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WVU Sweeps ISU, Earns Highest Big 12 Win Total

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Nov. 7, 2020) – Earning its highest conference win total since joining the Big 12 in 2012, the West Virginia University volleyball team earned a 3-0 sweep over Iowa State on Saturday afternoon, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown. 

The Mountaineers move to 7-5 on the season by winning in set scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-16 over the Cyclones (2-8). With the win, WVU has won a program-best seven Big 12 matches and earned a season sweep over ISU for the first time in program history.

West Virginia is now 4-2 at home this season and is 326-244 inside the WVU Coliseum all-time.

“We talk about finishing and making plays in every set,” sixth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “We have to take care of the ball, and I thought we did a much better job of that than last night. I told the team before we started that we had to out dig them and score more points, and I thought we did both of those things tonight. We also minimized our hitting errors. We had 15 as opposed to 36 last night, so I thought that was a big difference in what we were doing.”

Junior outside hitter Kristin Lux finished the match with a team-high 12 kills. Classmate Natali Petrova was good for nine swings, while senior middle blocker Briana Lynch added eight kills on 14 attacks for a team-best .500 hitting efficiency. 

Junior setter Lacey Zerwas was one dig shy of her fourth double-double of the season, dishing out 30 assists to go along with nine digs.

Senior libero Alexa Hasting led the floor defense with 11 digs, while Lynch led the team’s defensive efforts at the net with five block assists. Sophomore middle blocker Emmy Ogogor followed suit with a trio of blocks. 

Additionally, redshirt senior middle blocker Audrey Adams notched a team-high two service aces for WVU, while Lux and Zerwas each had one.

The Mountaineers hit .214 with 36 kills on 98 attacks and seven team blocks.

Hitting .500 behind a trio of kills and a pair of blocks from Lynch, West Virginia came out strong and claimed a 25-20 first-set win over Iowa State. Holding a slim 19-18 advantage, WVU scored back-to-back to points to increase its lead to three, as ISU took its final timeout. Both squads registered an attack error out of the break, but a kill from Lynch, followed by a Mountaineer block, brought West Virginia to set point at 24-19. ISU put down a kill to extend the set, but Lynch and Ogogor teamed up for another stop to hand WVU the first-set victory and 1-0 match lead.

With the second set knotted at 22 apiece, Sunahara challenged a touch on the next play to flip the score in favor of the Mountaineers. His challenge was successful, as Lux was awarded her ninth kill of the night. Iowa State took a timeout to regroup, but Lux continued with the hot hands, finding the end line to record an ace, as West Virginia reached set point. The Mountaineers then teamed up for another big block, winning the set, 25-22, for a 2-0 match advantage. 

West Virginia jumped out to a 22-14 lead in the third set and never looked back. Iowa State posted a kill, but a pair of Cyclone errors put the Mountaineers at set point at 24-15. Eleanor Holthaus registered a kill to extend the set, but WVU capitalized on another ISU attacking error for the third-set victory at 25-16, handing the Mountaineers the sweep.

Looking ahead, West Virginia will welcome No. 1 Texas to the WVU Coliseum for a pair of matches on Nov. 12-13.

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