AMES, Iowa – Iowa State advanced to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship semifinals with a 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20) win over North Texas on Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones are now 19-13 on the season, while the Mean Green end 2018 at 19-17.
Iowa State will play the winner of the UNLV-Portland match taking place tomorrow night in the Rose City. Site, date and time of the match will be announced following the conclusion of tomorrow night’s quarterfinal round.
ISU was led by senior Hannah Bailey, who in her first career start at middle blocker notched seven kills, five digs, four blocks and two aces. Her fellow senior, Jess Schaben, tied her season-high with 26 kills at .429 hitting and got 11 digs for her 18th double-double of the season.
Set One: North Texas 25 Iowa State 22
While the Cyclone offense was able to spread the ball out and get some kills, the ISU defense struggled early as UNT hit .474 to get ahead 15-13 at the media timeout. The Cyclone serve proved its only worse enemy, as ISU committed five first-set service errors, three of which came in UNT’s last six points, to help negate a .302 hitting effort for the set. Eleanor Holthaus’ roll shot failed to get over the net to give the Mean Green the first frame 25-22.
Set Two: Iowa State 25 North Texas 17
Iowa State’s offense continued to press the issue early in the second set, as the Cyclones made it to the media timeout ahead 15-11 on .529 hitting. From there, the Cyclone block picked it up to help slow down the Mean Green offense, as ISU recorded 4.0 total blocks in the set, led by three from Candelaria Herrera. It was all about Schaben, though, as the senior ripped through the frame with 10 kills at .692 hitting, including the final point of the set out of the back row to give the Cyclones the second 25-17.
Set Three: Iowa State 25 North Texas 21
The Cyclones continued to assert itself defensively, picking up some more blocks to continue to push the advantage, as ISU made it to the media timeout ahead 15-10. Herrera made her impact felt on offense, recording five kills in the set to help the home team hit .342 in the frame. Iowa State’s block again provided substance for ISU, recording 4.0 total blocks again to hold the Mean Green to .097 hitting in the third. Schaben again wrapped up proceedings with her 19th kill of the night at 25-21, ISU.
Set Four: Iowa State 25 North Texas 20
Iowa State’s serve finally made its impact to start the set, as four of ISU’s first seven points came from aces, including three-straight from Holthaus. It was part of an 8-0 run to help get ahead 10-1 to begin the frame. North Texas battled back, bringing ISU within one at 14-13, but the Cyclones were able to pull away again when Bailey went behind the line to put up a 3-0 run. Iowa State wrapped up the match on Schaben’s 26th kill of the night at 25-20 Cyclones.
Player of the Match
Hannah Bailey. Moved to middle blocker for the first time in her career, the senior shined to help lead Iowa State to victory. Bailey got seven kills at .545 hitting, and posted career-highs in blocks (four), digs (five) and aces (two).
Iowa State will host UNLV in the NIVC Semifinals on Saturday at noon.