Iowa State volleyball ends home stand with loss


Daniel Jacobi II

Iowa State setter Jaden Newsome serves during her team’s matchup with Drake in the Cardinal and Gold Challenge.

Iowa State volleyball faced Northern Iowa Tuesday night to complete a four-game home stand. The Panthers completed the win in the match 3-1, after winning the final two sets of the match.

“We just had some offensive woes,” head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “We’ve got to find a little bit of our rhythm. We just didn’t have that tonight.”

Iowa State shuffled lineups during the match and made 42 kills offensively while making 28 errors. Northern Iowa was the more efficient team offensively, besting the Iowa State hitting percentage .224 to .108.

Freshman Maya Duckworth and senior Solei Thomas led the Cyclones offensively. Duckworth had 12 kills while Thomas had 10. Iowa State’s kill leader on the season, senior Eleanor Holthaus, had six kills on 30 attempts with nine errors Tuesday night.

The loss to Northern Iowa ends a four-game winning streak for Iowa State. The Cyclones were seeking the team’s fifth straight win and a sweep in a four-game home stand that included wins against Iowa, Drake and Wright State.

The Panthers received the win in the first set of Tuesday’s match 25-18. Emily Holterhaus of Northern Iowa gave the Panthers an offensive boost with five kills in the first frame. Holthaus of Iowa State had only one kill after set one.

To start the match, Thomas received her first start of the 2022 season. Thomas is in her second season with Iowa State after beginning her college career at Clemson. The senior transferred for the 2021 season and played in eight matches.

“They were aggressive all the time,” Thomas said postgame. “Their momentum just kind of carried them through the match.”

Thomas recorded a season best with five kills in Iowa State’s match against Penn State, earlier this season. Tuesday night, she improved her season best to 10 kills.

Iowa State responded to win the second set 25-22. But, Northern Iowa’s offensive spark continued and allowed the Panthers to take the third set 25-20 and the fourth set 25-19.

With the loss, Iowa State fell to 5-5 on the 2022 season.

Iowa State libero Allie Petry received her second consecutive start on Tuesday night. The Cyclones are tasked with replacing 2021 Big 12 Libro of the Year Marija Popovic during the 2022 season.

Sophomore Brooke Stonestreet received the start at libero in Iowa State’s first matches of 2022. Petry started at the position on Saturday against Wright State and facing Northern Iowa, the sophomore contributed a career high 26 digs. Petry’s previous career high was 17 digs, set last season while facing West Virginia.

Northern Iowa’s Kira Fallert posted a match-high 15 kills and led a Panther attack the Cyclones were not fully prepared for, according to Johnson-Lynch.

“I took responsibility,” Johnson-Lynch said. “They [Iowa State] were not prepared properly and we struggled defending some things that we knew were coming.”

With the win, Northern Iowa improved its record to 5-5 on the 2022 season.

Iowa State will next take to the road to compete at the St. Louis Invitational. The Cyclones will take on St. Louis, Missouri State and Kansas City and will complete its non-conference schedule on Friday and Saturday.

“The best thing they [Iowa State] can do for us going forward is to be consistent,” Johnson-Lynch said. “When I know what to expect from you I know how we can use it to the best that we can.”