Suffering from a poor attacking night and numerous errors throughout the match, Iowa State fell to Texas Tech on Saturday 3-1.
Despite those errors and poor offensive performance where the team hit .164 in the match, Iowa State had a chance in the second set to gain momentum and even the match.
“There weren’t many parts of our game that looked good,” coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said.
The Cyclones narrowly lost the first set 25-22 despite being plagued by errors during most of the set including passing and serving errors.
Iowa State then started off the second half struggling on the attack and the team had as low of a hitting percentage as -.182 when the Red Raiders had a 9-5 lead.
Piper Mauck, the Cyclones’ setter, said the team started off ‘sloppy’ and had issues with ball handling during the beginning of the match.
On the serve, Johnson-Lynch said the Red Raiders were really serving tough and forced poor passes from the Cyclones, sometimes forcing four to five straight bad passes.
Tech kept a lead as both teams went back in forth until the Cyclones were able to tie the score at 15.
It seemed as though the Red Raiders would go up again on the scoreboard the following serve when libero Michal Schuler’s pass made contact with the net, but the sheer force and backspin on her serve kept the ball in play as it rolled over the net into Texas Tech’s side.
The Red Raiders kept the serve alive, but Candelaria Herrera and Eleanor Holthaus combined for a block on the Texas Tech attack attempt to put Iowa State up 16-15.
The score was tied twice after that play until Herrera — along with setter Piper Mauck — again blocked the Red Raiders to put the Cyclones up 18-17.
Though she didn’t register a block the following play, Herrera had a strong deflection on a block attempt, which allowed the Cyclones to have an easy pass to Mauck — who dumped the ball over for an easy Cyclone kill.
Scrappy play by the Cyclones continued the next play when Brooke Andersen, who was playing next to an antenna in the front row, had a one armed hit attempt on Iowa State’s third touch of the attack. The hit took a sharp angle and was able to go onto Texas Tech’s side of the net.
During the same play, Mauck — who was going against two Texas Tech players — kept the ball alive for the Cyclones and Herrera was then able to get a kill for the Cyclones to put the Cyclones up 20-17.
To cut Iowa State’s lead to 22-21, Texas Tech scored on a long volley where the Cyclones were constantly getting their hands on the ball during Red Raider attacks to slow down the hit and gain better control of the ball. The play even included Herrera, a middle blocker playing back row, making a play on a ball that was dug seven feet behind Iowa State’s back line.
As the play continued, Hilton Coliseum grew louder and louder and on a Red Raider attack, two of Iowa State’s players went to close the block on the Cyclone’s right antenae — but the ball went right off the block and delflected out of play.
Texas Tech’s bench erupted with cheers after winning the volley.
“You know, [the block] was super close. We got the block and it barely landed out of bounds, even the crowd cheered thinking it was our point,” Enna said.
Enna said the team wasn’t upset they lost the point since they played such great defense during the volley.
Both teams went back and forth until the score was tied at 24, but a Schuler recieving error put the Cyclones down 25-24 with the ball to be served again by the Red Raiders.
The Cyclones handled the serve and had an attack attempt, but Texas Tech’s attack glanced off of Iowa State’s block and out of play to give Texas Tech the set.
“You can really do everything perfect and the ball, if the hitter makes a really good shot, it’s going to richocet off of your block,” Johnson-Lynch said.
Johnson-Lynch said the Red Raiders weren’t afraid to attack the Cyclone block and kept on attacking it during the match.
Iowa State won the third set 25-15, but lost the match when the Red Raiders took the fourth set 25-17.
“I think a loss kind of exposes what you need to work on, where as in a win — I mean — you’re doing everything right,” Mauck said.
With the loss to Texas Tech, Iowa State’s record now stands at 11-6 (2-3 Big 12) as the team falls to fifth in the conference, while the Red Raiders have a record of 13-6 (3-2 Big 12) move to fourth in the conference.
If the Cyclones want to gain traction on Texas Tech and third placed Oklahoma, the Cyclones will need to come out with a win on Wednesday against eighth placed TCU.