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Avery Rhodes, middle blocker, goes to hit the ball towards Ole Miss during the Aug. 24, 2018 game in Hilton Coliseum. Rhodes was named the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Week after a double-digit block performance against Ole Miss on Saturday.

Following its 3-2 loss against the Central Florida (UCF) Knights on Friday, the Iowa State Cyclones defeated the Ole Miss Rebels at the Rebel Invitational in Oxford, Mississippi, 3-1 on Saturday.

With Saturday’s win over the Rebels, the Cyclones have now beaten the Rebels in back-to-back seasons.

Against UCF, Iowa State got off to a rough start as UCF took set one 25-15.

The Cyclones and Knights traded blows throughout the match, as the Cyclones won sets two and four and the Knights took set four which set up a winner-take-all fifth set.

The fifth was competitive early on as the Cyclones held the lead six times, and the Knights held the lead four times before the set was tied at eight apiece.

From there on the Knights took control, winning the final set 15-11 and the match 3-2.

Despite winning the first set 25-15, UCF was only slightly better than Iowa State statistically on Friday, as they outscored Iowa State 77-63, had seven more kills (60-53), two more aces (5-3), five more assists (12-7) and eight more digs (54-45) than Iowa State did.

On Saturday the Cyclones took the first two sets 25-14 and 25-18, but the Rebels took the third set 25-22, which forced a fourth set.

Iowa State took the fourth set after sophomore right-side player Eleanor Holthaus and junior middle blocker Candeleria Herrera blocked a Rebel attack.

Leading the Cyclones attack on Saturday was freshman outside hitter Annie Hatch, who had 14 kills and scored 15.5 points.

Another key contributor for Iowa State on Saturday was senior outside hitter Josie Herbst, who scored 11 kills and scored 13 team points.

Despite losing the third set 25-22, the Cyclones were dominant against the Rebels as they held an advantage in total points, kills, aces, assists and digs.

The area where the Cyclones had the biggest advantage was by the net, as they had 14 blocks while the Rebels were only able to block three Cyclone attacks.

In the Rebel Invitational, redshirt sophomore Avery Rhodes led the Cyclones in blocks 14, 10 of which came against the Rebels on Saturday.

Holthaus led the Cyclones in points scored at the Rebel Invitational with 28.5 points. Junior setter Piper Mauck had 63 of Iowa State’s 91 assists.

Iowa State will travel back home to face the South Dakota Coyotes on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum.

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