COLUMBIA, Missouri – The Iowa State volleyball season came to an end Thursday evening as the Cyclones were swept by Purdue 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-13) in the NCAA Volleyball Championship First Round at the Hearnes Center. The loss means ISU finishes the season 18-11 overall and 10-6 in Big 12 play. Purdue advances to the second round at 19-13 overall on the year.
The Cyclones struggled to stop the Purdue offense, which finished the match hitting .454, led by 21 kills from Danielle Cuttino. The Iowa State effort was led by by 10 kills from Samara West to hear it at a .600 hitting percentage, while Hali Hillegasto hear it led the back row with 16 digs.
Purdue Gets Past ISU Late in Set One
Both sides were able to wrangle a lead early in the first set. However, neither team was able to string together many points, with both offenses keeping the set tight. The Cyclones were the first side to build up an advantage of three points at 13-10, but Purdue erased that with a Carissa Damler ace at 15-15. The Cyclones did not concede the lead, but once again struggled to get enough stops to build a lead. The set came to its breaking point at 23-23, with ISU bringing up set point off a Morgan Kuhrt kill. After tying it back up, Kuhrt was stuffed at 25-24 to give the Boilers their first lead and set point, which they converted when Azariah Stahl fired a kill to the back line at 26-24.
Boilers Pull Away Late Again to Take Second
The Cyclones struggled to find the proper defensive adjustments to get back into the match as the Boilers offense continued to rack up kills efficiently to get ahead 10-7. Iowa State effectively fed Samara WestClick here to hear it the ball to try to keep within reach, with the hard work eventually paying off when Atkinson fired wide to put ISU ahead 17-16. The Boilermakers quickly got back ahead at 18-17, but the Cyclones were back in front when Alexis Conaway and Jess Schaben teamed up to deny Faye Adelaja at 20-19. Purdue got back ahead at 22-21 on a Monique Harris setting error, and got ahead 2-0 when Schaben was stuffed by a Boilers triple block at 25-21.
Purdue Aces Way to Sweep
Purdue got the better of the start to the third with four-straight aces from Natalie Haben getting the Boilers ahead 9-2. The lead was too much for the Cyclones to comeback from, as rallies to bring the deficit to five was as good as it was getting for ISU, as Purdue ran the lead to 10 at 20-10. Purdue got to match point at 24-12, and put away the match on the second asking when Sherridan Atkinson got a kill at 25-13.
*Iowa State is now 16-12 in NCAA Volleyball Championship history, 9-3 in the first round.
*Samara WestClick here to hear it led Iowa State with 10 kills, her sixth match of the season in double figures and 17th of her career.
*Hali HillegasClick here to hear it led the backline with 16 digs, her 18th-straight match in double figures.
The Iowa State volleyball season is over.