Cyclones blow into Texas

Emily Arthur

The ISU volleyball team travels to Lubbock, Texas today to face Big 12 Conference foe Texas Tech.

The Cyclones are coming off a straight set loss to the No. 16 -ranked Aggies of Texas A&M on Sunday. The loss dropped Iowa State to 3-6 for the year and 0-4 in the Big 12.

Despite five straight losses, the Cyclones have continued to play well against highly regarded teams.

“We played good against the 16th-ranked team (Texas A&M) in the country,” sophomore Dana Koziol said. “We’ve developed a lot of confidence in ourselves after playing well against Nebraska and against A&M … I think that should help us in the Texas Tech match.”

Texas Tech is off to a good start this season and is unbeaten at home in six matches. The Raiders’ overall record stands at 7-4 with a 1-2 record in the Big 12.

Koziol said that competing in such a balanced conference makes it possible for upsets to happen no matter which two teams are playing.

“The Big 12 is a conference in which anything can happen,” Koziol said. “If you don’t play up to your potential every night, you can get beat. I think that helps us because people aren’t expecting us to beat the good teams.”

Texas Tech has three players who have recorded over 100 kills and three players who have recorded over 100 digs this season. Although they seem to be a balanced team, Koziol said that the Cyclones aren’t worried about that.

“We also are starting to develop balance,” she said. “It really showed in our game against A&M where we really got our middles involved, and they were doing a great job blocking.”

Sophomore middle blocker Julie Mitchell said that although they lost to Texas A&M Sunday, the match served as a great momentum builder going into tonight’s match.

“We have a lot of confidence going into this match, and we really seem to be playing well,” Mitchell said. “The match vs. A&M was a tough loss, but we definitely learned a lot and played fairly strong.”

Mitchell said a key to the match will be playing to the team’s strength which is blocking. Iowa State outblocked Texas A&M 10 to four Sunday and relied on the block to keep them in the match.

“We’re a pretty good blocking team, so I think that’s our strength and that might help us against Texas Tech,” Mitchell said. “They may hit really low to the net which would help us in our blocking game.”

Koziol said the team hadn’t had a chance to go through the game plan they’ll use for today’s match, but that they’ll do so in today’s practice. However, she said that they’ll come out trying to do what they do every match.

“We’ll just continue to try to serve tough, get teams out of their systems,” she said. “Basically, playing our own game and not worrying about what other teams do.”