The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State volleyball sweeps Big 12 newcomer UCF

Cyclones+carry+teammate+in+celebration+during+the+Iowa+State+vs.+University+of+Central+Florida+Volleyball+Game%2C+Hilton+Coliseum%2C+Nov.+22%2C+2023.
Josue Aleman
Cyclones carry teammate in celebration during the Iowa State vs. University of Central Florida Volleyball Game, Hilton Coliseum, Nov. 22, 2023.

AMES — After a week in Texas, Iowa State volleyball headed back to Hilton for the final week of the regular season. Big 12 newcomer UCF awaited the Cyclones on Thanksgiving Eve.

Iowa State completed its 11th sweep of the season (25-14, 25-22, 25-23). UCF kept things close all match, but Iowa State was too much for the Knights to handle.

The match got off to a strange and slow start due to multiple challenges and an injury. Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said it changed the flow of the match and kept UCF competitive with the Cyclones throughout.

“It was very confusing,” Johnson-Lynch said. “That started a weird vibe for the night, and the slowness kept up.”

Both teams did have trouble hitting throughout the match. Iowa State hit .168 and UCF hit .051, much due to miscommunication for the Cyclones, and the Knights had trouble returning the Cyclone attacks.

“Our rhythm was a little off,” Johnson-Lynch said. “It was the whole vibe of the match. It was kind of slow and uneven, and we just didn’t look real smooth offensively.”

Attack errors were a big factor for the low hit percentages. Iowa State and UCF had 22 each.

Once again, the Cyclones were serving aggressively. Five aces, led by Alexis Engelbrecht with two, outdid the Knights by two, but the Cyclones had seven service errors, which was a result of the aggressive serving.

The match ended on an ace by redshirt freshman Lilly Wachholz.

“I think we’re serving well. I think we’re playing better defense and blocking better,” Johnson-Lynch said. “Those parts of the game that we’ve been focused on are definitely getting better.”

Sophomore setter Morgan Brandt spread the ball around to many of her Cyclone teammates. Brandt finished the match with 36 assists and three kills with zero errors.

“When you have people you know can execute, it makes your job a lot easier,” Brandt said.

Iowa State out-killed UCF 44 to 28. In all, eight Cyclones had kills, showcasing Brandt’s ability to keep opponents on their toes and set the ball to the many Cyclone attackers.

Sophomore Maya Duckworth led the charge in kills for Iowa State. She was the only Cyclone to get over 10 kills as she totaled 14.

“It’s so easy. She just always throws it out there and it’s a perfect set. I never worry,” Duckworth said.

This win for Iowa State was a big one. A late season conference win less than a week before Selection Sunday is massive against any opponent as the NCAA Tournament inches closer.

“This was such a critical win for us for so many reasons. For our standing in the Big 12, RPI, getting ready for the tournament, all those reasons,” Johnson-Lynch said. “It wasn’t our prettiest match by any means, but we grinded it out and found a way to win.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Iowa State Daily
$2510
$2500
Contributed
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
$2510
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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