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Iowa State sweeps Oklahoma in return to Hilton

Morgan+Brandt+goes+to+celebrate+with+teammate+Alexis+Engelbrecht+after+they+score+a+point+at+the+Iowa+State+vs.+Oklahoma+volleyball+game%2C+Hilton+Coliseum%2C+Oct.+28%2C+2023.+
Maeley Rosengren
Morgan Brandt goes to celebrate with teammate Alexis Engelbrecht after they score a point at the Iowa State vs. Oklahoma volleyball game, Hilton Coliseum, Oct. 28, 2023.

The Cyclones headed back to Ames after a long road stretch where they found little success. Being back in front of the home crowd looked like the difference maker, as Iowa State volleyball swept Oklahoma (25-20, 25-22, 25-16).

“Playing on the road is always a little discombobulating,” head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “You’ve got the crowd screaming at you, so when we can be at home and not have that part of it, and have our crowd do that to the opponents it’s a huge home-court advantage.”

An advantage it was. Iowa State had one of their highest hitting percentages of the season at .325, well above their season average.

“Usually the team that hits higher wins,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Maya Duckworth said it was “Definitely the ‘Hilton Magic’,” that helped the Cyclones win.

“Our fanbase is awesome, the atmosphere is awesome. We wouldn’t be Iowa State without Ames.” Alexis Engelbrecht said about the home crowd.

The Cyclones handled the Sooners well all game, but never truly broke away until the third set. Johnson-Lynch noticed this and said it was the serving and blocking that stepped up late to propel Iowa State to the win.

The 11 service aces from the Cyclones in the match was their highest total on the season. Nayeli Gonzalez and Brooke Stonestreet had three each, Duckworth and Lilly Wachholz had two and Morgan Brandt had one ace.

In terms of the lead, the biggest lead for Iowa State was nine in set three. The Cyclones’ largest lead in the opening sets was six in set one, after a 6-0 run following a 10-10 tie, and four in set two.

Duckworth and Engelbrecht were both pleased with how the team performed and were happy to be back in Hilton. The duo combined for 12 of Iowa State’s 35 kills in the match.

“I thought it was a pretty solid match,” Duckworth said. “We had fun playing today.”

“Everyone contributed, our serving was really strong and servicing was really strong,” Engelbrecht said.

Both Duckworth and Engelbrecht agreed that the blocking was a major factor in beating Oklahoma. They also said it is a contributed team effort every match.

Along with their 35 kills, the Cyclones had 11 service aces, eight blocks and committed only nine attack errors all match. The efficiency on offense and defense was one of the best performances of the season.

“My teammates, when they perform well, it allows me to perform well,” Engelbrecht said.

All around it was a great win for the Cyclones in front of the home crowd. The team will need to stay on their toes, however, since they match up with Oklahoma again on Sunday.

“They have a couple different lineups they can use, so we’ll have to prepare for a change in that,” Johnson-Lynch said. “They had a couple hitters that are normally good for them that struggled. That’s unlikely to happen again tomorrow, so we’ve got to be ready for a higher level of play and bring energy.”

Iowa State and Oklahoma will play again Sunday at noon. The match will be broadcast on ESPN.

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  • R

    Russ | Oct 28, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    Great cover by Brett Twelmeyer on this game. It made me felt as if I was at the game. Great article and enjoy the write up. Thanks Brett for a job well do done.

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