Cyclones sweep season series against Wildcats


Photo: Manfred Brugger/Iowa State Daily

Defensive specialist and libero Ashley Mass bumps the ball during the game against Kansas on Saturday.

Jake Calhoun

The ISU volleyball team won its sixth straight match Wednesday night, defeating Kansas State in three sets (25-14, 30-28, 25-15) at the Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, Kan.

No. 12 Iowa State (16-4, 9-3 Big 12) completed the series sweep of the Wildcats (9-14, 3-9) through a stingy showing of defense led by Ashley Mass’ match-high 22 digs.

Mass, who became the all-time Big 12 leader in digs earlier this season, notched 19 digs at intermission after two sets.

The Cyclones strode their way to a 25-14 victory in the first set, taking advantage of a disparity in hitting percentages.

The Cyclones’ .378 first-set hitting percentage displayed their offensively productivity, with each of the five offensive starters registering at least one kill with the kill total reaching to 17. The Wildcats sunk below the red in the first set with a -.026 hitting percentage, managing only six kills between four different players.

A hard-fought battle ensued in the second set, as both squads duked it out in a back-and-forth competition that consisted of 21 ties and 12 lead changes. A service ace by Mass sealed the deal for the Cyclones, who won the set, 30-28.

True freshman Tenisha Matlock started in place of right-side Kelsey Petersen for the second start of her career. The North Platte, Neb., native registered a career-high seven kills while hitting for a stunning .462 hitting percentage. She also recorded an assisted block for the cardinal and gold.

Junior Carly Jenson etched out 10 kills and 10 digs for her ninth double-double on the season, a team-best.

Coming into the match, Kansas State was third in the Big 12 in blocks with 2.45 blocks per set. However, Iowa State managed to out-block its conference foe for the second time this year, compiling 9.5 blocks to Kansas State’s 6.5.

Sophomore Jamie Straube led all blockers with two solo blocks and four assisted blocks to add four total blocks to the Cyclones’ tally.

In their last meeting, the Cyclones held KSU outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm to no kills on 22 attempts for a -.227 hitting percentage. This time, Chisholm found a little more success against the Cyclones, but was limited to four kills on 31 attempts for a .032 clip.

Chisholm’s performance reflected the Wildcats’ offensive production as a whole, as the team went on to hit for a .032 clip on 125 attempts.

Iowa State hit for a percentage of .270 while surfacing only 122 attempts — three fewer than Kansas State’s total.

The Cyclones continue down the home stretch of their conference schedule Saturday against No. 2 Nebraska. The match in Lincoln, Neb., will start at 7:30 p.m.