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Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones storm past Mountaineers in second match

Josue Aleman
Cyclones attempt to block a ball against Ohio at Hilton Coliseum on Sept. 15, 2023.

Limited mistakes and a comeback steal in the third set helped complete another sweep for the Cyclones against West Virginia on the road, on Friday.

Iowa State started its Big 12 campaign with a sweep against West Virginia Thursday night. The Cyclones were looking to ride that momentum into another win to start 2-0 in conference play.

The offense was clicking all night for the Cyclones, and minimal mistakes helped them take down the Mountaineers once again.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from Iowa State’s second match against West Virginia:

Cyclone offense on fire

Iowa State battled with West Virginia to begin set one. Neither team made many mistakes, which led to a 10-10 tie in what was proving to be a strong battle of offense.

The Cyclones took a lead following a 4-0 run that included three kills and an ace. This run allowed Iowa State to hang on to the lead throughout the rest of the set.

West Virginia mounted a late comeback, but the Cyclones hung on for a 25-21 set one victory.

Iowa State had 19 kills to West Virginia’s 13, which was ultimately the deciding factor despite committing four service errors in set one.

The Cyclones had six players with kills, and 14 of the 15 assists in the set came from sophomore Morgan Brandt fresh off her big night on Thursday in which she scored her 1,000th career assist.

Multiple runs help Cyclones pull away

Iowa State started set two in familiar fashion with a kill by freshman Pam McCune. The Cyclone’s first nine scores came from kills

Despite this, West Virginia would not go away quietly. They were matching Iowa State kill for kill until Iowa State grabbed a crucial point from a long rally breaking a 7-7 tie. That started a 5-0 run forcing West Virginia to regroup with a timeout.

The timeout did not really help out the Mountaineers as much as they had hoped. The Cyclones buckled down and once again did not lose the lead the rest of the way. Two separate 3-0 Iowa State runs gapped the Cyclones from the Mountaineers.

The offense still looked sharp in set two with 18 kills with Sophomore Maya Duckworth scoring seven. The Cyclones cleaned up their service errors as well, with only two in the set.

Set two would have finished with a third 3-0 run, but a call reversal kept West Virginia alive a little longer. In the end, Iowa State won set two 25-18.

Huge comeback finishes Mountaineers

The Cyclones found themselves in a hole to begin set three when the Mountaineers rocketed out to a 6-2 lead.

This changed the flow of the Cyclones on offense and defense because, for the first time in the match, the Mountaineers had a lead.

West Virginia found something and was playing better than they had all night. Iowa State called a timeout when down 17-12, and this is where everything changed.

Iowa State clawed its way back and tied the game at 21. The effort came from a 6-1 run after Iowa State trailed 20-15, which was its largest deficit.

Duckworth gave Iowa State the lead late 23-22 with another kill and finished the match with 17.

The set ended back and forth until Iowa State won on a West Virginia attack error. The Cyclones’ 27-25 win in set three completed their second sweep against the Mountaineers in 24 hours.

Iowa State will travel back to Ames for a double-header against Baylor to start the month of October. The Sept. 30 match can be streamed live on ESPN +, while the Oct. 1 match will be broadcast live on ESPN 2.

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