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Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State volleyball sweeps West Virginia to open conference play

Pam+McCune+and+Lilly+Wachholz+team+up+to+block+an+Ohio+hit+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Sept.+15%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Pam McCune and Lilly Wachholz team up to block an Ohio hit at Hilton Coliseum on Sept. 15, 2023.

The Iowa State volleyball team started conference play Thursday night with a 3-0 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The 25th-ranked Cyclones entered with a 9-2 record following a 2-1 weekend at the Cyclone Invitational, while the Mountaineers sat at 6-6 overall. Both were looking to get in the win column early in Big 12 play.

Here are the three big takeaways from Iowa State’s sweep over West Virginia.

Out of the gate swinging

Iowa State needed to set the tone early and prove that they wanted to win more than West Virginia. Winning a road game to start conference play isn’t easy, but the Cyclones came to Morgantown prepared.

The Cyclones began set one with a 4-1 run, which set the tone for the rest of the night.

That early lead was maintained for the rest of the opening set, allowing Iowa State to take set one 25-17.

In total, Iowa State had 16 kills in set one. Redshirt freshman Lilly Wachholz led the way with five on nine swings. Wachholz finished with the most kills at the end of the match as well with 12.

Big run catapults Cyclones

West Virginia was able to start fresh in the second set and were right there with Iowa State throughout the first half of set two.

The Cyclones trailed 10-8 but then struck gold. An 8-0 Iowa State run ensued with four kills and an ace from the offense.

Players contributing the kills to the run included sophomore Maya Duckworth, senior Jordan Hopp and Wachholz. Junior Brooke Stonestreet finished the run with an ace.

The offense started clicking, and the defense was doing its job as well. Iowa State never lost the lead after their large scoring run and took the set 25-20.

Setting up a win

The third set was more of the same for the Cyclones. The Mountaineers hung around for a while but were unable to bridge the gap Iowa State created.

Sophomore setter Morgan Brandt tallied her 1,000th career assist in set three. Brandt added 29 to her total to reach the milestone as the Cyclones scored 44 total kills. She is now the 17th Cyclone to make the illustrious list.

Iowa State’s defense forced West Virginia into nine attack errors in the final set alone and 23 throughout the night. For comparison, Iowa State had only 10 the entire match.

This defensive domination and offensive efficiency propelled Iowa State to the win in set three by a score of 25-19, as Iowa State completed the sweep in match one against West Virginia.

Iowa State will stay in Morgantown for its next match at 5 p.m. Friday. The match can be streamed live on ESPN+.

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