Cyclones take down TCU in five sets, complete weekend sweep


Iowa State libero Marija Popovic gets ready for the next serve in Iowa State volleyball’s match against TCU on Sept. 24. 

Andrew Harrington

Iowa State volleyball once again took down conference opponent Texas Christian University three sets to one on Saturday. The Cyclones have now started Big 12 play 2-0 after back-to-back wins versus the Horned Frogs.

The early portion of the opening set was well contested as both sides of the net were taking big swings. Candelaria Herrera and Jaden Newsome teamed up for a pair of major blocks that led a Cyclone 5-0 run to put them up 9-6.

Iowa State was still not done, as they would go on yet another 5-0 run to build a 14-7 lead as TCU called a timeout. The momentum would not leave the Cyclones side, as a third 5-0 run was all that the team needed to take the first set 25-10.

TCU was not hitting well during the first set, coming away with a hitting percentage of -.111. The opposite can be said for the opposition, as Iowa State finished the first set with a .458 hitting percentage. Individually Iowa State was led by strong play from middle blocker Candelaria Herrera, as she finished the set with four kills on four attempts, to go along with three blocks and an ace.

The hitting performance from TCU improved instantly to begin the second set, as they claimed a 10-8 lead.  Middle blocker MyKayla Myers of TCU suffered an injury during the middle of the second set, but the team would not miss a beat.

Iowa State began to come together, building an 18-16 lead in the set. With their backs against the wall, the Horned Frogs would go on a 6-0 run to take a 22-18 lead. TCU was clicking in all aspects of the game at that point, but a block by Candelaria Herrera began to swing the momentum back to the Cyclones. Iowa State swung right back at TCU with a 4-0 run to tie the set at 22. The Horned Frogs would not let this momentum get in their way, as they took the second set, 25-22.

While the hitting of TCU was improved during the second set, the main issue came from Iowa State’s side of the net. The team committed four errors on the attack, and four errors while serving in the second set alone.  This stands out compared to the dominant first set, in which Iowa State only made one attack error and two while serving.

The Cyclones would come out firing to take a 5-1 lead to kick off the third set. TCU was out of system and caught off balance multiple times to open the set. TCU would bounce back without hesitation, causing another back-and-forth affair.

The Horned Frogs began to pull away, as they took an 18-14 lead, but Iowa State fought right back in it. A few blocks combined with a couple of errors from TCU tied the set up at 21. Each team would take turns scoring, as the set was then tied at 25. An attack error by Kenzie Mantz was the deciding factor for a 27-25 TCU set win. TCU outhit the Cyclones .295 to .273 in the third set, with the slim margin making the difference.

The fourth set showcased what happened throughout the match as both teams were not able to find a spot to place the ball offensively. After a lot of defensive stops, the Cyclones eventually pulled out to a 16-14 lead. Iowa State was once again showing the energy that they had during the first set.

Consecutive attack errors put TCU back on top 20-18, but Iowa State was not going down without a fight. Jaden Newsome and Candelaria once again each made their presence felt, blocking a pair of TCU attacks, cutting the deficit to one.

A service ace from Brooke Andersen followed by a block from Newsome gave Iowa State a 23-22 lead. The blocking play would continue to be a factor, as Annie Hatch and Candelaria Herrera team up for the team’s fifth block of the set, taking it 25-22.

The Cyclone push carried over to the fifth and final set, as Iowa State jumped out to a 4-0 lead with a pair of blocks. Iowa State challenged a call that was eventually overturned, making the score 7-3 in favor of Iowa State.

Brooke Andersen recorded a kill followed by a service ace that gave Iowa State an 11-4 lead. This was all that the Cyclones needed to complete the match, winning 15-4.

Eleanor Holthaus and Candelaria Herrera led Iowa State in kills with 13 and 11, respectively. Jaden Newsome contributed six kills, 44 assists, eight blocks and seven digs to the Cyclone efforts.

The next two matchups for the Cyclones will come in Lawrence, Kansas, on Friday at 4 p.m., and again at 4 p.m. the next day.