Iowa State volleyball won its home opener in a 3-0 sweep against the South Dakota Coyotes on Tuesday at Hilton Coliseum. However, even with the convincing win, there were some things that the Cyclones can improve upon.
Herbst plays well, Hatch shows potential
With both their 13 kill performances on Tuesday, senior outside hitter Josie Herbst and freshman outside hitter Annie Hatch are one and two in kills on the Iowa State team.
Herbst has 36 kills and Hatch has 35 kills.
“She’s getting more consistent, she’s learning how to hit more shots and she’s getting more and more comfortable hitting different shots,” said Iowa State coach Christy Johnson-Lynch.
On Tuesday, Herbst had 13 kills on 25 attacks and a hitting percentage of .500.
For the second match in a row, Hatch reached double-digits in kills, with 13 on Tuesday and 14 against Ole Miss on Saturday.
“She’s now switching up her shots and that’s really helping her,” Herbst said.
Cyclones' defense shows disorganization and poor blocking
Despite sweeping South Dakota, the Cyclones had some defensive lapses that ultimately didn’t hurt them, but could in future matches.
“I thought our defense was just okay,” Johnson-Lynch said. “For as tough as we served, you wouldn’t think the other team would hit .190.”
At certain points in the match where the ball was in Iowa State’s half of the court (especially early on) the Cyclones seemed disorganized and had to scramble to keep the ball in play.
A few times in the first and second set, a couple of Cyclones nearly ran each other over in order to save a point from being scored on them.
“We definitely have a couple of things that we need to clean up,” junior setter Piper Mauck said. “But South Dakota has a bit of a different attack that’s a bit slower compared to what we see in the Big 12.”
One of the things that led to the Cyclones being disorganized is that they did not block many of the Coyote players' shots.
Iowa State only had four blocks in four sets and while that didn’t come back to bite them, it certainly could have.
South Dakota is good. They made the NCAA tournament a season ago, but by no means are they the best team that Iowa State will face this season; for them to only get four blocks might cause some concern.
“With our block, I don’t think our setup was that great and we gave them points that could have been controlled,” Johnson-Lynch said. “Lots of work still to do on our block.”
Iowa State will have its toughest test of the season thus far when No. 6 Penn State comes to Ames to face off at 6:30 p.m. Friday.