After a bye week that gave them some extra time to prepare, the Cyclones were back at Hilton Coliseum for the first of two matches against the top-ranked Texas Longhorns on Thursday.
Iowa State came into the match sitting at third in the Big 12 Conference, with the Longhorns comfortably at the top with an undefeated record.
The first set began in promising fashion, with a service ace by Allie Petry putting the Cyclones up 1-0. After a quick point by the Longhorns, Iowa State would rattle off three quick points to make it 4-1. Two kills by Kenzie Mantz would then help build the lead to 8-3 and force the first Texas timeout.
The set went back and forth for quite some time after the timeout, and Iowa State was unable to build too big of a lead without Texas getting some momentum back. With the Cyclones up 19-15, the Longhorns went on a 3-0 run to cut their deficit to one. A kill by Candelaria Herrera ended the run, but a block for Texas and an error by Herrera tied things up at 20.
After another block by the Longhorns put them up one, Iowa State took their first timeout of the set.
Coming out of the timeout, a block assist by Herrera and Jaden Newsome got Hilton rocking. A service ace by Brooke Andersen put Iowa State back up 22-21, and Texas burned another timeout. A service error by Andersen tied things back up after the timeout, but Herrera laid down the boom on a kill right on the line to put Iowa State up 23-22. A solo block by Mantz set up the set point, and Texas prolonged the set on a Skylar Fields kill. A Mantz error tied the set back up at 24, but an error by the Longhorns set up another set point for Iowa State. Mantz redeemed herself almost immediately with a kill straight into the teeth of the Longhorns’ block, and the Cyclones claimed the set 26-24.
Mantz led the attack offensively with six kills in the first set. Newsome had 11 assists, and Petry and Eleanor Holthaus each contributed four digs. Iowa State only mustered a hitting percentage of .097, but they held Texas even lower at .094.
Texas got off to a hot start in the second set, building a 3-0 lead before Iowa State took a quick timeout to regroup. Out of the timeout, the Longhorns got into a groove and started to show what kind of team they are, extending their lead to 7-1 before a block assist by Herrera and Newsome ended a 4-0 run. Two service aces in a row by Andersen gave the Cyclones some much needed momentum, and a kill by Newsome made the deficit 7-5 and forced a Texas timeout.
A kill by Molly Phillips ended Iowa State’s 4-0 run, and Texas quickly went on a 3-0 run of their own to make their lead 10-5. The set would go back and forth all the way to a 17-12 Longhorn lead before Iowa State would take another timeout.
A kill by Herrera cut the deficit to four, but a quick 3-0 run by Texas made the score 20-13. The Cyclones would fail to get anything consistent going for the rest of the set, and Texas would claim the second by a score of 25-16.
Herrera led the attack with four kills in the second set. Newsome had four assists, and Holthaus contributed four digs defensively. Iowa State commited 10 errors to Texas’ one and hit in negative territoy at -.026 while Texas improved greatly from the first set at .357.
The third set started out very messy for both sides. At one point, there were 10 straight errors before Iowa State took a timeout down 14-7. After some back and forth out of the timeout made the score 18-13, Texas went on a 6-0 run to make the score 24-13 and set up the set point. A service error by Melanie Parra delayed the win, but a kill by Phillips would claim the set 25-14 and give the Longhorns a 2-1 advantage.
Herrera led the Cyclones with three kills in the set, while Newsome contributed seven assists. Iowa State was even worse than the second set offensively, hitting -.045 while Texas improved again to .389. Errors were also a problem again, as the Cyclones committed nine and the Longhorns only committed two.
The fourth set started out tightly contested before a 4-0 Texas run gave them a 7-4 lead and forced an Iowa State timeout. Out of the timeout, the score would move to 8-5 before another 4-0 Texas run made it 12-5 and forced another quick Iowa State timeout.
Two blocks and a service ace put the Longhorns up by 10 before a Mantz kill ended the 6-0 run. An ace by Brooke Stonestreet gave the Cyclones some hope, but it was only a point here and a point there as Texas went on to claim the set 25-12 and the match 3-1.
Herrera led the Cyclones with 12 kills, with Mantz close behind at 11. Newsome assisted on 27 points, and Petry led the team in digs with 12. Iowa State hit exactly .000, while Texas hit .290. Texas also dominated the block, tallying 24 to the Cyclones’ 4.
The Cyclones fall to 12-6 overall and 4-3 in the Big 12. They will have another shot at the undefeated Longhorns on Friday at 7 p.m.