Iowa State volleyball dropped its fourth straight match on Saturday, falling to No. 4 Texas in a three-set sweep 25-21, 25-22 and 25-21.
With the loss, the Cyclones fall to 1-4 in conference play and match their longest losing streak in conference play since 2008.
The first set saw Iowa State get off to a rough start in a hostile road environment by falling behind 6-1 to Texas almost immediately. It proved to be the difference, as Iowa State could never cut the deficit to fewer than two points in the set.
The closest the Cyclones would ultimately get is when the Longhorns committed three straight attack errors to bring the score to 21-19.
In the second set, Iowa State flipped the script and led for a decent portion of the frame. While the lead never grew to more than two points for either side, the Cyclones were able to stay punch-for-punch with one of the best teams in the country for most of the set.
That is, until Texas went on a 5-0 run, trailing 18-19 to take a 23-19 lead late in the set. That blow ultimately proved to be too much for Iowa State to recover from. The Cyclones dropped the second frame 25-22, despite a brief comeback attempt toward the end.
The third and final set, like the first two, again saw Iowa State hang tough with the Longhorns throughout the set. Again, a small but critical run midway through the set allowed Texas the breathing room needed to earn the sweep.
That run occurred with the set tied at 13, when the Longhorns then when on a 4-1 run to give themselves a three-point cushion that the Cyclones couldn’t close. Again, Iowa State made things interesting and got the score to 19-21, but another 3-0 run proved to be the knockout blow for Texas.
Despite the sweep, the Cyclones showed some encouraging progress in this match relative to how the team had been playing as of late. In the match, Iowa State had the higher hitting percentage, more blocks, more assists and more digs than the Longhorns.
Leading the way offensively for the Cyclones were Grace Lazard, Josie Herbst and Jess Schaben, who each earned double-digit kills in the match. Izzy Enna, in her first start of the season at libero, earned 16 digs, while Schaben earned a double-double by pitching in 11 digs of her own.
Next up for the Cyclones is an away game against Kansas State on Wednesday, Oct. 10.