Iowa State Takes One Set Off Croatian Champs
MARIBOR, Slovenia – The Iowa State volleyball team fell to Croatian A-1 League champions HAOK Mladost in straight sets 25-23, 25-14 and 25-16 at Dras Sport. The two teams played a fourth set, which the Cyclones dominated by a score of 25-9.
Iowa State took the first three points of the first set, with Ciara Capezio serving up back-to-back aces in the process. However, HAOK would move ahead after a 5-0 run made it 12-8 to Mladost. The Cyclones struck back as Caitlin Nolan served three consecutive aces to tie the set up at 14-14. From there, the teams traded one-point leads and ties up to the 23-23 mark, when the Croatians recorded back-to-back kills, the second one a fortuitous hit over the net and into open court, to claim the set at 25-23.
Things started out pretty even again in the second set as both teams maintained small leads or had the game tied. After a Capezio kill moved ISU to within 8-7, the Zagreb outfit blew open the doors by scoring 14 of the next 17 points to storm ahead 22-10. The Cyclones were able to scrap points back on occasion, but eventually saw the Cyclones off to take the second set at 25-14.
ISU got off to a very good start in the third set. After conceding the first point, ISU took five consecutive points to give themselves an early lead. However, the Croatians were waiting with a big run as HAOK ripped off a 7-0 run to move ahead 9-6. That lead would continue to grow and eventually make it to 20-12. The Cyclones’ radars were off and eventually the Croatian champions finished off the match at 25-16.
In the fourth set, Iowa State led most of the way. With the set tied 3-3, Vondrak posted a kill to move ISU back ahead and start a 9-0 run that was powered by three service aces from Monique Harris. The Cyclones continued to control action throughout the rest of the set, including a run by Victoria Hurtt where she scored four consecutive Cyclone points all on kills. Samara West wrapped up the set with a quick-set kill to give ISU the frame 25-9.
Iowa State will play again tomorrow at Dras Sport against the Slovenian Junior National Team.