Efficient attacking led Cyclones to win Appalachian Invitational

Then-freshman Eleanor Holthaus celebrates a point victory at the Iowa State vs. Texas volleyball game Oct. 24 at Hilton Coliseum. Holthaus has expanded her role from her freshman year and is now working on hitting from the back row.

Sam Stuve

The Iowa State Cyclones completed their best weekend of the season, winning the Appalachian Invitational in Boone, North Carolina and improving to 6-3 this season. 

Iowa State won the Appalachian invitational thanks to some dominant sets, some good attacks but also they dropped some close sets.

Cyclones took multiple sets in dominant fashion 

In their three matches this weekend, Iowa State won nine of 11 sets played. 

Out of the nine sets it won at the Appalachian Invitational, six of them were by a margin of greater than four points.

The largest margin of victory the Cyclones had an in a set, came against the North Carolina State Wolfpack (NC State) on Saturday in the second set of the match where the Cyclones won the set 25-13.

Set’s three and four in that match against NC State were won by Iowa State 25-18 and 25-20 to win the Appalachian Invitational.

Coming into the Invitational, the Cyclones had won eight sets by more than four points in 24 sets played.

Iowa State had its best hitting weekend

The Cyclones had their best hitting weekend of the year hitting over. 275 in each match of the weekend.

Against the Appalachian State Mountaineers, Iowa State had a hitting percentage of .456 including two sets where they hit .522 and .500, Iowa State won the match 3-0. 

At the Appalachian Invitational, redshirt middle block Avery Rhodes had a career-high in kills with 11 against NC State. 

Senior outside hitter Josie Herbst had arguably the best weekend out of all the Cyclones as earned double-digit kills in all three matches with her highest kill total being 13, coming against Western Carolina.

In each of their three matches in the Appalachian Invitational, Iowa State had at least four players earn greater than seven kills. 

Junior Libero Izzy Enna had a hat trick in aces with three in the third set against the Wolfpack. 

The two sets the Cyclones dropped were close ones

The Cyclones would have been perfect this weekend if they did not drop the first set against the Catamounts and the Wolfpack.

After winning the first set 25-16 against the Catamounts and the second set 32-30, the Cyclones dropped the third set 26-24 but won the match 3-1.

In the set they lost against Western Carolina, Iowa State had its lone bad hitting period where they had a .114 hitting percentage. 

On Saturday, the Cyclones dropped the first set 25-23 but rallied to win the next three sets, beat the Wolfpack 3-1 and outscored them 75-51 in the process.

What’s next?

Iowa State will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to play in the Iowa Tournament where they will face the Lipscomb Bisons’ on September 19 at 7:00 p.m., the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on September 20 at 11 a.m. and the Iowa Hawkeyes at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.