Iowa State defeats Texas Tech in five set Big 12 battle


Iowa State volleyball outside hitter Kenzie Mantz talks with her teammates during the Cyclones’ match against TCU on Sept. 25.

Andrew Harrington

Strong defense and a few major runs led Iowa State volleyball to a 3-2 victory (21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 19-17) over Texas Tech on Thursday.

Texas Tech made its presence felt out of the gate, capitalizing on three Cyclone attack errors to take an 8-5 lead. Iowa State continued to make errors on the attack, recording three more to fall behind 17-12.

With the team in major need of improvement, Iowa State began to establish a rhythm on the attack, scoring five of the next six points to cut the deficit to 18-17. Texas Tech would hold onto the opening set, winning 25-21.

The issue for Iowa State during the first set was the high number of errors. The Cyclones committed eight errors on the attack, three on the serve and one ball handling error, which resulted in one of the more sloppy sets that the team has played in during 2021. Hitting percentage has been a strong suit for Iowa State this season, but during set one the team only hit at a percentage of .163.

Eleanor Holthaus began to heat up during the second set, scoring a pair of kills and a block to jump out to a 5-3 lead. The Red Raiders would battle right back, pushing the score to a tie at 10. After falling behind by three, Iowa State earned a comeback of its own to tie things at 16. This run would not only change the momentum of the set, but also the match as a 5-0 run gave a 20-16 lead to the Cyclones. 

Holthaus finished off the second set with two more kills, as Iowa State took the set 25-20. Iowa State posted a much improved hitting performance, hitting at a .290 percentage compared to .086 from Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders got off to a strong start in the third set, riding solid defensive play to get out to a 6-2 lead. As they did in the previous set, the Cyclones once again battled back to tie the set at 14. The momentum would stick with Iowa State as the team would go on a 4-0 run to build a 19-16 lead. The tightly contested set would end with a big swing from Candelaria Herrera to win the set 25-23.

The fourth set began with neither team able to go on a run. Eventually the Red Raiders were able to pull out to a 14-11 lead, but it would not last long. Iowa State made a pair of strong serves to once again tie the game at 18. After falling behind 24-20, Iowa State once again made a comeback to tie the set at 24. Texas Tech did manage to hold off Texas Tech, taking the set 26-24.

Once again in the fifth set, the scoring was back and forth with the score tied at five early. Iowa State challenged an out of bounds call and was successful, giving it a 7-6 lead. The set remained tight, as the score was pushed to 11-10 in favor of Texas Tech. Kenzie Mantz made a trio of kills late in the set to once again tie things at 15. The long battle finally ended with Iowa State winning 19-17.

Kenzie Mantz, Eleanor Holthaus, Brooke Andersen and Candelaria Herrera each finished with 12 or more kills. Setter Jaden Newsome contributed eight kills, 51 assists and 10 digs. Marija Popovic performed extremely well defensively coming away with 27 digs. The Cyclones overcame 30 attack errors and 12 service errors to earn the victory.

Iowa State will face Texas Tech once again on Friday at 6 p.m.