Takeaways: All-around play powers Cyclones to series sweep over Wildcats

Sophomore outside hitter Annie Hatch attempts a serve during the second set against Wayne State on March 26. The Cyclones defeated Wayne State 3-1.

Adarsh Tamma

Iowa State volleyball capped off its spring season Friday and Saturday with a pair of wins against Division II opponent Wayne State College. The Cyclones swept the Wildcats by scores of 3-1 and 3-0 to finish the season with a record of 8-12, including going 3-3 during the spring semester.

The Cyclones recorded a hitting percentage of 0.229 in both matches compared to the Wildcats’ average of 0.168, while also outscoring their opponents in kills, assists and digs. They also had three different players record at least one double double, recording this feat in both offensive and defensive stats.

Hustle plays help Cyclones on defensive end

One of the major themes of Iowa State’s series against Wayne State was the play from the back row of both teams. The Cyclones outdug the Wildcats in both matches, first by a margin of 67-62 in the opening match and 93-80 the next day.

Iowa State’s libero pair of junior Taylor Baranski and senior Izzy Enna led their team on the defensive side of the ball, with both players recording double-digit digs in both matches against Wayne State.

Enna led the charge in her final pair of matches as a Cyclone, first recording 24 digs in the first match and capping off the series with a 19-dig performance. Sophomore outside hitter Annie Hatch also had a strong defensive performance against the Wildcats, finishing with 24 and 17 digs respectively.

Baranski followed both Hatch and Enna with 21 total digs. The Cyclones had five players finish in double-digit figures for digs, but they were also outscored in the blocking game by a combined score of 16-9 to the Wildcats.

Double-double performances lead offense

The front court is where the Cyclones scored a majority of their points through their front line of junior Eleanor Holthaus and sophomores Kenzie Mantz and Hatch.

Mantz had a career day in Iowa State’s second matchup with the Wildcats, recording a collegiate-best 17 kills to lead the Cyclone attack, finishing with a hitting percentage of 0.361.

Holthaus continued her strong form on the left side of Iowa State’s attack, recording a double double in both matches. The Richmond, Minnesota, native finished the season with a kill-dig combo of 22-13 and 11-11 against the Wildcats while also recording an average hitting percentage of 0.206.

Freshman Alexis Engelbrecht also provided a spark for Iowa State off of the bench in the first match, recording eight kills and one error for a hitting percentage of 0.438.

Senior setter Piper Mauck capped off her Cyclone career with two more strong passing performances. The Des Moines native had 50 assists in the Friday matchup, outpassing Wayne State’s entire team, who had 38 total assists.

Mauck recorded 39 assists in the second match Saturday, finishing the season with an average of 22.9 assists per match. She also recorded a double double twice against the Wildcats, recording 13 and 11 dig performances respectively.

Iowa State finished the 2020-21 season with an overall record of 8-12, including going 3-3 during the spring season.