CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Iowa State got back on track with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 32-30) sweep of No. 17 UNI Wednesday night in front of a sold out crowd inside the McLeod Center. The ISU sweep, the first in the series since the Cyclones’ three-set win in 2015 and first in Cedar Falls since 2007, tied the all-time series between the two teams at 28-28.
The Cyclone effort was led by 14 kills and nine digs from Jess Schaben and 12 kills at a .435 hitting percentage from Eleanor Holthaus. ISU had 9.0 total blocks and hit .306 as a team.
Set One: Iowa State 25 UNI 20
UNI got an early lead at 10-6, but ISU erased that with a 4-0 run to knot things back up. The Cyclone block proved crucial to bringing the match back into ISU’s favor, as Grace Lazard posted a pair of blocks to help push the visitors ahead by four at 17-13. ISU’s discipline helped things out, as UNI committed six service errors and four unforced attack errors to swing the set to ISU. Iowa State made it 1-0 when the Panthers sent their sixth service error of the frame long at 25-20.
Set Two: Iowa State 25 UNI 20
The Cyclones continued their roll to start the second, ripping off the first six points of the frame. The lead was cut to one at 10-9, but ISU was able to speed ahead, with Lazard involving herself in all aspects: getting kills, blocks, aces and assists to push ISU ahead 17-12. Iowa State hit .395 as a team in the set and made it 2-0 when Avery Rhodes and Eleanor Holthaus combined for ISU’s fifth block of the night at 25-20.
Set Three: Iowa State 32 UNI 30
UNI was able to sneak ahead 2-1, but the Cyclone block smothered the Panther attack to pull ahead 10-6. The home team was able to swing momentum and the crowd back its way and knot it at 10-10, but Lazard smacked down one of her trademark quick kills to put ISU back ahead 11-10. The Panthers were able to tie the set back up on four occasions and finally got back ahead when Holthaus hit into the net at 23-22. ISU missed out on a trio of match points, and UNI got a trio of set points denied by ISU. The Cyclones’ fourth chance at match point was prevented, but the fifth time was the charm when UNI’s attempted tip at the net was sent wide at 32-30.
Player of the Match
Jess Schaben. There were many notable performances across the Cyclone squad, but it was ISU’s senior leader who guided the sweep. Schaben led the way with 14 kills, while also posting nine digs and one block.
Iowa State travels to Missoula, Montana for the Montana, Invitational this weekend. The Cyclones have a doubleheader on Friday, taking on Gonzaga at 1 p.m. Central and hosts Montana at 8 p.m. Central Time.