Iowa State will play West Virginia with only five matches left


Sophomore setter Jenelle Hudson and senior middle blocker Tenisha Matlock stretch to block the ball during the volleyball game versus Oklahoma at Hilton Coliseum on Nov. 9. The Cyclones won 3-0.

Maddy Arnold

On a six-match winning streak and with only five left to play in the regular season, Iowa State will travel to West Virginia. The Cyclones anticipate an NCAA tournament appearance while keeping in mind their original goal of winning-out the season.

The ISU volleyball team (16-6, 9-2 Big 12) will travel to West Virginia (17-10, 3-8 Big 12) on Nov. 13. The Cyclones defeated the Mountaineers 3-0 in their first match up earlier this season.

“We seem to be in a good spot right now, just physically and mentally I think we’re in a good place. [We’re] really excited about these last few weeks of conference and getting into the NCAAs,” said head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch.

The first time these two teams played, Iowa State hit .297 while holding West Virginia to a .153 hitting percentage. The Cyclones won all three sets by a margin of at least six points.

During that match, the Cyclones made eight total team blocks, a category in which they have struggled this season. Iowa State is last in the Big 12 in blocks and only averages 1.60 per set.

Iowa State had five players with five or more kills against West Virginia in their previous match up. Senior libero Kristen Hahn led the defense and averaged over six digs per set in the match.

“Just remembering that [West Virginia is] going to be a different team the second time around especially at home,” Hahn said. “I think [we’ll] just make sure we’re thinking we’re out to sweep every team possible and kind of get that anger and play tough.”

Similar to last season when Iowa State won 10 straight regular-season matches to finish its schedule, the Cyclones have made it a goal this year to win out their remaining matches.

In addition to West Virginia, Iowa State will have four more regular-season matches remaining including one against No. 1 Texas. Johnson-Lynch said this year Iowa State is in a similar situation as last year and there is pressure to repeat the success.

“I think you always feel pressure. I was feeling a lot of pressure a couple of weeks ago, probably even more so than I do now, just because of where we were at and what I felt like we needed to do and how we were playing,” Johnson-Lynch said. “I think there’s been pressure since the beginning. I don’t know that that’s changed.

Although the Cyclones have won six matches in a row and have high hopes for the post season, Matlock stressed not overlooking each opponent from now until the NCAA tournament.

“I think for some of us we just like to just think it’s kind of like another game. But it’s just a game we’ve got to win,” Tenisha Matlock said. “If we stay focused and everything and just give our opponents the most respect that we can.”