Cyclones sweep Panthers in electrified volleyball match


Setter Alison Landwehr, middle blocker Debbie Stadick and right side hitter Kelsey Petersen celebrate after they get a kill against their UNI opponents on Wednesday night. Iowa State beat Northern Iowa with a final score of 3-0.

Jake Calhoun

The floor of the Ames High gymnasium has never seen so much sweat as Wednesday night, when Iowa State defeated Northern Iowa in three sets (25-16, 25-20, 25-22).

The 11th-ranked Cyclones (6-1) made a string of comebacks in their heated intrastate rivalry match against the 18th-ranked Panthers (5-2). Iowa State came back after being down early in both the second and third sets in front of a packed-in 2,000 attendees.

Two Cyclone outside hitters managed to reach double figures in at least two statistical areas in the match. Senior Victoria Henson struck for 17 kills and managed 10 digs on defense, all while hitting .405 on the night.

“I think [Henson is] playing at such a high level, and just about every match so far this season she has put up phenomenal numbers,” coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “To be a great team we need someone like that, and she’s coming up big time this year.”

With her impressive resume of consistency, many opponents often focus a lot of their game plan around the Leavenworth, Kan., native, which creates opportunities for her teammates to make plays.

“She just frees us up to hit,” said junior middle blocker Deb Stadick. “When people go camp out on her, it gives me and Kelsey a lot more room to go block. They’re just heading out towards [Henson]. Their defense is ready for [Henson]; they’re not really expecting us all the time.”

Junior Carly Jenson echoed Henson’s double-double presence by tying the second-best kill total with 10 and managing 14 digs on defense while hitting .348 in the match.

It was a big night for the middle blockers as well. Stadick and sophomore Jamie Straube combined for nine assisted blocks while averaging .439 in combined hitting percentage.

“We knew that they had a lot of big hitters — their middle [blockers] especially were their go-to players — so we really wanted to slow them down, really get on them early and slow them down right away,” Straube said.

The tandem of Stadick and Straube put up numbers in more than just blocking. Stadick connected for seven kills in 11 total attempts for a .545 hitting percentage, while Straube tied Jenson’s kill total with 10 while recording one assist.

The Cyclones continue their push through the season against Iowa at 7 p.m. Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.