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Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones rebound from loss with sweep against Ohio

Tyler Coe
Pam McCune is pumped up after scoring for Iowa State against Ohio at Hilton Coliseum on Sept. 15, 2023.

The Cyclone volleyball team dominated against the Bobcats in their second game of the Cyclone Invitational with a 3-0 win.

Iowa State came into Friday night’s match against Ohio looking to get back in the win column. The Cyclones entered with a different mentality that helped propel them over the Bobcats in a clean sweep.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from Iowa State’s win in its second match of the Cyclone Invitational.

Cyclones finish strong in opening set

The Cyclones started out with an early lead against the Bobcats that diminished as the first set went along. Strong net defense and multiple Ohio attack errors helped Iowa State get out of the gate fast.

Iowa State gave up the lead late in the set, handing Ohio a 20-19 advantage. Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch talked about finishing sets after the match.

“One of the things we’ve talked about as a team this year, one of our values, is stay hungry, and that means just put teams away when we have the lead,” Johnson-Lynch said.

The Cyclones got the lead back and held off Ohio for a nail-biting 25-23 set one victory.

Iowa State stays mentally strong

Iowa State showed how tough it can be defensively and it was the key to their victory. The Cyclones forced Ohio into 27 total attack errors, with 11 in set two.

A 6-0 lead is where the Cyclones found themselves early on in the second set, but that advantage quickly fell to a one-score lead with Iowa State clinging on at 14-13. Freshman Nayeli Gonzalez made sure Iowa State won set two with a monster kill after a late rally to take the set 25-17.

The final point came after a controversial call where Gonzalez was called for touching the ball on an Ohio attack.

“I feel like since I knew I didn’t touch it and they went against it I felt like I had to show them that we’re gonna get that point,” Gonzalez said. “It showed how I wanted to prove that that was ours.”

That mentality carried over into the final set, where Iowa State breezed past Ohio with a 25-13 win to complete the sweep.

Wachholz shines in win

Redshirt Freshman Lilly Wachholz was the star of the show for Iowa State Friday night. A 13 block, zero error, and .650 kill percentage performance led all three categories for the Cyclones en route to their victory.

“Lilly was great on the right side, she had a big night and that’s what she’s capable of, so it’s good to see her have a night like that,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Wachholz was quick to credit her teammate’s success and her impact on the team in the win against the Bobcats.

“Morgan had me one-on-one a lot, so just using that to my advantage,” Wachholz said. “I think our bounceback from yesterday was great.”

Iowa State will conclude the Cyclone Invitational at 2 p.m. Saturday against Drake. The match can be streamed on ESPN+.

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