AMES, Iowa – Iowa State claimed the 2018 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) title with a 3-0 (25-21, 30-28, 25-16) sweep of Tulane Tuesday night at Hilton Coliseum. The win gives ISU a record of 21-13 to finish the season, with the Cyclones claiming their last nine matches. Tulane finishes the season at 29-9.
Iowa State was led by NIVC All-Tournament Team MVP Jess Schaben, who posted 14 kills and 10 digs for her fifth-straight double-double. Josie Herbst finished with 14 kills at .414 hitting and Eleanor Holthaus, another All-Tournament Team member, had 13 kills at .522 hitting.
Set One: Iowa State 25 Tulane 21
Iowa State broke open a close set with a 4-0 run to get ahead 13-7. The Cyclones offense stayed balanced to get ahead with four Cyclones recording kills and hitting over .400 to build the advantage. The Green Wave did good work behind the service line to bring the Cyclones within two at 16-14, but the Cyclones strung three in a row to get back ahead by five at 21-16. The Cyclones hit .382 in the first, led by five kills from Eleanor Holthaus. ISU moved ahead 1-0 when TU’s Lexie Douglas hit it into the net at 25-21 ISU.
Set Two: Iowa State 30 Tulane 28
The Cyclones attack got off to a slow start, with three-straight hitting errors allowing the Green Wave to move ahead 6-3. Hannah Bailey’s trip behind the service line resulted in a 3-0 run to tie the match at 10-10 on a block by Holthaus and Candelaria Herrera. ISU moved back ahead at 13-12 when Herrera put down a kill on the slide. Tulane moved back ahead at 18-17 when Schaben fired long, but ISU was able to get the lead again at 22-21 when Erika Hansel hit it into the net. Tulane got to set point first at 24-23, but Iowa State was able to survive five set points to stay in the set. The Cyclones got to a set point at 29-28 on a Josie Herbst kill to the back corner, which ISU put away on first asking when Schaben pulled out a roll shot from the back row to take it 30-28.
Set Three: Iowa State 25 Tulane 16
A 5-0 run keyed by a pair of Herrera solo stuffs allowed ISU to get ahead 8-3. It was all Iowa State from there, as the Green Wave attack was smothered for the remainder of the evening. The Green Wave was restricted to .000 hitting in the final set. Match point came up at 24-16 and was put away on the first asking via Holthaus’ 13th kill of the night at 25-16, Cyclones.
Player of the Match
Jess Schaben. In her 120th and final match as a Cyclone, Schaben put up yet another strong performance, finishing with 14 kills and 10 digs for her fifth-straight double-double and 20th of the season. The NIVC MVP, Schaben finished the tournament with an NIVC-record 99 kills.
Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch and the rest of the Cyclone volleyball program thanks the fans for their support throughout the 2018 season. Please be sure to check back in with cyclones.com throughout the winter for updates heading into the spring and next fall.