Iowa State Sweeps Slovenia Junior National Team
MARIBOR, Slovenia – The Iowa State volleyball team picked up its first win of the European tour with a sweep of the Slovenian Junior National Team at 25-18, 25-23, 25-21. The teams played out a fourth set and the Cyclones dominated that, too, taking it 25-12.
Iowa State got out to a quick lead in the first set and, outside of a tie at 1-1, never really let go. Five of the first six points belonged to ISU via a strong serving run from Ciara Capezio. The next opening came with the ISU lead down to 8-5 as the Cyclones went on a 5-0 run to open up a 13-5 advantage. The Slovenians were able to battle back just past the halfway stage as they were twice able to reduce their deficit to two points at 16-14 and 18-16. However, the Cyclones were able to take seven of the final nine points of the set and the final five as Morgan Kuhrt put a Slovenia overpass down to take the first set 25-18.
The second frame started well in ISU’s favor as the first three points went to the Cyclones, two on Slovenia errors and a third on a Caitlin Nolan ace. However, Slovenia ripped off the next five points to move ahead for the first time. Iowa State looked ready to open up some room as back-to-back Samara West Kills made it 13-11 ISU. However, Slovenia struck back with five points in a row to get back ahead. Iowa State got it tied back up at 20-20 when Capezio fired a kill down the line. The teams traded points until it got to 23-23, when Mackenzie Bigbee and West blocked a Slovenia attack to get to set point and Victoria Hurtt finished the set off on the first try to give ISU a 25-23 set victory.
The third set was close to even throughout the entire frame. ISU was able to get up to a lead of 13-9 on a Hurtt kill, but Slovenia quickly responded with four straight points to even it back up. ISU pulled ahead for good at 20-19 on a Slovenia service error. At 22-21 Cyclones, ISU got the final three points as Suzanne Horner won a battle at the net, Capezio hit the line cross-court for a kill and Taylor Goetz landed an ace to give ISU the set at 25-21.
The two sides played out a fourth set and the Cyclones controlled it from the go. Maria Fruechte had back-to-back kills to get the Cyclones ahead 2-1. The Slovenians were able to strike back and get ahead 7-5, but the Cyclones got five straight points, four on Slovenia errors, to move ahead 10-7. From there, Iowa State won 15 of the final 19 points of the match, with Nolan serving up a pair of aces in a run to get the Cyclones two points away from closing out the set. Monique Harris closed out the set herself with an ace to give it to the Cyclones at 25-12.
Iowa State is done playing in Slovenia, and will next be in action in Italy on Saturday against the Italian Junior National Team.