Cyclone volleyball going `hunting for Tigers’

Emily Arthur

As the season starts winding down, the ISU volleyball team is looking to finish the season strong, as well as trying to build toward next year.

Iowa State is in its second half of the Big 12 Conference schedule, and sophomore April Gerloff said if the Cyclones can go out this season with some big wins, it will help going into the offseason.

“By finishing the end of this conference season, it’s helping us build into next season,” she said.

“As soon as the matches are over at the end of this season, it’s 2002 for us, fall of 2002.

“That’s what we’ll be working on for spring, so by finishing really well at the end of this season, it’s just like a spark for us. It will help us going into next season.”

Gerloff said the Cyclones are optimistic about the remaining matches on the schedule.

“We see with our match scores and everything that we’re right there, and we just want to take that one more step and take some games,” she said.

“We know that there are teams that we can beat out there, and I think there’s some games where we think we’re going to surprise some people . We’ve got so much better since we played some of those teams.”

One team the Cyclones will be looking to surprise is Missouri. Iowa State hosts the Tigers tonight.

Missouri comes into the match with a 17-6 overall record and a 7-6 mark in the Big 12 while Iowa State is 4-14 on the season and 1-12 in the Big 12.

The Tigers swept Iowa State earlier this year in Columbia, but Gerloff said the Cyclones are ready.

“It will be a really good match. They’re a different team than the past two teams we’ve played,” she said. “They’re quick in the middle. We know a lot about them. They’re a bigger team. They’ve gotten bigger in the past few years.”

Gerloff said she sees similarities in the ISU and Missouri volleyball programs.

“[Missouri] used to be a team like Iowa State, and they’re doing the same exact thing we’re doing,” she said. “They’ve really rebuilt their program. They’re just a couple of years ahead of us.

“They’re at the top of the conference, and it tells you that we’ll be there too.”

Gerloff said that sometimes she thinks teams overlook Iowa State, a factor that could help it down the road.

Teammate Dana Koziol agreed.

“I think a lot of teams come in thinking that it’s going to be an easy night for them, that it’s going to be quick and fast,” Koziol said. “We’re starting to prove to them that that’s not always true.”

Koziol said the Cyclones keep improving, which looks promising for Iowa State’s future.

“Everybody knows what this team’s capable of,” she said. “It’s just going to take some time to get there.”