Iowa State falls in five sets to UCF in season opener


Katlyn Campbell/Iowa State Daily

Right side hitter Eleanor Holthaus jumps to hit the ball toward Kansas State during the game Oct. 26, 2018, at Hilton Coliseum. Holthaus led Iowa State in kills during the 2019 season opener with 12.

Jack Shover

Iowa State fell to Central Florida three sets to two in not only the opening game of the season, but the opening game of the Rebel Invitational in Oxford, Mississippi.

The result of the sets were: 25-15 UCF, 25-22 Iowa State, 25-20 UCF, 25-21 Iowa State, 15-11 UCF.

With the exception of Annie Hatch, none of the seven freshmen on the team saw significant playing time against a veteran UCF team.

Hatch saw the second most attack attempts of any player on the team, but only registered nine kills and just as many attack errors to finish with a hitting percentage of zero.

The player with the most attack attempts — Eleanor Holthaus — had 35 attempts and led the Cyclones in kills with 12. She had a hitting percentage of .257.

Aside from the attack, Holthaus was able to get involved in all facets of the game by recording five blocks, which led the team, seven digs and six assists.

Josie Herbst with 11 kills and Avery Rhodes with 10 kills were the only other players in double-digit kills for the Cyclones.

At the setter position, Piper Mauck continued her hold on the position over Jenna Brandt and had 29 assists to Brandt’s three.

Izzy Enna, the Cyclones’ libero, had 17 digs and was the only Cyclone with more than seven.

Iowa State’s biggest shortcoming against the Golden Knights was a low efficiency attack against a solid and experienced team in UCF, which had 12 blocks and held Iowa State to a hitting percentage of .189. UCF had a hitting percentage of .257 against the Cyclones.

The Cyclones have a chance to leave Mississippi with a win when they take on Ole Miss — a team they beat in straight sets last season — at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday in the team’s final game of the Rebel Invitational.