ISU Loses to Czech Republic JNT in Five Sets
PRAGUE, Czech Republic – For the second day in a row, Iowa State and their opponent, today the Czech Republic Junior National team, had a match that went a full five sets. Unfortunately for the Cyclones, for the second day in a row the Czech team came out on top as the Czech JNT defeated ISU 3-2 (26-24, 18-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12) Sunday afternoon. For the second day in a row, ISU played in the gym belonging to club side PVK Olymp Praha.
The match in whole ran very similar to Iowa State’s match against the Czech Republic World University Games team. The Czechs controlled the first set in the early proceedings before a Natalie Vondrak kill tied the set at 10-10. CZR responded with a 3-0 run to give themselves some breathing room before a 4-0 run capped off by a Ciara Capezio kill gave ISU its first lead of the set at 17-16. The teams traded leads a ties throughout the rest of the set, but the Czechs were able to cash in on late ISU errors as a Caitlin Nolan service error and a Samara West lift gave the Czechs the first set at 26-24.
The second set was all Iowa State. The Cyclones scored the first two points and did not look back from there, taking advantage of multiple Czech errors to build a big lead. Capezio in particular shone for Iowa State in the second set as ISU ran away with the set at 25-18.
Like yesterday’s third set, ISU dug themselves a hole very quickly on, giving the first four points to the Czechs, two on Iowa State errors. The difference on Sunday was that it took ISU a little more time to get back into the set. The Cyclones called a timeout down 12-5 in the first set and then went on to take 15 of the next 20 points to get a 20-17 lead. However, the Czechs made ISU work for it as they eventually tied the set at 21 all and 23 all. A ball handling error gave ISU a set point and Capezio took care of business with a service ace to give the Cyclones the second set at 25-23.
Iowa State controlled early proceedings in the fourth set, but a 5-0 CZR run, four of the points earned on ISU errors put the Czechs ahead at 9-7. The Cyclones never really lost sight of the Czech Republic, but every time the Cyclones got the set within two, an occurrence five times, the Czeches were able to respond. Capezio fired a back-row kill to stave off the first Czech set point, but the Czechs terminated the second chance to take the set at 25-22.
Iowa State got off to a good start in the fifth set, but the Czechs blew past ISU with a 7-0 run that included a pair of aces to get ahead 8-3 as the teams switched sides of the court. Like yesterday, Iowa State did a good job bringing the deficit down, but the points eventually dried up. Iowa State was able to stave off two match points, but the Czechs got it on the third try to take the match.
Iowa State will now be traveling to Slovenia via Austria on Monday. ISU will again be in action on Tuesday in Maribor, Slovenia.