Three Big Takeaways: Petry steps up in Iowa State win


Daniel Jacobi II

Morgan Brandt celebrates after the team gains a point in the game against Texas Tech on Saturday Nov. 12, 2022.

AMES — Iowa State volleyball completed a four-set win over Texas Tech Saturday afternoon to return to the win column.

The Cyclones had lost two consecutive matches entering Saturday’s match. To gain the bounce back win, Iowa State overcame an improved Texas Tech team and an injury to a key performer on defense.

Here are the major takeaways from Iowa State’s 18th win of the season.

Iowa State’s team effort on offense

“In our system, you never know who can get hot,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “We do have a lot of good hitters and it’s not everybody’s night every night.”

From the beginning of Saturday’s match, the Cyclones made it known their offensive production can come from anywhere. Four Iowa State hitters tallied four kills at the end of the first set.

“I thought it was a really great team effort,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Maya Duckworth, Annie Hatch, Eleanor Holthaus and Solei Thomas all found an offensive rhythm and kept Iowa State in front of Texas Tech. The true freshman Duckworth and senior hitter Hatch each finished with a team-leading 15 kills.

The veteran Hatch and Texas native Duckworth were feeding off each other’s energy to give Iowa State a bounce-back win, Duckworth said postgame.

Hatch and Duckworth capped off the key third set with the final two points. Duckworth gave the Cyclone set point, and Hatch finished the set with a kill on match point.

“I think it’s just trusting my teammates and knowing the setters are going to give me good balls,” Hatch said. “We’ve been working in practice to swing high and play fearless. That mindset really helps.”

Hatch returned from injury for Iowa State just prior to the Cyclones’ eight-match winning streak. Saturday afternoon was her fourth match with double-digit kills of the 2022 season.

In total, three Iowa State hitters finished with double-figure kills. Holthaus ended the match with 11, while Thomas ended with nine kills.

An error-free second for Texas Tech

In the second set, Texas Tech hitters heated up for an error-free frame.

Texas Tech’s Kenna Sauer posted seven kills in the set, while the Red Raiders boosted their hitting percentage. In the second, Texas Tech avoided the Iowa State block and finished with 17 kills on 20 attempts with zero attack errors.

At the end of the second, Texas Tech was the more efficient offense by a wide margin. They secured the win in the set 25-12. The Red Raiders earned a hitting percentage of .421 before the third set began.

The offense “ebbed and flowed” on Saturday afternoon, Johnson-Lynch said. But Iowa State’s team effort was able to answer with big third and fourth sets.

Iowa State’s Alexis Engelbrecht put together an impressive fourth set after a relatively quiet match. The Cyclone blocker recorded two block assists, a solo block and four kills for Iowa State. Engelbrecht finished the match with seven kills.

A potential big loss for Iowa State

At the end of the second set, a key piece of Iowa State’s 2022 campaign left the match.

Iowa State libero Brooke Stonestreet suffered an ankle injury and would not return to the match. Stonestreet has won Big 12 Libero of the Week honors twice during Iowa State’s 2022 season. The sophomore was leading the match with nine digs at the time of her injury.

Johnson-Lynch and the Iowa State coaching staff turned to its bench.

Allie Petry was ready.

Petry, a defensive specialist and backup libero for Iowa State, entered from the bench to replace Stonestreet and made her presence felt in the Iowa State serve and pass game.

The position isn’t foreign to Petry, who has played left-back and libero in Iowa State practices as well as spring ball, but the native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, has played 63 of Iowa State’s 103 sets so far this season.

“I could really have not asked any more from her,” Johnson-Lynch said. “It says a lot about her confidence. She was very calm and steady.”

Petry finished with 10 digs and a season-high three service aces, playing in just two complete sets.