IOWA STATE 3, TULANE 0 (25-21, 30-28, 25-16)
Ames, IA – In front of 1,500 Cyclone fans, Iowa State (21-13) needed only three sets to claim the title in the NIVC championship matchup against Tulane (29-9). After grabbing the first set, ISU outlasted the Green Wave, 30-28, in a wild second frame and with all the momentum, swept up the victory with an easy third set win.
Iowa State’s front line came out swinging. Midway through the opening set, the Cyclones were hammering the Green Wave with a .500 attack percentage. Eleanor Holthaus, Jess Schaben and Josie Herbst combined for 13 kills while sophomore middle blocker Candelaria Herrera tallied two big blocks to preserve the first set, 25-21.
Determined to swing the momentum, Tulane quickly ran out to a 6-3 lead to open the second stanza behind stout defensive efforts from Makala Heidelberg and Kaylie McHugh, who totaled 10 digs.
With its attacking percentage dipping, Iowa State leaned heavily on its defense to climb back into the set. Herrera dialed up another block, her third of the contest, and sophomore setter Piper Mauck came up with eight digs as the Cyclones tied up the score midway through set No. 2.
Neither team could separate themselves late in the second. Fighting off five set points, Josie Herbst and NIVC kill leader Jess Schaben finished off the Green Wave with back-to-back kills to claim the set, 30-28.
Herrera picked up right where she left off to begin the third set. The sophomore Cyclone out of San Juan Argentina picked her fourth and fifth blocks of the game to give her squad an early 7-3 lead. Sensing a championship in sight, Iowa State kept its foot on the pedal, cruising to victory, 25-16.
Freshman Yvette Burcescu led Tulane with eight kills on the evening and recorded one of four blocks for the Green Wave. Makala Heidelberg gave head coach Jim Barnes her best effort with six kills and 10 digs. Setters Jenna Ibieta and Taylor Henigsnman each ended with 14 assists. With 13 digs on the night, Kaylie McHugh vaulted to a NIVC tournament record with 97.
Two Cyclone players also made NIVC history on Tuesday night. Piper Mauck’s 42 assists gives here the record with 219 while Jess Schaben added 14 kills to her NIVC record, finishing with 99.
The 2018 NIVC all-tournament was announced after the match; those players awarded were:
Jess Schaben (MVP), Iowa State
Candelaria Herrera, Iowa State
Eleanor Holthaus, Iowa State
Dayna Kern, Tulane
Kaylie McHugh, Tulane
Kennedy Madison, College of Charleston
Mariena Hayden, UNLV