Iowa State upends TCU volleyball

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    The TCU volleyball team was swept by Iowa State (14-25, 22-25, 23-25) on Saturday night at the Cyclones’ Hilton Coliseum.

    The Horned Frogs (13-9, 2-6 Big 12) struggled with serve receive and offense as Iowa State (12-6, 6-2 Big 12) tallied 13 service aces and 54 digs.

    In the first set, Iowa State’s strong serving recorded six aces. The teams went point-for-point to start the match, but unforced errors by TCU put the Cyclones up by three. Kills by freshman outside hitter Ashley Smith, sophomore right-side hitter Blaire Pickens and freshman middle blocker Natalie Gower evened up the score.

    Again, strong serving extended Iowa State’s lead, taking a 15-10 advantage at the media timeout. The lead continued to grow as the Cyclones went on a 10-4 run and took the first set 25-14.

    TCU’s junior right-side hitter Stephanie Holland started the second set with a block, as the Frogs took a 7-6 lead. The Cyclones responded with a run, but TCU regained the lead. Leading 13-12, Iowa State used a kill from freshman outside hitter Ciara Capezio sparked a 7-1 scoring run that forced the Frogs to call a timeout.  

    TCU came out of the timeout with a kill from Pickens and went on a five-point run to bring the score to 20-19. Iowa State capitalized from TCU errors to gain a 23-19 lead, but the tables turned and errors from Iowa State brought the Frogs back to within one. A final kill from Capezio gave Iowa State the 25-22 set.

    TCU’s defense rallied in the third, using a 5-0 serving run by Sutton Sunstrum and five blocks to take a 12-6 lead. Senior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan led the offense with five kills.

    With the TCU leading by two, a five-point Cyclones run gave Iowa State a 22-19 lead. The Frogs and Igodan attempted to regain control of the set, but Capezio once ended the set and match with a kill.

    Igodan led the Frogs offensively with eight kills, while Gower followed with seven kills. Sophomore defensive specialist Sutton Sunstrum, who played libero in the final two sets, led the team with 11 digs. Sophomore setter Alexia Heist chipped in 14 assists.

    For the Cyclones, sophomore right-side hitter Mackenzie Bigbee led Iowa State with 14 kills. Sophomore setter Jenelle Hudson chipped in 37 assists, and senior libero Kristen Hahn added 16 digs.

    TCU will take another road trip on Wednesday, traveling to Austin to face No. 1 Texas. The match will be match televised on the Longhorn Network at 7 p.m.