Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones respond to gain first win


The ISU Volleyball team huddles together before their third match at the ISU v Mizzou Exhibition. Aug. 19, 2022.

Iowa State volleyball split its first two matches Friday at the Rumble in the Rockies tournament in Wyoming. 

In the 2022 season debut, Iowa State fell to No. 18 Creighton in straight sets. The Cyclones rebounded to capture its first victory of the season in four sets in a true road matchup with host school Wyoming. 

Duckworth leads again

Iowa State’s first outside competition of the season came last Friday in Ames against SEC conference opponent Missouri. True freshman Maya Duckworth impressed by leading the Cyclones with 17 kills in her first outing in Hilton Coliseum. Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said the confidence and comfortability Duckworth displayed was something Cyclones fans could get used to, after the Cyclones five-set win against the Tigers. 

Friday marked the team’s first official matchups of the season and again Duckworth led the way. In Iowa State’s first match against Creighton, Duckworth led her team with 12 kills and one service ace. 

Veteran Eleanor Holthaus earned 11 kills in the first match of her fifth season in a Cyclone uniform. The senior also performed for a hitting percentage of .450. 

Defensively, Jaden Newsome led the way with 12 digs. The Cyclone’s starting setter eclishped the 300 career dig mark in the contest. Newsome also led the way in assists with 25. 

Three Tight sets

Iowa State lost in a sweep to Creighton, a  fellow 2021 NCAA tournament team. In 2021, Creighton finished 31-4 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. On Friday, the Cyclone and Bluejays finished each set within five points. 

In the first set of the matchup with Creighton, the Bluejays took a 10-5 lead. The Cyclones rallied to bring the score to 14-14. The senior Holthaus led the Cyclones with four kills and a .667 hitting percentage in the match’s first set. Creighton managed to maintain its lead and win the first set 25-21.

In set two, Big East freshman of the year Norah Sis continued Creighton’s edge. Sis, who ranked second in the Big East in kills per set in 2021, recorded three consecutive kills in the second set to allow Crighton to pull ahead. Creighton notched the win in the second set 25-20. 

In the final set, the Cyclones came within one late, with the score being 22-21. However, Creighton maintained its 6-1 early lead and won the set and the match 25-22. 

Cyclones respond

Still searching for its first win of 2022, Iowa State took on the host school Wyoming to complete the first day at the Rumble in the Rockies. After dropping the first set 25-19 to the Cowgirls, Iowa State responded to win three consecutive sets and complete the team’s first win of 2022. 

Holthaus’ 12 kills led the offensive effort for Iowa State in match two against Wyoming. Newsome earned 43 assists and starting libero Brooke Stonestreet earned 21 digs. Alexis Engelbrecht added eight kills at a .333 hitting percentage for Iowa State. Iowa State won the second set 25-20 and the third set 25-19. 

The fourth and match-deciding set reached extra points after both teams rallied and gained momentum. An ace from sophomore Allie Petry afforded Iowa State the 26-24 win the set and gave the Cyclones their first win of the season. 

Saturday, Iowa State will face Wichita State for the final match of the Rumble in the Rockies. The Cyclones will attempt to leave Laramie, Wyoming, with a winning record against the 1-1 Shockers.