Texas overpowers ISU in straight-set victory Saturday

Emily Arthur

The ISU volleyball team fell to the No. 25 Texas Longhorns on Saturday in straight sets, 24-30, 16-30 and 30-22.

The loss dropped Iowa State to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12 Conference while Texas improved to 7-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

Iowa State was able to make things interesting, but was unable to capitalize on the nationally ranked Longhorns.

“Obviously when you have young kids, they’re going to waver in their confidence” head coach Linda Crum said. “They’re going to make errors, they’re going to take a risk when they probably shouldn’t, and they’re not going to take a risk when they should … that’s all a part of learning the game.”

The Cyclones were competitive in game one, but Texas pulled away for the 30-24 win.

Freshman standout Brittany Dalager led the way for Iowa State in the first game, collecting three kills and five digs.

Dalager said as the Cyclones become comfortable playing with each other, they should be able to get wins over teams like Texas.

“We’re there in position. We just have to start making plays, be comfortable playing, and play as a team,” she said. “I think we’re right there. I think we should be able to beat them.”

Game two was all Texas. With the Longhorns leading, 14-11, Texas scored 10 straight points to put the game out of reach.

“We didn’t have anyone responding,” Crum said. “Nobody was stepping up at that point. Anytime you’re in a rotation and someone’s serving ten straight points at you, you’re in trouble.”

Crum said that getting past scoring streaks like the one Texas threw at them is an area in which the Cyclones need to improve.

“We just need to be tough in those situations and have confidence that, hey, we can break this thing right here,” she said. “That’s the mental part of the game for us and part of us growing up, because physically we have the skills. Mentally we just have to step ourselves up.”

Texas picked up where they had left off in game three taking the early lead before Iowa State was able to rally back. However, the ISU comeback fell short and the Longhorns finished out the match with a 30-22 victory.

“It seemed like we had a breakdown where we just didn’t make the plays,” Dalager said of the match. “It [a loss] happens when you don’t make plays. They [Texas] just come back.”

Junior setter Sara Stribe paced the offense with 26 assists. Dalager was again the kill and dig leader for the Cyclones collecting nine in both categories.

Although the Cyclones are young, Crum said that some of the girls don’t play that way.

“For some of our kids, they’re beyond the point of saying I’m young, I’m inexperienced,” she said. “You look at Brittany [Dalager] out there, and she just plays. That’s where you say at some point, you just have to be a competitor and get the job done.”

Dalager said she attributes her way of play to not holding back.

“I don’t want to be timid, because you’re more apt to make mistakes,” she said. “I just want to be comfortable playing. If I make a good play, I make a good play. If I make an error, don’t dwell on it and just go on.”

Iowa State returns to Big 12 action on Wednesday when they travel to Lincoln, Neb. to take on the No. 1 ranked Cornhuskers.

The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the Nebraska Coliseum.