Iowa State Falls To Northern Iowa, 3-1

9/10/2008

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AMES, Iowa - Northern Iowa out blocked Iowa State, 16 to four, and hit .323 to defeat the Cyclones, 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 21-25, 19-25), Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum. The Panther win snapped ISU's eight-match winning streak against Iowa schools, which included three straight over UNI.

The Cyclones (5-3) struggled to get anything going offensively because of the UNI block and struggles passing. ISU hit just .211 despite an outstanding performance from Victoria Henson, who pounded out a career-high 27 kills while hitting .372. Rachel Hockaday also had a career-best with 15 kills but the Cyclone duo was outdone by the Panther tandem of Ashten Stelken and Amy Sampson.

Sampson led UNI (7-0) with 17 kills while hitting .356 and Stelken chipped in 13 kills and a match-high nine block assists. Libero Ellie Blankenship paced the Panthers with 18 digs while Shannon Aschoff added a double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs.

The Cyclones got a season-high 59 assists from Kaylee Manns and had 15 more kills than the Panthers. UNI's block, however, forced the Cyclones to commit 24 more hitting errors.

"UNI played great defensively and I thought they really came to play tonight," Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson said. "They scrapped, dove and played great."

Ashley Mass had a match-high 20 digs but the Cyclones never got into a grove offensively after winning the first set 25-22.

"We just didn't pass well," Johnson said. "We left the ball six to eight feet off the net most of the night. On the other hand, I thought UNI passed great and it doesn't matter who you play when they are passing like that."

After capturing the first set, ISU struggled in the second, hitting just .108 to take the 25-21 loss.

The Cyclones held a 20-19 lead in the third set following a Henson kill but UNI rallied for six of the final seven points to win 25-21 and take the 2-1 lead.

In the fourth set, ISU opened up a 3-1 lead on Mary Bisenius' serve but the Panthers quickly cut into that and took the lead for good at 13-12 on a kill from Michelle Burow, who hit .421 on the night with nine kills. UNI pushed its lead to 18-14 and held the Cyclones off for the 25-19 win.

The Cyclones will host their tournament this weekend, opening play with a 6:30 p.m. contest against Iowa. Drake and Xavier open the tournament at 4:30 p.m.

Article courtesy of Iowa State athletics.

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