ISU Falls To No. 10 Nebraska Before Record Crowd
AMES, Iowa – 10th-ranked Nebraska used a balanced attack and hit .327 to defeat No. 8 Iowa State, 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-23), Saturday night in front of a standing room only, school-record crowd of 10,203 fans at Hilton Coliseum.
The Cyclones (20-4, 12-3 Big 12) struggled to find an answer for the Huskers attack as five NU players posted eight or more kills.
"It was probably a combination of things. It is hard to regroup and recover after some of the big wins we've had. With Nebraska, then Baylor and then Texas, it tends to wear on you after awhile,” ISU head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “What we talked about is that there is big difference in going into a match as an underdog, which we've done most of their careers. The tide turns. Now we are the ones with something to lose.”
The Huskers (18-6, 11-4) controlled the match with strong passing that allowed for setter Sydney Anderson, who finished with 39 assists, to distribute the ball all over the court.
“If you looked at the perfect passes they had, they passed to their setter every time,” Johnson-Lynch said. “It is tough to stop a team that passes to the setter every time. On the opposite side, we passed to our setter 10 or 12 feet off the net and had high passes to the outside all night. I think the nerves and the tentativeness showed up a lot in the passing and setting aspect of the game."
The trio of Hannah Werth, Kori Cooper and Lindsey Licht finished with nine kills each. Brooke Delano and Tara Mueller added eight for the Huskers, who became the first team this season to hit over .300 against the Cyclones.
Iowa State was led by Rachel Hockaday’s 10 kills and Ashley Mass’ match-high 18 digs. Debbie Stadick had eight kills, while Kelsey Petersen and Victoria Henson finished with seven each.
The Huskers held the edge from the very beginning, taking the opening set 25-16 behind a .375 hitting percentage. The score was 13-12 Nebraska following a service error from Gina Mancuso before the Huskers got hot, scoring seven in a row and 12 of the final 17 points to win the opening set.
Nebraska was able to hold off the Cyclones and take the 25-22 win in the second frame. The Huskers lead was one at 5-4 following an ISU kill from Petersen, but Nebraska rolled off eight of the next nine points to break open the set. The Cyclones didn’t roll over, slowly cutting into the lead and getting within two at 24-22 after a solo block by Stadick on Cooper. Nebraska went back to the senior Cooper on the next play and she delivered with a kill to end the set.
After the break, ISU came out playing better and led 13-11 after a kill from Petersen. Nebraska responded to tie it at 15, but ISU got kills from Hockaday and Kaylee Manns to go in front 17-15. The Huskers again had an answer, tying it at 20 when Licht and Cooper stuffed back a Hockaday swing.
Nebraska pushed its lead to two at 23-21 on Licht’s ninth kill before the Cyclones got two in a row on kills from Petersen and Hockaday to tie it. Back-to-back kills from Delano and Mueller gave the Huskers the 25-23 win and the sweep.
Iowa State hit just .178 in the match and was out blocked six to four.
Iowa State returns to action Wednesday at Texas A&M. First serve for the match is 6:30 p.m. from Reed Arena.