Cyclones voyage to Las Vegas

Kristin Peterson

In Las Vegas, another two-match weekend brings new challenges for the Cyclones as they face BYU and UNLV.

Iowa State hopes No. 67 UNLV, the first ranked opponent of the spring season, will give it a taste of the strong competition yet to come.

“I know they are really good teams,” said senior Jenna Langhorst. “I know Las Vegas is ranked, so we are definitely going to have to go out there and play our best, but I think we’re ready to take on some harder competition.”

The Big 12 has seven ranked teams and ISU coach Armando Espinosa is looking forward to showing his players what awaits them deeper in the season.

“We’re looking to see a little bit different competition,” Espinosa said. “[We are] trying to see that level before we have to face the Big 12.”

Brigham Young (4-0) and UNLV (4-2) both have winning records for the season. The Cyclones are currently 1-3.

Although the increased level of competition may be daunting to some, sophomore Caroline Hauge Andersen thinks it will work well as a motivator.

“I think maybe their rank will give us more confidence — because we don’t have anything to lose — so we can go out there and give everything,” Anderson said. “[We need to] just be really keen out there and show that we really want to win because when we have that attitude, it always helps.”

Weather and location may affect play as the team travels to Las Vegas. The team expects it to be cool, as it was when the team lost to Florida Gulf Coast on Feb. 17.

Though still not completely accustomed to outdoor play, altitude may be more on the Cyclones’ side this weekend than last week in Florida.

“We will be playing at a little bit different altitude, so we expect the ball to go a little bit faster, which is going to be a little bit closer to what we are used to playing indoors,” Espinosa said. “Hopefully we will be able to neutralize that a little; in Florida the ball does not travel that fast.”

After their first victory of the season against Stetson last weekend, the Cyclones hope to add to their victories and experience this weekend as they face BYU on Feb. 22 and UNLV on Feb. 24.