Iowa State dominates in sweep of TCU

Defensive specialist Izzy Enna serves the ball during the volleyball game against University of Oklahoma at Hilton Coliseum on Oct. 3. The Cyclones lost 3-1.

Jack Shover

Iowa State took the first set of the match 25-15 and the second set 25-21. In the third and final set, Iowa State beat TCU, 25-16.

With the win, Iowa State jumped to a 10-10 overall record.

“We really found ourselves,” said sophomore Izzy Enna. “Our energy was up high the whole time and we never gave up and I think we’ve had a problem with that, just giving up, and we pushed through and finally got the sweep.”

Iowa State hadn’t swept a team since Sept. 13 versus Wyoming before Saturday’s win.

TCU was 3-3 in the Big 12 before the game which placed them at fifth in the Big 12 prior to the games start. Iowa State was seventh with a 2-4 record.

At libero, Enna received the start against TCU over incumbent Hali Hillegas. The match against TCU marked the third-straight start for Enna, who had primarily been serving as a defensive specialist in the back row prior to the change.

“[Hillegas is] playing well, Izzy just has been playing very, very well, and so we took a chance and made that change and you know it’s not set in stone, they’re both very good players and we’ll continue to evaluate,” said coach Christy Johnson-Lynch.

Johnson-Lynch said Enna has been good passing and serving, but emphasized Enna’s ability to dig and control balls opponents hit across the court towards the line.

In her first game against Texas, Enna had 16 digs. The next game against Kansas State Enna had 17 which is now her career high.

Against TCU, Hillegas served in the defensive specialist role Enna had been serving in the back row.

Last season, Hillegas was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American at libero and was also named the Big 12 Libero of the Year.

Prior to Enna’s first start versus Texas, Hillegas recorded 28 digs in a losing game to Oklahoma.

Hillegas has had three games with at least 30 digs this season.

During the TCU match, Enna recorded 14 digs to lead the team and Hillegas had 10 playing as a defensive specialist.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity [to play libero],” Enna said. “I’ve worked so hard, I’ve wanted this for so long and just being able to have the opportunity to do it just has been amazing and I just feel like I can contribute energy and I feel that has really helped through the matches.”

Enna said after the game that moving from defensive specialist to libero has required her to take on more responsibilities by leading the team and improving the teams communication on the court.

The beginning of the second set saw Iowa State jump to a 6-0 before TCU tied the game 7-7.

During the set, Iowa State had six serving errors which helped keep the score close for TCU. The rest of the match Iowa State only had one more service error.

From then until the end of the set, neither team lead by more than two points.

With the score at 21-21, Grace Lazard recorded a block to put Iowa State ahead by a point. Then with Lazard serving, Candelaria Herrera and Josie Herbst blocked the TCU hitter to put Iowa State up by two.

With the next serve, Lazard had an ace to score the third straight point for the Cyclones

In the next series, Iowa State and TCU battled back and forth during a long volley before Herrera, and setter Piper Mauck blocked TCU to push it to the set point.

TCU was then unable to get the ball over the net in fewer then three touches allowing Iowa State to take the set 25-21.

During those string of points by Iowa State, Lazard said the team’s focus was having to keep control of the rally and putting the pressure on TCU to finish the set.

From the end of the second set on, Iowa State dominated in every aspect of the game.

During the entirety of the match, Iowa State was nearly flawless on the attack as TCU recorded zero blocks and Iowa State hit .339 as a team.

“I feel like this is the third match in a row that we really clicked, especially offensively,” Johnson-Lynch said. “Our offensive numbers have really shot up the last few matches and when we have all hitters firing it’s very hard for the defense on the other side to kind of line up and know what to do.”

Iowa State’s defense was playing at the same level as the team limited TCU to a .118 hitting percentage and the Cyclones had 13 blocks through three sets.

In the Big 12, Iowa State is in the top half of the conference in every statistic except opponent hitting percentage, where they rank sixth, and service aces, where they rank fifth.

Lazard said after the game the team has more to show and the team will come to expect performances like this game versus TCU moving forward.