Following sweep, Cyclones hit the road


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt sophomore Tory Knuth prepares for a serve from Baylor on Sept. 28 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones shut out the Bears 3-0.

Dan Cole

Fresh off a sweep of Baylor in its first Big 12 match of the season, the ISU volleyball team travels to Lubbock, Texas, on Wednesday, Oct. 2 for a matchup the Cyclones (7-4, 1-0 Big 12) have dominated in the recent past.

Despite having just a 15-20 record against Texas Tech (7-9, 0-1 Big 12), Iowa State has defeated the Red Raiders in each of the previous 13 meetings between the two teams dating back to 2006. That’s the longest active winning-streak the Cyclones have against a current Big 12 opponent.

Iowa State’s previous match was its most consistent of the season, said ISU middle blocker Tory Knuth, who currently leads the Big 12 in service aces. The match showed improvements in several aspects for the Cyclones, which has given them some areas to focus on in practice this week.

“We continued to be a very tough serving team. I think that’s the thing we do the very best, so I was excited to see that again,” said ISU coach Christy Johnson-Lynch. “Probably the best thing we saw is that we hit out of system, meaning when someone else has to step in and set the ball besides our setter, we hit for a very nice percentage. That’s an area of the game we’ve really been working on so it was good to see that kind of improvement.”

In terms of preparing specifically for Texas Tech on Wednesday, the Cyclones are more concerned about controlling their side of the net rather than what the Red Raiders will do, which is how it has been when preparing for most opponents this season.

That preparation goes beyond the physical aspect. Of all the things Johnson-Lynch has emphasized this season, Knuth said the most prominent has been in a mental vein.

“It’s just mostly about staying focused,” Knuth said. “Some rallies get long, games get long and it’s just being able to focus through point 1 to 25 … Can you focus every single point and not let those runs get the best of you. That’s where we were kind of up and down.”

Texas Tech finished last season with a 3-13 record in the Big 12, second-worst in the conference. Iowa State went 13-3 in comparison.

The Red Raiders lost their Big 12 opener last weekend 3-1 at Oklahoma.

The match on Oct. 2 is set to begin at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Southwest.