Cyclones Impress in Cardinal and Gold Scrimmage
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“I was encouraged by our performance today,” Johnson-Lynch said. “In the first game there were a lot of nerves, but after that I loved our blocking. I’m excited to say that, because I haven’t been able to say that in a long time. There were a lot of good overall individual performances, and overall I’m really encouraged and excited about what I am seeing.”
The two teams combined for 22.0 total blocks on the afternoon. Tory Knuth and Tenisha Matlock were both major presences in the middle with Knuth posting a solo block and eight block assists and Matlock contributing seven block assists. Freshman Samara West was strong at the net with four block assists and Mackenzie Bigbee contributed four block assists, too.
Victoria Hurtt led the attack on the day with 16 kills, Bigbee chipped in with 13 kills and Matlock added 11 kills. The Iowa State newcomers were able to establish themselves in the attack with Maria Fruechte posting nine kills, West recording seven kills and Ciara Capezio chipping in with five kills. Capezio recorded three straight service aces during a third-set run.
“The freshmen did a really nice job,” Johnson-Lynch said. “Maria has a great demeanor, you would never know if she is playing good or bad. She always has the same determination. Samara played great and was on fire offensively. You would not have known she was a freshman by how she played out there. Ciara has played better offensively; she had a tough time adjusting to the block. She will get used to that.”
One of the major storylines of the summer has been the two-player race to fill the shoes of All-American setter Alison Landwehr. Jenelle Hudson posted 37 assists, six digs and three block assists for the Cardinal squad while Taylor Goetz had 26 assists and 11 digs for the Gold team. Johnson-Lynch took the time at her post-match press conference to declare Hudson the starter, but had plenty of praise for Goetz.
“Jenelle will be our starting setter, but I love how Goetz is doing,” Johnson-Lynch said. “She does some really fun things, and finds the middle really well. She brings a great presence to the floor, and I know she will do a great job when she is needed to play."
All-American libero Kristen Hahn paced the Cardinal backline with 24 digs.
Iowa State will begin its regular season Friday at the UND Classic in Grand Forks, N.D. The Cyclones begin with two on Friday, taking on South Dakota State at 10 a.m. and playing host North Dakota at 7 p.m. On Saturday, ISU will square off against Texas A&M at 10 a.m.