MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – The Iowa State volleyball team struggled Friday night against Marquette as the Golden Eagles swept the Cyclones 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-15) at the Al McGuire Center. ISU drops to 6-4 on the year, while MU improves to 8-2.
The Iowa State offense was restricted to a .096 hitting percentage on the evening. Alexis Conaway led the Cyclone offense with nine kills at a .421 hitting percentage. Branen Berta, back in at libero for the injured Abby Phillips, led the Cyclones with 15 digs, while Ciara Capezio had 12.
Strong Block Not Enough for ISU in Set One
The big frontline for Marquette proved to be a problem for the Cyclones early on, with the Golden Eagles getting involved both with and without the ball. MU slowly built the lead up, eventually working the advantage to five points at 12-7. It was the Cyclone block that evened things up, as Grace Lazard again provided the defensive spark via a trio of blocks to tie the set back up at 14-14. The ISU surge was stifled, with Marquette running off four-in-a-row to get back ahead four at 18-14. ISU rallied multiple times to cut the MU lead to two, but the home side was able to bring up set point at 24-21, and convert on the second asking when Jess Schaben‘s back-row attack sailed long to give MU the first 25-22.
Louis Carries Marquette to 2-0 Lead
The Cyclones showed some defensive hustle to wipe out an early second set deficit, with Monique Harris in particular showing fantastic hustle to get ISU ahead 6-5. Marquette was able to battle back ahead and while the Cyclones did not allow the Golden Eagles to pull away, the Cyclones were unable to get back ahead. ISU tied the set at 9-9, 11-11, 14-14 and 15-15, but were unable to get ahead on any of the occasions. The missed chances would be rued when Taylor Louis single-handedly went on a 3-0 run with a kill and two aces to put MU back up three at 18-15. Marquette got to set point at 24-20, and got up 2-0 in the match on the second try with another Louis kill to give MU set two 25-21.
Marquette Blows Past ISU For Sweep
The ISU offense could not get anything going in the third set, as Marquette was able to keep ISU out-of-system on multiple occasions. MU built up its biggest lead of the night at 20-11, and never relented. The Golden Eagle offense fired its way through the set with a .345 hitting percentage, while also keeping ISU down to a .000 hitting clip for the frame. Match point came up at 24-12, and closed things out on the fourth effort with Sara Blasier setting into the donut to close the set at 25-15.
*Ciara Capezio recorded 12 digs, her third time in double figures in 2016 and 35th of her career.
*Branen Berta led Iowa State with 15 digs, her fifth match of the season in double figures and 14th of her career.
Iowa State closes out the Marquette Invitational on Saturday against Missouri State. First serve between the Cyclones and Bears will be at 11 a.m.