Cyclone volleyball heads into exhibition with high expectations


Courtesy of Wesley Winterink/Iowa State Athletics

Iowa State volleyball huddles together after winning a point against No.1 Texas on Oct. 22, 2021.

Payne Blazevich, Reporter

Iowa State will kick off its season with the Cardinal and Gold scrimmage Saturday. The scrimmage will be the first look at a team with a lot of new faces. 

The scrimmage will consist of two groups of Cyclones facing off against each other.

The Cyclones are coming off a productive spring season, where various younger players had a chance to see the court. With the loss of veteran talents like Marija Popovic and Candelaria Herrera, the opportunity to focus on development was vital to a young Iowa State roster. 

“I think we had a group that really embraced the learning process over the spring and it has paid off,” said head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch. 

Along with the scrimmage, Iowa State will take on Missouri in an exhibition match before it competes in the Rumble in the Rockies contest. The pair of matches will be played in front of a home crowd and will be the final chance to work out any kinks before a challenging road schedule. 

One area of focus for Iowa State was bringing the offense up to the level of the team’s defense. In order to accomplish this, Johnson-Lynch has been moving players around to figure out where each one fits best. 

One such player is Solei Thomas, who primarily played right side for Clemson and was moved to outside hitter. Spring gave Thomas some time to train the position in preparation for the fall. 

The team has also honed in on their communication prior to the start of the season. With six true freshmen on the roster, there were efforts to both improve in-game calls and help get the younger players acclimated, according to senior Eleanor Holthaus. 

With the season looming, the time for sweeping changes is over. Now, the team is focused on one match at a time. 

“We are not trying to look too much ahead. We’re trying to stay in the moment, we’re trying to, like, critique the little things here and there and then hopefully it all comes together and we kick some butt,” Holthaus said. 

The Cardinal and Gold scrimmage will take place at 11 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The scrimmage is open to the public with free admission.