VOLLEYBALL: Cyclones sweep sunflower state

VOLLEYBALL: Cyclones sweep sunflower state

VOLLEYBALL: Cyclones sweep sunflower state

Matt Gubbels

The ISU volleyball team experienced a bit of a roller-coaster during their three matches over Thanksgiving break but still managed a 2-1 record.

The Cyclones (19-12, 11-9 Big 12) were swept by Oklahoma on Nov. 22 but bounced back to sweep both Kansas State and Kansas this past week.

The victory over Kansas State gave the Cyclones their first season sweep of the Wildcats since 1995.

Coach Christy Johnson said her team was just off at Oklahoma but was able to bounce back with one of its best performances of the season.

“I think we were a little tense and the team was feeling like it needed to win a couple more matches,” Johnson said. “We learned from it and were just really clicking, serving really tough, and from the get-go it felt like we dominated that match.”

Iowa State did struggle somewhat offensively, hitting under 0.200 for the three matches, but was able to still pick up victories with its serving and defense. The Cyclones had 14 service aces in its two victories as well as a big advantage in digs in both matches as well.

“When we went to Kansas State, we were really focused and had a mindset that we were going to beat them,” senior middle blocker Jen Malcom said. “[Saturday] was a lapse in the focus a little bit; I don’t know if we were tired from K-State but we got the job done.”

Seniors get win in final home match

Saturday was also the final match at Hilton Coliseum for Malcom as well as fellow seniors Mary Bisenius and Amy Vos.

The Cyclones have yet to lose a Senior Night match in Johnson’s four years as coach at Iowa State and Johnson said this class is especially special for the coaching staff.

“It was our first recruiting class when we arrived, so that is special,” Johnson said. “They all three have had a huge impact on our program, so we are certainly going to miss them.”

Malcom had 11 kills in the match and said the entire team wanted to get a win to send the seniors out on top in their last home match.

“It was amazing to get that win; everyone did a great job,” Malcom said.

Cyclones await NCAA Tournament fate

The ISU volleyball team will learn Sunday night whether its NCAA Tournament resume was good enough for the selection committee to put them in the field of 64.

If the Cyclones do make the tournament, it will be the third straight year they have been selected. They are also coming off a season where they reached their first regional.

“To go to the tournament my last three years at Iowa State would be a dream come true and a perfect end to a senior season,” Malcom said. “If we go as far as last year or maybe even farther, that would be even more perfect.”

Iowa State is ranked 39th in the RPI and has several key wins, including two over the Wildcats, who are in the top 15. The Cyclones did not find out until after 9 p.m. Sunday — after press time — if they were in or not.

“Considering we graduated two of the top players in the history of our program, to be able to bounce back and still be a tournament team would be a great sign for our program,” Johnson said.