Stribe healthy and ready for action

Jeff Stell

After an injury forced her to the sidelines last season, Sara Stribe is healthy again and ready to do her part in turning the Cyclones fortunes around.

Stribe missed the final 12 matches of the 2000 season with a hip injury and was on a mission to get back to 100 percent for her junior season. Stribe will be in the lineup as the starting setter when the Cyclones open the season Friday hosting Western Illinois in the Iowa State Volleyball Heritage Classic.

“I feel 100 percent,” Stribe said. “That was my main goal this summer, to stay healthy and get stronger. With the injury last season it was just very frustrating to sit back and watch because I’m a very competitive person.”

Stribe was a quick healer as she was done with injury rehab only a month after the season ended.

“I needed a month where I wasn’t falling on my hip, wasn’t doing anything like that, so when January rolled around I was ready for the spring,” Stribe said. “I had a lot of stem treatments, ultrasound, ice, whirlpool, a lot of it just motion work to get the swelling down because there was a lot of swelling in my hip.”

Coming off a 2-27 season, the Cyclones are optimistic for improvement and Stribe has taken on a leadership with fellow junior Mandi Harms. With no seniors on the squad, Cyclone head coach Linda Crum knew Stribe could be a leader.

“Sara is very much naturally a leader in terms of her work ethic in the gym and ability to be verbal and make demands on teammates,” Crum said. “Those things aren’t necessarily givens when it comes to being a person on a team, I think those are representative of special talent that leaders have.”

Stribe transferred to Iowa State from Drake originally to play basketball but chose to focus on volleyball fulltime. With two years of college volleyball under her belt, Stribe feels more comfortable court.

“I understand the game so much better,” Stribe said. “I’ve learned so much by just watching. It’s hard when you prepare your whole life to play basketball and you come into a situation where I’ve always loved volleyball but I’ve never understood it as much. It takes learning and playing and the more experience I’ve gotten from playing games has helped me tremendously.”

Graduating from Carroll High as the leading scorer in Iowa girls basketball five-player history, Stribe still can’t shake her basketball player image.

“I wish I could (not be known as a basketball player) because I should be Sara Stribe the ISU athlete, it shouldn’t be a label of a certain sport,” Stribe said. “I’m proud to wear a Cyclone volleyball uniform. I still get asked about basketball but I concentrate on volleyball and that’s my main focus.”