, Schaben was named MVP of the NIVC tournament.
Also shining on the night was junior outside hitter Josie Herbst and freshman right-side hitter Eleanor Holthaus, who each had 14 and 13 kills, respectively. The two also had impressive nights in terms of hitting percentage, with Holthaus finishing at .522 percent and Herbst finishing at .414 percent.
After the match, in addition to Schaben being named tournament MVP, Holthaus and sophomore middle blocker Candelaria Herrera were named to the NIVC All-Tournament team.