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Volleyball: No. 25 Iowa State Sweeps Baylor, 3-0

logo_iowa_state_cyclonesAMES, Iowa – The No. 25 Iowa State volleyball squad got its Big 12 portion of the schedule off to a prolific start as the Cyclones defeated Baylor 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-17) Saturday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum. The win improved Iowa State to 7-4 overall and 1-0 in Big 12 play while the Bears fell to 8-9 overall and 0-1 in Big 12 play.

Turning Point of the Match
The sets that make sweeps such as today’s are usually in the second set. The momentum factor going into the locker room is big and teams feel the pressure to either stay ahead, or get back into the match. After a dominant ISU first set where the Cyclones hit .385 as a team, the Bears were able to stick around in the second set, getting the score to 16-16.

The Cyclones would go on to close out the set on a 9-3 run through a variety of means. Tory Knuth had two kills and the set-clinching service ace. Jenelle Hudson’s tough serving allowed Iowa State a 4-0 run to get some breathing room. Plus, ISU took advantage of Baylor errors, as the Bears committed two attack errors and a service error during the 9-3 run.

Match Ball Goes To…
Kristen Hahn. It is tough for a Libero to stand out in a match where the Cyclones hit .314 as a team, but Hahn was able to do just that. The two-time All-American and two-time Big 12 Libero of the Year finished the match with 21 digs, an astonishing 7.00 digs per set, while also chipping in a service ace.

What made Hahn’s performance standout was not just the digs, but the other balls she could also get to. If Baylor sent over a strong attack that the passer could not do much more than keep it off the floor, it was Hahn who was on the scene to help set up an opportunity to get the ball over the net again.

Honorable mentions to Mackenzie Bigbee, who continued her adjustment to playing all six rotations, with 11 kills at a .385 hitting clip and a career-high six digs. Victoria Hurtt was also strong after a couple of challenging matches in recent weeks with 10 kills at a .375 hitting percentage and a season-best three digs.

Quoting Christy Johnson-Lynch
“I thought it was solid match. I liked that we had stretches where we played up to what I think our potential is. Now, there were also times that we did not play up to our potential stretches by not handling the ball and making good decisions. I saw stretches of what we have been working on. We are getting there on the things we are working on such as out-of-system attack. It was a low-blocking match, but we want to make sure we hold our opponents to a low hitting percentage. We will continue to work on that.”

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