Capezio has big numbers against South Dakota

Maddy Arnold

For the first time since the start of its Big 12 schedule, Iowa State was ranked in the top 25. The Cyclones’ high ranking showed in its sweep of University of South Dakota.

The No. 25 ISU volleyball team (15-6, 8-2 Big 12) defeated South Dakota (18-9, 9-2 Summit League) in its break from Big 12 play on Nov. 5. The 3-0 win (25-14, 25-22, 25-22) against the Coyotes was the Cyclones’ fifth-straight win.

“I thought we served well,” said senior libero Kristen Hahn. “They were a really good, scrappy team and forced us to take a lot of swings. I thought after the second set we did at little better at keeping the ball in play and making them play more defense.”

In the first set, Iowa State held South Dakota to a .000 hitting percentage and only seven kills. The Coyotes’ numbers in the second set improved when they hit .110 against the Cyclones.

South Dakota finished the match with 29 total team kills and a .128 hitting percentage on the night. The Coyotes added 42 digs and 10 total team blocks against the Cyclones.

Iowa State hit almost .300 during the sweep with freshman outside hitter Ciara Capezio leading the offense.

In the first set, Capezio had eight kills in 11 attempts and no errors for the Cyclones. In three sets, she had 19 total kills and finished the night with a .593 hitting percentage.

“Capezio obviously had a terrific night and made a lot of really good choices on attack,” said ISU coach Christy Johnson-Lynch. “We’re asking Capezio to do everything. She’s got to hit but she’s got to pass and play defense and serve. That’s a lot for a freshman. “

Capezio added to her offensive performance with two aces against South Dakota. She also had five digs and a solo block for Iowa State.

“This last week in practice I’ve been focusing on going hard, making good shots and hitting high on every ball,” Capezio said. “I think it paid off tonight.”

Before the match against South Dakota, Capezio was second in the Big 12 in service aces. With the two she had against the Coyotes, she now averages 0.37 aces per set.

The Cyclones had three total aces against South Dakota and leads the Big 12 in the category. Iowa State as a team averages 1.77 aces per set.

“[Capezio is] really a nice passer and server,” Johnson-Lynch said. “It’s hard to hold up that well passing and serve so tough as a freshman. I think she’s doing a terrific job in those areas of the game especially.”

The win against South Dakota makes it five straight for Iowa State. With only six matches remaining on their schedule, the Cyclones still have the goal of winning out the season.

“A match like this is absolutely critical. We have to win matches like these to even have a shot to do some of the things we’d like to do in the NCAA [tournament],” Johnson-Lynch said. “We’ve got to keep pushing.”