- #20 Iowa State def. West Virginia 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-19)
- #20 Iowa State improves to 18-5 (8-4, Big 12); West Virginia drops to 15-11 (3-9, Big 12)
- Morgantown, West Virginia (Big 12 Match)
- Attendance: 456
- Box Score
Morgantown, West Virginia – The 20th ranked Iowa State Cyclones went on the road and earned an impressive sweep over West Virginia. While the win keeps Iowa State right behind the top three in the Big 12 and continues to hold their potential hosting spot with a high RPI, the loss stings for West Virginia who sits on the bubble and is running out of big-win opportunities.
Iowa State notched the first three points of the opening set and never turned back going coast-to-coast with the lead. West Virginia was never in a spot of getting blown out in the set, but the Cyclones were in control. That would be the narrative overall for the match, as Iowa State only saw five ties and three lead changes for the entirety of a match they commanded.
The biggest factor in that controlling victory was the Cyclones block, which was led by Avery Rhodes (eight blocks, four kills) and Alexis Conaway (10 kills, .400, six blocks, five digs). In total, Iowa State had 13 blocks for the match in just three sets, which fueled holding West Virginia to a .050 hitting percentage. Beyond just earning points and racking up West Virginia attack errors, block touches that aren’t counted in the stat sheet help the back row, which out-dug the Mountaineers 43-35. Payton Caffrey did have eight kills to lead West Virginia, but that Cyclones defense keyed on her and held her to a -0.030 mark.
Offensively, things went smoothly for Iowa State as well. Monique Harris (33 assists, eight digs) divvied out sets to the tune of a .289 attack as West Virginia couldn’t key on just one option. Five players netted four or more kills with three at nine or more as all five hit .200 or better. Conaway and Samara West (10 kills, .292, four blocks) led the way as the only players for the match in double-figures for kills.
It’s a big one up next for Iowa State, as they head back home to Ames to prepare for #5 Texas on Saturday night. West Virginia sticks around at home for two more with the soonest match coming on Saturday as well as the Mountaineers host Texas Tech in a big game for their NCAA Tournament hopes.
Courtesy of Iowa State:
MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – No. 24 Iowa State put up a comprehensive performances Wednesday night to sweep West Virginia 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-19) Wednesday night at WVU Coliseum. The win improved ISU to 18-5 on the season, 8-4 in Big 12 play. WVU fell to 15-11, 3-9 in league play.
The only other team to sweep West Virginia in Morgantown this season is No. 1 Penn State. The ISU effort was led by 10 kills each from Alexis Conaway and Samara West, with Conaway hitting at .400 while also posting five digs and six blocks. The Cyclones finished with 13.0 total blocks, led by eight from Avery Rhodes, which helped hold WVU to a .050 hitting percentage.
First Set: Iowa State 25 West Virginia 18
The story of the match in Ames three weeks ago was the Cyclone block stifling the Mountaineers, and that continued into the first set in Morgantown. ISU led the entire way, guided by 5.0 total blocks which helped restrict WVU to a -.025 hitting percentage for the set. The Cyclones attack got three kills each from Jess Schaben and Samara West in the set. Alexis Conaway closed the set with a kill at 25-18 ISU.
Second Set: Iowa State 25 West Virginia 16
WVU’s offense found some traction to begin the second, spreading the ball around to keep the Cyclone block off-balance. Eventually, Iowa State worked back ahead, going on a 5-0 run to move ahead 12-9. The Cyclone offense did its part in the second, hitting .394 on the frame to go with 6.0 total blocks in the set. Schaben and West led the way again for the ISU offense, getting four kills each in the frame. ISU moved ahead 2-0 when Schaben got her seventh kill of the night at 25-16 ISU.
Third Set: Iowa State 25 West Virginia 19
Again, Iowa State did not relinquish the lead throughout the entirety of the set, as the Cyclones got all aspects of its play on line to wrap up the sweep. The Cyclone offense hit .286 for the set, the ISU defense held the Mountaineers to .067 hitting and the serving game even contributed, as ISU recorded two aces in the frame. The Cyclones wrapped up the sweep when Schaben pushed a kill through the block at 25-19 Cyclones.
Player of the Game
Alexis Conaway. The senior did a little bit of everything in the win, finishing with 10 kills at a .400 hitting percentage, five blocks and six digs.
Iowa State returns to Hilton Coliseum Saturday to host No. 3 Texas. First serve between the Cyclones and Longhorns will be at 5 p.m., with Cyclones.TV Powered by Mediacom televising the match.
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