After trailing 9-1 in the first set against the sixth-ranked Texas Longhorns on Wednesday, the Cyclones looked like they were going to get swept.
Texas took the first set 25-18, but Iowa State answered back in set two, taking the second set 25-18.
Iowa State took a 5-1 lead in the third set and held the lead for the majority of it. Following Texas taking a 19-18 lead, the Longhorns went on to outscore Iowa State 6-1 at the end of the set and Texas won 25-19.
The Cyclones once again held an early lead in the fourth set but after the Longhorns took a 17-16 lead, the Cyclones couldn’t hold on as the Longhorns won the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
Iowa State played well without two starters in its lineup
Against the Longhorns, the Cyclones were a bit short handed as junior setter Piper Mauck and freshman Libero Michal Schular collided with each other in their match against Iowa on Saturday, causing both players to have minor concussions.
Stepping into their starting spots were sophomore setter Jenna Brandt and junior Libero Izzy Enna.
Brandt played in 21 matches last season but had only played in two matches this season until Wednesday night, Enna had 41 assists but struggled to score as she had a hitting percentage of -.200 on five attacks.
Enna had made some starts previously but Schular had gotten more starts at Libero as of late. Enna had a decent showing as she had five assists and led the team in digs with 13.
Cyclones had up and down hitting night
Iowa State’s best hitting period came in the set they won – the second.
In the second set, Iowa State hit .444, meanwhile, Texas only had a hit .152. What caused the disparity between the two teams in the second set was the amount of errors Texas made.
Texas had nine errors in the set while Iowa State only had five.
Even in the final set of the night, the Cyclones hit well enough to win as they hit .333 but the Longhorns hit .353 and won the fourth set.
The other periods (the first and the third) were not good for the Cyclones as they had a combined hitting percentage of .167 and the Longhorns had a combined hitting percentage of .368.
Iowa State’s middle blockers and defense were okay but still need some improvement
The Cyclones had a good night hitting from middle blockers redshirt sophomore Avery Rhodes and junior Candelaria Herrera.
Rhodes had ten kills on 15 attacks and a hitting percentage of .467. Herrera had nine kills on 14 attacks and a hitting percentage of .571.
Despite having five blocks against Texas and 58 digs, Iowa State wasn’t able to control Texas’ attack.
The Longhorns had a hitting percentage of .311 and scored 57 kills.
Iowa State’s middle blockers and defense did a decent job on Wednesday but it wasn’t enough to defeat sixth-ranked Texas.
Iowa State will have the weekend off as it doesn’t play until 7 p.m. on Wednesday against the Kansas Jayhawks at Hilton Coliseum.