With a 3-1 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, Iowa State lost only its second road game of the season and fell to 12-7 (3-4 Big 12). The Cyclones are now in fifth place out of the nine teams in the Big 12.
Iowa State lost three sets decisively and had poor hitting, but there was a solid performance from sophomore right-side player Eleanor Holthaus.
Sooners dominate in three of four sets
The Cyclones did not get off to a good start in their match against the Sooners, being down by as many as 12 points in the first set and losing the set 25-15.
Set two wasn’t much better for Iowa State, as Oklahoma jumped out to a 10-1 lead and went on to lead the set by 14 points at one point. Oklahoma won the set 25-13.
Iowa State got some momentum going, winning the third set 25-23, but couldn’t build off of it.
The Cyclones were good early in the fourth set, jumping out a 9-4 lead, but the Sooners went on a 12-3 scoring run and held a 16-13. The Sooners won the set 25-18.
Sets one and two were the two largest margins of defeat in a set that Iowa State had all season long.
Poor hitting dooms the Cyclones
Iowa State has been a good hitting team for most of the season, hitting .250, which is third in the Big 12.
However, Saturday night was not a solid hitting night for Iowa State.
In total, Iowa State hit .121 against Oklahoma and was outhit .121 to .235. The Cyclones only had one set where they hit above .200.
That was the third set where they hit .310 and won the set.
The Cyclones hit .000 in the first set, .129 in the second set and .104 in the fourth set, combining for a .077 hitting percentage in those three sets.
Sophomore right side Eleanor Holthaus serves the ball Sept. 6 at the game against Penn State. Penn State won 3-0.
Holthaus continues to make a presence
The Cyclones’ lone bright spot against the Sooners was Holthaus. Holthaus was the only Cyclone in double digits in kills, earning 14 kills and hitting .310.
Holthaus had been struggling to hit well in the first four games of Big 12 play — hitting .111, .217, .273 and .071 — but in the last three matches, Holthaus has hit .290, .300 and .310.
Holthaus leads the Cyclones in two very important statistics: kills and points. Holthaus has 220 kills averaging 3.06 kills per set, which is ninth in the Big 12. She also has 261 points, which is third in the conference.
Iowa State returns to Hilton Coliseum to face the Kansas State Wildcats at 8 p.m. Oct. 26.