Volleyball team hopes to end losing streak

Emily Arthur

The ISU volleyball team was unable to establish any momentum Tuesday night falling in straight games to Kansas, 15-2, 15-4, and 15-6.

“I was really disappointed in the way we played,” said Head Coach Linda Grensing. “Overall, we were very tentative, and we just waited too far into the match to get aggressive. Once that happened, it was too late.”

Freshman Steph Suntken was the top performer for the Cyclones ending the night with five kills for a .231 hitting percentage.

“Steph came in and did a nice job for us,” Grensing said. “She’s coming off an injury, but it really didn’t show. She played a decent game.”

Also having strong performances for the Cyclones were Andi Weigel, Renae Pruess and Julie Mitchell.

“Andi [Weigel] came in and really stepped it up with some nice passes and service aces,” Grensing said. “Another player who showed a lot of aggressiveness was Renae Pruess, and Julie Mitchell played in the backcourt for the first time tonight and really did a nice job for us.”

Senior middle blocker Stacy Nicks and outside hitter Sarah Rollman each added four kills in the loss, while Rollman paced the defense with a team-leading nine kills.

Next action for the Cylcones will be on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. vs Oklahoma.

After the tough loss to Kansas Tuesday night, Iowa State will have to regroup before challenging Oklahoma.

Oklahoma brings a 6-15 record with a 1-12 conference mark into the match at Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State’s record currently stands at 2-21 overall and 0-14 in Big 12 action.

The Sooners lone conference win came at the hands of Iowa State earlier this season. The Cyclones took Oklahoma to five games before falling, 3-2.

Grensing said that she sees the match Saturday vs. Oklahoma as a good opportunity for the Cyclones to get their first conference win of the season.

“Oklahoma’s a good team,” Grensing said. “They have a a lot of seniors who provide a lot of strong experience, but I think we’re very comparable to them. Whoever believes that they are winners throughout the whole match is probably going to come out on top.”

One Sooner to watch will be senior middle blocker Cathy Cook. Cook has been Oklahoma’s top performer throughout the season, leading the team in kills 17 times while also producing 17 double-digit kill performances. A pre-season All-Big 12 selection, Cook is currently ranked fifth in the Big 12 Conference in kills per game at 4.57 and 14th in hitting percentage with a .333 mark.

“Cook is someone who does a lot of things for them,” Grensing said. “She’s been consistent, and is probably one of the better players in the conference.”

Grensing said the keys to the win will be to stay aggressive and consistent.

“It’s going to be a real physical match,” she said. “Whoever can sustain the strong rallies, and be the more stable team is going to win the match.”