ISU volleyball wins five-set match to begin weekend in Virginia


Senior Caitlin Nolan (7) bumps the ball while redshirt Junior Morgan Kuhrt (3) looks on during Iowa State’s match against North Dakota on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones defeated the Fighting Sioux, 3-1.

Kevin Horner

A victory in the opening match of the Fairfield Inn and Suites Cavalier Class did not come easily for the ISU volleyball team, yet the victory came. Iowa State (3-1, 0-0 Big 12) defeated Appalachian State (3-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) in five sets on Sept. 4 (25-22, 24-26, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12).

Fueled by a .362 hitting percentage on the match, the Cyclones persevered until the final set to claim victory by nearly the smallest margin possible—successfully rebounding from the 0-3 loss to Marquette on Aug. 29.

Freshman Jess Schaben led all hitters with a record-breaking performance, recording 28 kills on a .394 hitting percentage—breaking the previous ISU freshman kill record of 25. Schaben’s 28 kills also matched the ninth-most in a match in ISU history.

Another freshman who registered significant statistics was setter Remi Bowman who successfully set up 28 assists in her ISU debut. Monique Harris led the Cyclones with 41 assists, setting a career-high.

The opening game set the tone for the entire match, as a back-and-forth battle eventually resulted in a 25-22 match-opening win for the Cyclones. The remainder of the sets mimicked the first as neither team ever held a lead greater than six points in any of the sets.

Junior Ciara Capezio made a significant impact in her return from an ankle injury, notching 17 kills and 20 digs for Iowa State’s only double-double on the match. Redshirt sophomore Samara West recorded 11 kills on the match, finishing third on the team on a .625 hitting percentage.

After a dramatic back-and-forth match, the Cyclones took an 11-8 lead in the final set. However, the Mountaineers of Appalachian State recovered to even the score, only to allow the Cyclones to claim the next two points, setting up game point for Iowa State. 

The set and the match saw its final point on a collaborative block by West and senior Mackenzie Bigbee—rejecting Jess Keller, ASU’s leading attacker, to win the match. It was Appalachian State who dominated the blocking for the majority of the match, recording 9.0 in total, but it was Iowa State who claimed the final point.

Junior Suzanne Horner did not travel with the team to Virginia after suffering a concussion in practice on Sept. 2.

The Cyclones will continue the tournament as they will matchup against Virginia Commonwealth at 11:00 a.m. on Sept. 5 at Memorial Gymnasium in Charlottesville, Va.