AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State volleyball team kicked off its season with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-18) sweep of Kent State Friday night at Hilton Coliseum. ISU opened its account with a 1-0 record, while KSU falls to 0-1 in each team’s first match of the Cyclone Invitational.
Grace Lazard and Samara West each led the Iowa State offense with 10 kills each at an over .400 hitting percentage. Lazard kicked off her junior season guiding the ISU block with six blocks (one solo, five assists). In the back row, Hali Hillegas posted 15 digs, while Genesis Miranda had 12 digs.
Set One: Iowa State 25 Kent State 19
After conceading the first point of the season ISU went on a 4-0 run via three Alexis Conaway kills to get ahead 4-1, and stay ahead. The Cyclones put the set out of Kent State’s reach with a 4-0 run that took its advantage to 18-10 on a handling error by the Golden Flashes. The Cyclones wrapped up the first set on a Brittany Jakscht service error at 25-19.
Set Two: Iowa State 25 Kent State 23
The Cyclones found themselves in an early hole as a 4-0 Flashes run put them ahead 11-7. The home squad fought back to tie the set at 14-14, but KSU immediately got three in a row again to get back ahead. Iowa State charged back into the set, tying it back up at 22-22 on a Genesis Miranda kill. Kent briefly got the lead back, but ISU ran off the last three points, with Samara West’s eighth kill of the night sealing the second 25-23.
Set Three: Iowa State 25 Kent State 18
A tight third frame broke ISU’s way at the halfway post via a 5-1 Cyclone run that took the Cyclones ahead 14-9. Kent State worked hard to force a fourth set, bringing ISU back within two at 20-18 by blocking Jess Schaben. However, the Cyclones had too much as Hali Hillegas served out a 5-0 run to close the match that included an ace and two Grace Lazard blocks, with Lazard and West teaming to deny Darby Connors to end the night at 25-18 ISU.
Player of the Game
Grace Lazard. The junior from London became one of the most dominant two-way middles in the Big 12 last year, and in her first match of 2017 showed no sign of stopping. Her power guided her to 10 kills at a team-best .438 hitting percentage, while also getting six blocks (one solo, five assists).
Iowa State is back at Hilton Coliseum Saturday for a Cyclone Invitational doubleheader. ISU hosts Omaha at noon, followed by New Mexico at 6:30 p.m. Both matches can be seen live on Cyclones.TV Powered by Mediacom, and the Cyclones.TV web player.