MINNEAPOLIS – Iowa State (8-2) started its Diet Coke Classic with a 3-0 (25-12, 26-24, 25-15) win over St. Thomas (1-9) Friday evening at Maturi Pavilion.
The victory saw contributions from all over the court, with the attack hitting .322, the defense holding UST to .109 hitting with 6.0 total blocks and Iowa State getting eight aces from behind the service line. Individually, Brooke Andersen led ISU with 13 kills at a career-best .480 hitting, along with 11 digs and three aces. Candelaria Herrera and Eleanor Holthaus each got eight kills. In defense, Marija Popovic had 21 digs, while Holthaus added 14. Jaden Newsome flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 27 assists, nine digs and seven kills.
Set One: Iowa State 25 St. Thomas 12
After conceding the first three points of the match, the Cyclones settled down to get ahead via a 7-0 run that included a pair of Brooke Andersen aces, the run peaking at 12-5. The ISU serve, fresh off a seven-ace performance at UNI Wednesday night was strong again early, with Jaden Newsome and Marija Popovic adding an ace each to give the Cyclones four for the set. The Cyclone attack hit .452 as a team, while holding the Tommies to .000 hitting on the frame. Iowa State moved ahead 1-0 when Andersen killed at 25-12.
Set Two: Iowa State 26 St. Thomas 24
The Cyclones brought in some new faces to begin the set, with Taylor Baranski, Avery Rhodes and Solei Thomas all entering the fray and helping keep the momentum going. Baranski served up a 6-0 which included an ace to put ISU ahead 6-2. The Cyclone lead got to six at 12-6, but the Tommies battled back to tie it up at 14-14, taking advantage of a pair of Rhodes attack errors. UST moved ahead 16-15 on an Eleanor Holthaus attack error, but the Cyclones regained composure and got consecutive kills from Kenzie Mantz to move back ahead 21-20. St. Thomas battled off a trio of ISU set points to force some extra volleyball. However, ISU got another shot at set point and took care of it with a kill by Andersen at 26-24.
Set Three: Iowa State 25 St. Thomas 15
Candelaria Herrera fired consecutive aces to put the Cyclones ahead 6-3 and this time it was a lead ISU would not relinquish the rest of the evening. Iowa State got a pair of kills from Herrera during a 5-0 run that build the lead to 16-7 and would take care of business from there. The attack was strong again, hitting .382 as a team in the third frame and finishing it off with a kill from Andersen at 25-15.
Player of the Match
Brooke Andersen. The Cyclone senior had one of her most complete performances of her ISU tenure. The Waukesha, Wisconsin native finished with 13 kills at a career-best .480 hitting percentage. She also added 11 digs (for her second double-double of the season) and three aces.
Iowa State closes the weekend and non-conference play on Saturday against No. 11 Minnesota.