AMES, Iowa – Iowa State (21-7, 13-3 Big 12) moved on the second round of the NCAA tournament with a five-set win (25-11, 23-25, 22-25, 25-13, 15-7) against IPFW (25-7, 12-4 Summit League) on Thursday in Hilton Coliseum.
“What a great match, a crazy match,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “IPFW is such a good team, they’re very scrappy. I think we were a little caught off guard and surprised by how many times they kept the ball alive. There was a lot of pressure on us, and think that was a courageous performance for us there at the end.”
Senior Jamie Straube led the way for the Cyclones offensively with a match-high 16 kills on just 28 swings while hitting at a .500 clip. Straube also registered two solo blocks in the match, her first match with multiple solo stuffs this season. Victoria Hurtt added 12 kills in the effort and Tenisha Matlock and Andie Malloy each tallied 11 kills.
Libero Kristen Hahn recorded her 16th match of the season with 20-plus digs, totaling 24 digs on the night.
Emily Spencer led the Mastodons, the only team to ever win a postseason set against Iowa State in Ames, with 13 kills on .269 hitting.
Iowa State eased to a 1-0 lead, hitting .394 in the first set with six kills from Andie Malloy and four from Straube. Hahn collected nine digs in the opening set and the Cyclones held IPFW to just .054 hitting. Jessie Manwaring and Hailie Ripley each led the Mastodons with three kills apiece.
IPFW came out strong in set two, leading 17-11 after a kill from Sarah Heckman. The Mastodons built an eight-point lead, up 20-12, but the Cyclone rallied, going on a 4-1 run to make the score 21-15 in favor of the visitors. After an IPFW timeout, Iowa State continued its comeback, drawing within three and saving two set points to make the score 24-22, IPFW. The Mastodons used their last timeout and although the Cyclones got a block from Malloy and Tory Knuth, Manwaring came through with her fifth kill of the match to even the score at one.
Iowa State’s offense dropped to .129 in the second game, getting 12 kills but committing eight errors.
The teams traded points early in game three, with Iowa State pulling ahead by two (8-6) on a kill from Hurtt, but errors by the Cyclones and an ace from Kendall Wienkes gave the lead back to IPFW. The Mastodons hit .304 in the set, led by four kills each from Ripley and Manwaring. Straube had five to lead all scorers.
The Cyclones hit a resounding .516 in set four to send the match to a fifth and final set. Matlock had five more kills for Iowa State in the game and she and fellow middle blocker Straube were both hitting at better than a .500 clip after four sets. Spencer had five kills of her own in the set to lead IPFW.
The Cyclones picked up right were they left off to start the fifth set, jumping out to an 8-3 lead behind two kills and a solo block by Straube. Then Hurtt took over with four kills and a solo block in the final set as the Cyclones put the Mastodons away for good at 15-7.