Cyclones to host No. 1 ranked Texas


Owen Aanestad / Iowa State Daily

Then true freshman Maya Duckworth celebrates during Iowa State’s comeback win against West Virginia on Oct. 12, 2022.

Iowa State volleyball will host Texas at Hilton Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The Cyclones’ three-game win streak will be on the line against college volleyball’s unanimous number-one team and the only remaining undefeated team in the NCAA.

Texas (14-0) heads to Ames, having won ten-straight matches against the Cyclones. Iowa State’s last win against the Longhorns was in 2016 in a five-set battle in Ames.

A top-ranked Texas is nothing new for Iowa State. Notably, fifth-year senior Eleanor Holthaus has faced a Texas team in the top eight of the national rankings in all five years of her Cyclone career. Wednesday’s game will be the fifth time Holthaus has played a No. 1 ranked Texas team.

“We treat them as any other team that we’re playing,” Holthaus said. “We know this conference is really good. What we’ve been doing so far has gotten us ready.”

Texas has been ranked No. 1 in each of the last five meetings of the two teams.

Holthaus recently moved up on the Iowa State all-time kills list. In Iowa State’s winning effort against West Virginia on Oct. 12, Holthaus gained the title of fifth-best scorer in Cyclone volleyball history.

So far, Holthaus leads her team in kills with 239 after Iowa State’s first 19 matches.

Wednesday will be Iowa State’s fourth match of the 2022 season against a top-25 opponent. Iowa State has competed against currently ranked No. 18 Creighton, No. 14 Baylor and No. 13 Penn State.

The unranked Cyclones fell to Creighton and Penn State in neutral location matches earlier in the season. But the Cyclones earned a marque win when they topped Baylor in four sets at Hilton Coliseum on Sept. 28.

Now, with the Cyclones entering Wednesday’s match with a three-game winning streak fresh off a road win against Oklahoma, Holthaus and company are looking to find momentum from the team’s previous big-time matches.

“Big matches are fun to play in,” Holthaus said. “So, if you can remember that feeling, that excitement and that energy and carry it over to those other matches it just gets you on a roll.”

Texas’ five-set losses this season are the fewest of any team in the nation. The Longhorns, led by league-leading setter Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres, boast the most efficient offense in the nation. Ka’aha’aina-Torres leads the Big 12 with 11.42 kills per set and her offense swings for a .324 hitting percentage.

Texas has the latest offensive and defensive players of the week for the Big 12 conference. Logan Eggleston is the all-time leader in aces in the Texas volleyball program, and her 0.43 aces per set helped her earn Big 12 offensive player of the week for Oct. 18.

Asjia O’Neal was named Big 12 defensive player of the week after her eight total blocks against Baylor in Texas’ most recent win. O’Neal secured 18 total blocks in the pair of matches between Texas and Iowa State last season.

The Cyclones also will bring a conference honoree to the court Wednesday night. True freshman Maya Duckworth was named Big 12 rookie of the week for the second consecutive week.

Duckworth, a native of Texas, was key in Iowa State’s comeback win against West Virginia, earning 14 kills and 10 digs against the Mountaineers.