MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – Iowa State got back to winning ways with a 3-1 (21-25, 35-33, 25-21, 25-21) win over West Virginia Wednesday night at a steamy WVU Coliseum. The win improved ISU to 8-6 on the year, and 1-0 in Big 12 play, while the Mountaineers are now 7-6 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The Cyclone attack carried the day, hitting .285 as a team, led by a career-high 19 kills at a .545 hitting percentage from Josie Herbst, while Jess Schaben had a season-best 19 kills. Grace Lazard got a career-best 16 kills at .385 hitting, and a team-best five blocks.
In the back-row, Hali Hillegas had 21 digs, while Schaben got her fourth-straight double-double with 10 digs. Taylor Baranski posted a career-best 12 digs.
Set One: West Virginia 25 Iowa State 21
With three absentees for the match, Iowa State went to a 6-2 offense and it proved effective early, helping ISU out to a 7-3 lead. However, the Mountaineers were quick to respond and went on a 5-0 run to move ahead 8-7. WVU got ahead three at 13-10, which ISU reduced on multiple occasions to one, but the Mountaineer block stepped up to bring the advantage up to four at 18-14. WVU made it five at 21-16, and continued to dominate in attack, hitting .576 for the set. The Mountaineers locked up the first set when Lacey Zerwas dumped over at 25-21.
Set Two: Iowa State 35 West Virginia 33
Back in the 5-1 offense, Iowa State was able to get the early lead via a 4-0 run on the strong serve of Piper Mauck to 4-2. The lead was short-lived as WVU got back ahead with a 4-0 run of its own to move back ahead 6-4. Josie Herbst got involved, leading a 4-0 ISU run to tie the frame at 10-10. The Cyclones were back ahead at 17-16, WVU was back ahead at 18-17, but Lazard and Mauck teamed to put the Cyclones back ahead at 19-18 via the block. WVU knotted it at 23-23 on a Kristin Lux kill, and Lux killed again to get to set point at 24-23 but Schaben killed to tie it again. ISU survived two more set points, failed to convert its own and survived six more Mountaineer set points. An Eleanor Holthaus ace gave ISU another change at 34-33, which the Cyclones finally converted with a Herbst kill at 35-33.
Set Three: Iowa State 25 West Virginia 21
The Cyclones maintained the defensive intensity to begin the third, running out to a 7-4 lead. The ISU block, led by Lazard, helped Iowa State build a four-point lead at 13-9. WVU held tough, and was eventually able to get back into the set and got within one on a Lux kill at 15-14. However, the Cyclones pushed through, spreading the attack and calling on the Lazard block to move ahead by four again at 19-15. WVU rallied late, going on a 3-0 run to pull the Cyclones within one at 21-20. Iowa State stepped up the defensive intensity one last time, as a great Izzy Enna hustle play helped bring ISU to set point at 24-21. Iowa State wrapped it up on the first asking when Candelaria Herrera and Holthaus teamed for the Cyclones’ sixth block of the set at 25-21.
Set Four: Iowa State 25 West Virginia 21
Both teams had slim leads early in the set, but the Mountaineers made the breakthrough, using three blocks to spark a 7-1 run and get ahead 14-10. ISU, guided by Schaben, got back within one at 14-13 but the Mountaineers were able to push it back to three at 16-13. WVU continued to pile on the pressure from behind the service line, pushing its lead to four at 19-15. The Cyclones stormed back with a 5-0 run to get ahead at 20-19, WVU got back ahead quickly at 21-20, but ISU returned the favor at 22-21. Hali Hillegas’ ace got Iowa State to match point at 24-21, which ISU locked up when Lux fired wide at 25-21.
Player of the Match
Josie Herbst. Ever since being inserted into the rotation two-and-a-half weeks ago, the junior from Davenport has continued to deliver big performances. Her latest came Wednesday night with a career-best 19 kills at a .545 hitting percentage. On defense, Herbest tied her career high with four block assists.
Iowa State returns to Hilton Coliseum on Saturday to host No. 19 Baylor. The match will start at 3 p.m. and be televised on FSN. Fans with a football ticket to the 11 a.m. game against Akron can use that at Hilton to receive free admission to the match.