Cyclones draw first conference newcomer


Tenisha Matlock blocks the ball during the game against Nebraska on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Hilton Coliseum. Cyclones won 3-1, which is the first time Cyclone volleyball team has defeated a No. 1 team in school history. 

Cory Weaver

Being able to review previous matches against an opponent helps a team prepare and know what it needs to improve before game time.

For the ISU and TCU volleyball teams, the two don’t have that luxury this weekend.

Hilton Coliseum will host the teams’ first outing against each other on Saturday, and without much knowledge of the conference newcomer, ISU coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said they will have to learn as they go.

“I think we’re going to have to adjust during the match,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We’ll have some matches to watch, but a lot of it will just be getting that feel in-person for what they’re like, and I think being able to make adjustments during the game is going to be very important.”

Being able to alter their play as the match progresses is not something the Cyclones (7-5, 1-1 Big 12) are unaccustomed to.

Throughout the nonconference season, teams throw around a variety of lineups as they try to find the best combination before conference play begins. Because of this, ISU setter Alison Landwehr believes the coaching staff knows what to look for to help the team succeed.

“I think our coaches do a really good job of catching on to it early so we can kind of make those adjustments quickly, but I think it’s something that we’re kind of used to, so we should be OK with that,” Landwehr said.

Texas Christian (13-2, 2-0 Big 12) moved to the Big 12 during the conference realignment frenzy a year ago, and the former Mountain West school is already packing a punch.

Of the nine volleyball programs in the conference, TCU sits atop the rest in opponent hitting percentage. The Horned Frogs are limiting opponents to a dismal .127 hitting percentage, but ISU middle Tenisha Matlock said it just gives the team more momentum to flip the script.

“That and just as long as [Alison Landwehr] keeps the sets the way we’ve always been hitting, then we should be unstoppable,” Matlock said.

On the offensive side for TCU, junior middle Yvonne Igodan boasts the third-best hitting percentage and kill count in the Big 12 to give the Cyclones something to watch for on both ends.

As opposed to playing on the road first, facing off with the Horned Frogs at home gives the Cyclones a better chance of starting on the right note.

“It’s kind of like preseason; you never really know what to expect,” Landwehr said. “But we’ll have film on them, and our coaches will help us with their tendencies, and then we’ll play them here first, so that’s kind of nice rather than going down there first, I think.”

First serve is scheduled for noon on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum.