CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – The Iowa State volleyball team used a strong serving game to pick up its first sweep of the season over VCU 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-16) Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium. The win improves the Cyclones to 4-1 on the year, while the Rams are now 2-4.
Iowa State recorded 10 service aces in the sweep, the first time the Cyclones have posted double figure aces in a sweep since 2008. Jess Schaben led the Cyclone attack with nine kills, while Grace Lazard had a career-best eight kills.
Story of the Match
Like many sets throughout the season so far, the contest was balanced in the first set. VCU was able to open up the first lead of notice, taking at 13-13 set and turning it to 17-14 in its favor. ISU was able to bounce back, as a kill from Tory Knuth, a pair of blocks and a handling error by the Rams swung everything back to ISU’s favor at 18-17. Things evened up again, but ISU was able to get the last run. A VCU service error put ISU back ahead 21-20, and ISU followed it with a Ciara Capezio ace, a VCU error and a kill for Samara West gave ISU set point. VCU held off one set point, but Jess Schaben got the last laugh with a big kill to take the first 25-21.
The Iowa State offense dominated the second set. The Cyclone offense came out of the huddle on form and firing on all cylinders, hitting near .500 for the first half of the frame. ISU also got support from behind the service line as Monique Harris fired three consecutive aces to move the Cyclones ahead 14-7. Fromm there the Cyclones were in cruise control, continuing to control proceedings at the net and behind the service line. Branen Berta served out the set with ISU’s fifth ace of the set to give the Cyclones set two 25-14.
It was more of the same from Iowa State in the third set as the Cyclones shot an efficient .357 as a team and fired down another four service aces, including back-to-back aces again from Harris. The Rams offense had no answers as the Cyclones built up a lead as big as 24-15 to match point. VCU fought off one, but ISU didn’t have to wait long as Jessica Young’s serve sailed long and gave ISU the sweep at 25-16.
*Iowa State finished with 10 aces as a team, the first time the Cyclones have had at least 10 in a three-set match since Sept. 6, 2008 against Florida International.
*Caitlin Nolan finished with 11 digs, her 23rd consecutive match with at least 10 digs.
*Monique Harris posted a career-high five service aces.
*Harris is the first Cyclone with at least five aces in a match since Ciara Capezio did against West Virginia in 2013.
*Grace Lazard posted a career-high eight kills and a career-best two solo blocks and two block assists.
Iowa State plays again tonight against tournament hosts Virginia, who are also 2-0 on the weekend. First serve is at 6 p.m. Central Time.