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Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State continues win streak, takes down Long Island

Annie+Hatch+prepares+to+serve+the+ball+for+Iowa+State+in+their+season+opener+against+South+Dakota+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Aug.+25%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Annie Hatch prepares to serve the ball for Iowa State in their season opener against South Dakota at Hilton Coliseum on Aug. 25, 2023.

The Cyclones took on Long Island in their second match of the GCU Tournament Saturday afternoon. 

The Cyclones kept their winning streak alive, sweeping Long Island (25-18, 25-12, 25-22) and moving to 4-0 on the season. Here are three takeaways from Iowa State’s fourth-straight win of the season. 

Maya Duckworth back in the starting lineup

Maya Duckworth looked to be back to 100 percent for the Cyclones after dealing with some nagging injuries to start the season. 

Duckworth made her season debut during Friday night’s match against Arizona. She had a limited role as the Cyclones tried to ease her back into the rotation.

Duckworth made her presence felt from the start of the match against Long Island, leading the Cyclones in a 25-18 first-set win. She had a team-high five kills in the first set. 

After it was clear the match was going to go Iowa State’s way, Duckworth’s role was reduced in order to make sure she didn’t suffer any unnecessary injuries.   

Duckworth finished the match with five kills and two digs. 

Gonzalez and Hatch continue to shine

Throughout the beginning of the season, senior Annie Hatch and freshman Nayeli Gonzalez led the way for the Cyclones attack. Saturday afternoon was no different. 

Hatch and Gonzalez once again led the Cyclones in kills with seven a piece. 

Hatch also had one dig and one block, while Gonzalez contributed four digs and two blocks, cementing herself as an impactful freshman. 

The two outside hitters proved match-after-match that they have what it takes to lead Iowa State to a successful season. 

Fast start to the season

The Cyclones are undefeated through four matches for the first time since 2017 and have only dropped one set throughout the season. 

In a year where the roster is significantly young, it should be encouraging for Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch, who said before the season that there would be some growing pains for the team. 

Though no performance is perfect, it has been hard to find many negatives from the Cyclones to start the season. 

Coming off of a historic 2022 campaign, it seemed like Iowa State would have a tough time matching that success. So far the Cyclones have done everything they can to ensure another historic season in 2023. 

Iowa State’s last match of the GCU Tournament is at 9:00 p.m. Saturday against Grand Canyon, as the Cyclones look to extend their winning streak to five. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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