ABC5 Sports Desk
Cyclones Fall In Five At No. 8 Texas
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 22 Cyclones (10-7, 4-3 Big 12) dropped a five-set showdown at No. 8 Texas (16-3, 8-0 Big 12) Wednesday night, 2-3, (28-26, 25-18, 17-25, 15-25, 9-15). Victoria Hurtt paced Iowa State with 22 kills on the night, a season high for the sophomore outside hitter. Iowa State is the only Big 12 team to win a set against the Longhorns this season.
Libero Kristen Hahn recorded 30 digs on the night, her second 30-dig performance of the season.
Iowa State took a 2-0 match lead, hitting .346 before intermission, but Texas came out of the break strong, taking sets three and four behind a combined 21 kills from Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster.
In the final set, the Cyclones scored the first two points but Texas took a 3-2 lead before two kills from Hurtt put Iowa State up by one, 4-3. The teams tied at 6-all but the Longhorns held an 8-6 lead they would not relinquish, as the teams switched sides of the court. As it did in the fourth set, the Cyclone offense struggled to ignite, scoring seven kills but committing five errors (.069), while the Texas offense hit .296 (9-1-27). Hurtt led all players in the set with four and Webster was at the top of the Longhorn kills list, with three.
The Cyclones opened up a 5-1 lead in game one, forcing an early Texas timeout. The Cyclones' service game was on-point early in the match, with aces from Jenelle Hudson and Alison Landwehr in the opening game. The Longhorns climbed back to tie the game at 14-14 and the teams remained within a point of one another until an error by Haley Eckerman set up Iowa State set point and senior Rachel Hockaday scored the winning kill. Hurtt was the only player in double-digit kills in the first set, leading the teams with 11 kills on .786 hitting.
Set two was more of the same as the teams stayed close, tying at 12-all before the Cyclones pulled away for good behind four service aces, two each from Hudson and Jamie Straube, to become only the second team this season to hold Texas to less than 20 points in a 25-point set. The Longhorns hit just .176 in the set, to Iowa State's .325, led by five kills from Straube (5-0-5). As the teams headed to the locker rooms, Hurtt remained the only player on either team with at least 10 kills, sitting on 14 at intermission.
Straube scored Iowa State's first four points of game three as the Longhorns jumped out to a 9-4 lead and never looked back, hitting .433, captained by five kills from Eckerman and four from Bailey Webster. Straube added five kills of her own, giving her 13 on the night, in the first set in which Iowa State did not reach .300 hitting, sitting at .242 with 13 kills and five errors.
Texas took another early lead in the fourth set, 12-7, when Iowa State called its first timeout but the Longhorns would not be denied a fifth set, pulling away for the 2-2 set tie. Iowa State's offense continued its downward swing in the game with a .057 hitting percentage, while Texas blew up on offense, hitting .500 with 16 kills and only two errors, and grabbing six blocks. Eckerman notched eight kills for the Longhorns, leading all players. Heading into the final set, the sophomore was hitting .306 in the match.
The Cyclones play their annual Dig Pink match at home on Saturday night, hosting Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. CST.