Three Big Takeaways: No. 1 Texas gets its revenge


Lee Chinyama

True freshman Maya Duckworth prepares to serve in a match against Kansas on Oct. 7, 2022.

 Iowa State volleyball fell to No. 1 Texas on the road Wednesday night in straight sets.

The Cyclones challenged the No. 1 team in the nation, but the Longhorns continued their 64-match win streak in home Big 12 matches.

Iowa State has lost two consecutive Big 12 games after winning eight straight matches from Oct. 7 to Nov. 1.

The Cyclones have four remaining Big 12 matches before the postseason begins.

Texas gets even

Wednesday night’s match was the rematch of Iowa State and Texas’ Oct. 19 matchup in Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones shocked the volleyball world and handed Texas its first loss of the season in the five-set upset thriller. Texas was the only remaining undefeated team in NCAA volleyball before Iowa State’s unexpected win.

On Wednesday night, Texas got even.

The Longhorns evened the season series by handing Iowa State the loss in the match 3-0. Texas won all three sets by scores of 25-23, 25-19, 25-19.

Facing the nation’s best team, the Cyclones stayed within striking distance. In the first set, Iowa State was within two points of the Longhorns.

Iowa State held a lead 14-12 thanks to kills by Iowa State freshman and Texas native Maya Duckworth and fellow freshman Kelsey Perry. 

Duckworth led the way offensively for the Cyclones. The freshman scored herself another double-digit scoring night with 10 kills playing in her home state.

Duckworth has tallied 15 matches with 10 or more kills in her opening season in collegiate volleyball. As a native of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Duckworth has scored 10 or more kills in all three matches the Cyclones have played on the road in Texas.

Blockers make an impact

Iowa State enjoyed a major boost of offensive efficiency from its blockers in the battle with Texas.

Freshman middle blocker Perry was perfect on Wednesday night with four kills on four attempts on the ball. Perry added three block assists to her box score, the most of any Cyclone.

Blocker Alexis Engelbrecht secured five kills on eight attempts, finishing with a .625 hitting percentage on the night.

But Texas blockers highlighted the night.

Longhorn middle blocker Asjia O’Neal managed seven block assists against the Cyclone attack. Key Iowa State hitters struggled to find success against the air-tight Texas block.

Iowa State’s offensive leader and senior Eleanor Holthaus finished with five kills on 23 attempts and a -.043 hitting percentage. Senior Annie Hatch tallied three kills and four errors in the match, finishing with a -.143 hitting percentage.

Overall, Texas finished with 11 blocks and 33 digs in Wednesday’s three sets.

Conference standings

With the loss, Iowa State moved to 8-4 in Big 12 play. The Cyclones are third in the conference standings with four matches to go.

Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch and company sit behind Texas and Baylor, each a team that Iowa State has recorded a win against at home this season.

Next Wednesday night, the Cyclones will face Baylor in a head-to-head matchup with a chance to move one game closer to climbing the Big 12 standings.