Iowa State volleyball went 2-1 at the Penn State Classic over the weekend, with their wins coming against LSU (3-1) and Oregon State (3-0) and their loss coming at the hands of 17th ranked Penn State (3-0).
At the beginning of a lengthy road stretch, the Cyclones handled business against teams they should have, but also had some areas that need to be cleaned up for future matches.
Beating who you should beat
The Cyclones took care of business against two squads inferior squads in LSU and Oregon State. LSU is now 2-3 on the season, and Oregon State is 1-4. LSU committed 25 attacking errors and had a shooting percentage of .207. Oregon State committed 23 attacking errors and mustered a shooting percentage of .122 as a team.
Iowa State was able to produce similar results defensively against Drake and Omaha. Defensive dominance is what the Cyclones will need to continue to show while the hitters and new setter continue to mesh offensively.
Too many errors
Although they beat the teams they are expected to, Iowa State had some mistakes along the way.
Iowa State committed 18 errors and had a hitting percentage of .228 against LSU. They cleaned up the errors quite a bit with 10 against Oregon State, and they had a hitting percentage of .318. This played a big part in the Cyclones beating the Beavers in straight sets.
Against Penn State, the Cyclones struggled quite a bit. They kept the third set close, but other than that the Nittany Lions were in complete control. The Cyclones committed 20 attacking errors and had a hitting percentage of .128. This is something Iowa State has been able to do to opponents this season, but the tables were turned against a 17th ranked Penn State.
The Cyclones' efficiency issues could prove costly against other top-end opponents.
Big weekend in Iowa City
Iowa State will participate in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series Tournament this upcoming weekend in Iowa City. They will face off against Ball State and Syracuse on Friday, with the rivalry match against the Hawkeyes taking place on Saturday evening.
This event is a chance for the 4-1 Cyclones to build up a lot of momentum with a chance to move to 7-1 and claim a big win against an in-state rival. If they continue to beat the teams they should beat and clean up the unforced errors, Iowa State will be in a good position to come out of the weekend with a strong record and momentum for the following matches.