Cyclones ‘fire on all cylinders,’ take down No. 13 Baylor


Daniel Jacobi II

Iowa State volleyball runs onto the court to celebrate upset win over No. 13 Baylor on Sept. 28.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

Capitalizing on the emotion of the Hilton Coliseum crowd, Iowa State Volleyball was able to claim its first win over a ranked opponent since 2018.

With an all-around performance, the unranked Cyclones took down No. 13 Baylor in four sets. Iowa State handed Baylor its first Big 12 conference loss and third loss of the season as senior hitter Eleanor Holthaus added another milestone to her Cyclone career.

The Cyclones improved to 9-6 on the season. 

“We had really good production from every spot,” head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “Really pleased we could all fire on all cylinders tonight because I think that shows what we can do if we’re all playing at the level we can play.”

Holthaus finished Wednesday’s match with 20 kills at a .410 hitting percentage. She notched a double-double, adding 10 digs to her box score.

Holthaus led the match offensively as she passed 1,300 career kills in Wednesday night’s match. She became the sixth Cyclone player to surpass the mark.

Holthaus is making her way up Iowa State’s all-time kills list. After Wednesday night’s match, Holthaus has tallied 1,313 kills in her Cyclone career. She is 21 kills away from passing Erin Boeve for fifth on the Iowa State all-time list.

Iowa State broke a 10-game losing streak to Baylor with the 3-1 match win.

Iowa State out blocked the Bears 11 to eight in the matchup and was the more efficient offense. Cyclone hitters made 66 kills at a .315 hitting percentage. Iowa State also posted more digs and assists against Baylor.

Iowa State junior Abby Greiman matched a career high with nine kills. She helped get Iowa State middles involved and sparked the offense early on.

Greiman started off the match perfect; she made five kills on five attempts in the first set. Iowa State took the lead first in the first frame and used three blocks to limit Baylor’s offense. The teams tied twice, but Baylor never gained the lead in the first set.

In the second set, Iowa State fell behind 9-5 but rallied to make the score 11-11. The Cyclones used three straight blocks, including two block assists by Alexis Engelbrecht and a solo block by Maya Duckworth, to force set point after battling the Bears point-to-point.

After a Baylor block attempt fell out of bounds, the Cyclones won the set 25-20. The Cyclone had out blocked the Bears 7.0 to 2.0 at the end of the second set. The lead changed hands 15 times in the match’s second set.

In the third, Baylor responded with a 25-20 win. Preseason All Big-12 selection Lauren Harrison added five kills for the Bears in the third set.

The Cyclone attack clicked for the fourth and final set of the match. Iowa State used four kills from Holthaus, Solei Thomas and Mariah Mitchell to complete the upset victory.

“When a team’s on and they’re on in every aspect it’s scary, it’s intimidating,” Holthaus said. “For us, we were going at it in all aspects.”

Thomas finished with 15 kills in response to a relatively quiet outing for the junior in Iowa State’s most recent outing against TCU. Thomas had five kills against TCU but posted a new season high Wednesday night against Baylor.

“I think we found what it feels like for all of us to be on together, what it feels like to play with that intensity,” Greiman said. “That’s something we’re going to have to take with us. We have a really deep conference.”

Iowa State will face Kansas State on Sunday to continue its Big 12 conference schedule.