- #19 Iowa State def. North Dakota, 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-17)
- Iowa State improves to 17-4, 7-3 Big 12; North Dakota falls to 24-6, 9-3 Big Sky
- Ames, Iowa
- Attendance: 2078
- Box score
AMES, Iowa – In the final non-conference match for both teams this season, #19 Iowa State quickly swept North Dakota, 3-0 (25-26, 25-14, 25-17). The Cyclones won every statistical battle, including kills (44-27), aces (6-1), blocks (5-4), digs (66-59) and hitting percentage (.270-.075).
Iowa State was led offensively by Jess Schaben with a match-high 15 kills and contributed 7 digs to the defense. Samara West pounded 11 kills with a .385 hitting percentage to go along with 2 blocks. Monique Harris had the lone double-double of the match with 29 assists and 11 digs. Reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week Hali Hillegas dug a match-high 28 balls on the evening.
The Fighting Hawks were led by last week’s Big Sky Player of the Week, Tamara Merseli, with 9 kills and 14 digs, both of which were team-highs for the match. Setter Sydney Griffin dished 21 assists and added 7 digs and 4 kills of her own. Libero Alivia Fraase added 13 digs to the defense.
Courtesy of Iowa State Athletics
AMES, Iowa – No. 19 Iowa State are now the winners of five-straight after a 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-17) win over North Dakota Monday night at Hilton Coliseum. The win improved the Cyclones to 17-4 overall on the season while the Fighting Hawks fell to 24-6.
ISU held UND to a .075 hitting percentage on the evening, led by 28 digs from Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week Hali Hillegas. Monique Harrisrecorded a double-double of 29 assists and 11 digs. In the attack, Jess Schaben had 15 kills, while Samara West recorded 11 at a .385 hitting percentage.
First Set: Iowa State 25 North Dakota 16
North Dakota rushed out to an 8-5 advantage, but the Cyclones got things put together on the attack, going on an 14-2 run, which included a string of 10-straight to open the advantage to 19-10. ISU restricted the Fighting Hawks to a .027 hitting clip for the frame, with Hali Hillegas getting 11 digs in the set. Iowa State moved ahead 1-0 when Grace Lazard and Jess Schaben combined to deny Lydia Rutten at 25-16.
Second Set: Iowa State 25 North Dakota 14
Again, UND did not allow Iowa State to get ahead, as the Fighting Hawks battled ahead at 10-8. Once again, the Cyclones pieced together a mid-set run to pull ahead, going on a 12-1 run which included three Izzy Enna aces, to get ahead 22-12. The Cyclones, who hit .300 for the second frame moved ahead 2-0 when Jess Schaben got her eighth kill of the match to make it 25-14 Iowa State.
Third Set: Iowa State 25 North Dakota 17
Iowa State won the first three points of the third and never looked back. The defense of Hillegas was astonishing again, as she finished the set with 12 digs. One rally included the redshirt sophomore recording three-straight digs: the first a diving one, the second with her foot while still lying on the ground from the first one and the third a one-armed dig. Iowa State closed out the match when Schaben got her 15th kill of the night at 25-17 Cyclones.
Player of the Game
Hali Hillegas. The Cyclone libero was in astonishing form on Monday night, as she finished with 28 digs, tied for the fourth-most by a Cyclone in a three-set match. She had a pair of terrific sets, getting 11 digs in the first and tying her season high with 12 digs in the third set. She also contributed an assist on the night.
Courtesy of North Dakota Athletics
AMES, Iowa– Host Iowa State posted a 3-0 win over North Dakota Monday at the Hilton Coliseum in UND’s final regular season non-conference affair. The Fighting Hawks will now hone in on the final four matches of the season gearing towards the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
“Tonight was an opportunity for us to go battle a very good nationally-ranked opponent,” UND head coach Mark Pryor said. “Even though we weren’t at full strength tonight, I really liked how we were playing in a couple areas. Our defense was really solid against a very good offensive team for the most part. We made a lot of plays, just not enough once we got to the middle of each set. They were consistent in the teens, and our inefficiency showed up then.”
UND (24-6 overall) got out to a fast start, killing five balls on just eight attempts without an error on the way to a quick 8-5 advantage. The 19th-ranked Cyclones responded with a 14-2 spurt to take control of the set, winning the opener, 25-16.
In the second, North Dakota trailed 4-1 early but rallied for a 9-7 edge. From there, the host squad piled up 15 of the next 18 points for a 22-12 advantage and an eventual 25-14 win.
The third set saw ISU (17-4) take a 12-6 lead off the bat then play sideout volleyball for the most part en route to a 25-17 win in that stanza and the sweep. Monday’s win comes just two nights after the Cyclones dispatched then-No. 11 Kansas on Saturday evening.
Tamara Merseli led North Dakota with nine kills and 14 digs. Alivia Fraase tallied 13 digs while Sydney Griffin notched 21 assists, seven digs and four kills on the evening.
“What showed tonight was our first contact, both in receive and serving, has to improve,” Pryor said. “We played way too many serves that were going out of bounds. To not take free points against a top 20 team just makes it way too hard to stay in sets. And then to serve balls out at crucial times just expounded the problem.
“This match was put on the schedule for just that reason, to have a really good opponent exploit our weaknesses so we can see what we can do to address them. We definitely were able to do some things against them, but not consistently enough. They were just way too steady for us tonight. That’s ok, this is what this match was for.”