Candelaria Herrera vs Texas Tech

Iowa State senior middle blocker Candelaria Herrera going for a kill in the match against Texas Tech on Oct. 3. Texas Tech beat Iowa State 3-1.

The Iowa State Cyclones lost to the Texas Longhorns on Thursday and Friday in a series sweep.

The Longhorns (6-0) beat the Cyclones (2-4) three sets to zero Thursday and came back Friday and did the same thing.

Close Sets

Despite Iowa State not winning a set, they were within reach of Texas in five out of the six sets.

On Thursday, Iowa State lost set one 25-19 and set two 25-22.

In both sets, Texas got up early on Iowa State, so the Cyclones were left having to come from behind to try to get the win, which left them with a power deficit for hitting in set three that gave the Longhorns the advantage to win the third set 25-14.

On Friday, Iowa State was once again left fighting to keep up with Texas' strong attack and defense in sets one and two, losing both set one and set two 25-22. 

The Cyclones were able to hang tough in the third set, not allowing the Longhorns to get up by too much until Iowa State came back, but Texas eventually took the third 25-21 and ended the match at 3-0. 

Hitting Percentage Woes

Offensively, Iowa State struggled both nights against Texas. 

The Cyclones recorded a .133 hitting percentage Thursday night compared to the Longhorns' .378 hitting percentage.

Friday night was a little better, with Iowa State improving its hitting percentage to .202 and Texas dropping to a .337 hitting percentage.

The Cyclones' best recorded hitting percentage Thursday night was during set two when they had their second highest hitting percentage of the doubleheader with .258.

They started out slow in set one with a .118 percentage and dropped drastically in the final set Thursday to .030.

On Friday, the Cyclones best set hitting-wise was the final set, where they recorded their highest hitting percentage of the weekend with a .306.

They started out Friday stronger as well with a .212 percentage, but dropped in the second set to a .100.

However, Iowa State's leaders in hitting percentages for the doubleheader were both over the team's total. 

Senior middle blocker Candelaria Herrera led the team in hitting percentage Thursday night with a .300, with junior outside hitter Brooke Andersen in second with a .263.

On Friday, redshirt junior middle blocker Avery Rhodes was the leader with a .429 hitting percentage, her highest of the season so far. Herrera was second on the team Friday with a .368 percentage.

Tall Task

The hitting woes probably had something to do with the height of Texas' blockers.

The Longhorns' middle blockers are 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-5.

Iowa State volleyball Head Coach Christy Johnson-Lynch previously said Texas' tall middle blockers are challenging every year, so the challenge was to not let the Longhorns' block take over.

"They're tall and they jump well and they block well," Johnson-Lynch said. "We have to make sure we make good choices on attack, hit high at their block, don't let them block us, that's our setting and our attack choices."

On Thursday, Texas had eight total blocks with 14 block assists and one solo block. Redshirt sophomore Asjia O'Neal led Texas on Thursday night with five blocks.

Texas recorded nine total blocks Friday, again with 14 block assists and two solo blocks. O'Neal was again the leader with five blocks. 

Up Next

The Cyclones have a bye week next weekend. Their next match will be match one of a doubleheader against Baylor at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Hilton Coliseum.

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