The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones go even at Omaha Invite, drop first loss of the season

Brielle Tuttle
Iowa State University volleyball players, Nayeli Gonzalez, left, and Addi Heidemann, right, on the sidelines during the game against the University of Iowa on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023.

The Iowa State volleyball team split its matches at the MH Hospitality Omaha Challenge, dropping their first match of the season to No. 16 Creighton on Sunday.

The Iowa State volleyball team made a trip to Omaha over the weekend to take on Omaha and Creighton in hopes of extending their hot start to the season. They came in 6-0, undefeated through 6 games for the first time since 2017, but faced their toughest competition yet against the No. 16 ranked Bluejays.

The Cyclones left Omaha 7-1, defeating Omaha on Saturday night before suffering their first loss at the hands of Creighton on Sunday. Here are three takeaways from the weekend’s matches.

Iowa State Defeats Omaha
The Cyclones came into Saturday’s match looking to continue their historic start, and they did just that. Iowa State defeated Omaha 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 21-25, 25-15).

The Cyclones were led by sophomore Maya Duckworth and freshman Kiersten Schmitt.

Duckworth led the team in kills, tallying 13 on the night. She also notched three kills and three digs.

Schmitt had a career-high six blocks on the night and was second on the team in kills with seven.

Pam McCune also stepped up big on defense for the Cyclones, recording eight blocks and five kills with an impressive .455 hitting.

A great serving performance also aided the Cyclones against the Mavericks. The servers racked up 10 aces on the night with three of them coming from Nayeli Gonzalez in the match-deciding fourth set.

Cyclones Take First Loss to No. 16 Creighton
Iowa State saw its undefeated season come to an end Sunday, losing to a very strong Creighton team 1-3 (21-25, 19-25, 25-22, 24-26).

Iowa State was led in the match by setter Morgan Brandt, who despite the loss had a very impressive performance.

Brandt had 40 assists in the match, making her total a whopping 78 on the weekend.
She did this while also leading the team in blocks with five and collecting eight digs and four kills.

Two Cyclones racked up double-digit kills against the Bluejays.

Maya Duckworth led the team in kills for the second straight night with 12, and Nayeli Gonzalez joined her in double-figures with 10 of her own.

The Cyclones were just not efficient enough on the offensive side to keep up with Creighton. They were held to just a .159 hitting, being held under .200 for the first time this season.

Much Needed Experience
Though you want to win every match, sometimes a loss is not the worst thing that can happen.

Leading up to Sunday’s match against Creighton, the Cyclones had not faced much competition at the level they will be facing when they enter Big 12 play, and overall they played pretty well.

The Cyclones kept every set tight and had a great chance at extending the match to five sets, falling just short in the fourth.

With Iowa State being such a young team, the match against Creighton was a chance for the young players to learn how to fight through adversity and bounce back from a loss, which they have not had to do until now.

Although the undefeated season is gone, I believe this match was much needed and will be a positive for the Cyclones moving forward.

The Cyclones return home Thursday for the Cyclone Invite, which will run through Saturday.

They will face UC-Santa Barbra on Thursday, followed by Ohio on Friday and Drake on Saturday to wrap up non-conference play.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Iowa State Daily
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Iowa State Daily. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, send our student journalists to conferences and off-set their cost of living so they can continue to do best-in-the-nation work at the Iowa State Daily.

More to Discover
Donate to Iowa State Daily
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *