Last time Iowa State was on the road, it was not a pretty result — the Cyclones lost to the Oklahoma Sooners 3-1.
However, Wednesday’s matchup on the road was a better result where Iowa State defeated the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (TCU) in a sweep, 3-0.
This was the second meeting between the two this season. The previous matchup also resulted in a 3-0 victory for the Cyclones.
A strong first set, a solid defense and an excellent performance by junior middle blocker Candelaria Herrera, led the Cyclones to victory on Wednesday.
A dominant performance in first set for Cyclones
For only the second time in conference play (nine matches) and for the first time in seven matches, Iowa State was able to win the first set by more than five points.
Iowa State won the first set 25-15, which is the second-largest margin of victory for Iowa State in a set of the season, with the largest coming in the first set against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers by 11 points.
The last time Iowa State did that was against the West Virginia Mountaineers, where it won the first set 25-18 and the match 3-0.
Iowa State is 13-0 when it wins the first set. When the Cyclones don’t win the first set, the team's record is 1-7.
The main factor that led the Cyclones to win the first set was its defense. The Cyclones' defense held the Horned Frogs to a -.091 hitting percentage in the first set.
The Cyclones' defense continued to shine as the match went on.
Cyclones were strong defensively on Wednesday
After hitting -.091 in the first set, the Horned Frogs gradually hit better but still had a bad hitting percentage.
TCU hit .156 in the second set, .243 in the second set and only hit .108 in the entire match. In each set, Iowa State outhit TCU and outhit them for the entire match as Iowa State hit .240.
One of the main reasons that TCU did not have a good hitting percentage was because of Iowa State’s block.
Iowa State had 11 blocks on Wednesday, averaging 3.66 blocks per set. Iowa State, on average gets 2.18 blocks per set, which is seventh out of nine in the Big 12.
Herrera continuing to make her presence known
Herrera led the way for the Cyclones in terms of hitting percentage on Wednesday, as she hit .412 and led the team in points with 13. Herrera also hit eight kills against TCU, which was third-most on the team.
This strong performance is nothing new for Herrera. She has had 14 matches with a hitting percentage above .300, 13 of which she hit above .400.
This season, Herrera has been one of the most efficient scorers for Iowa State-as she leads the team in hitting percentage with a .351 hitting percentage, which is third in the Big 12.
Herrera’s hitting percentage has been a lot better this season than it was last season where she hit .245.
In the last four matches, Herrera is averaging a .380 hitting percentage. In three of those four matches, Herrera has earned a hitting percentage of at least .410, including a .667 against TCU, the first time Iowa State faced them.
Iowa State will stay in Texas to face the 18-1 (8-1 Big 12) and third-ranked Baylor Lady Bears on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Waco, Texas.
Baylor swept Iowa State 3-0 in the first matchup of the season.