Three Big Takeaways: Plenty of suspense left for Iowa State volleyball


DJ Jacobi

The Iowa State volleyball team comes together on the court after scoring a point against Kansas State on Nov 13, 2021.

Aaron Hickman

Following two straight-set losses at the hands of the No. 7 Baylor Bears, the Iowa State Cyclones closed the regular season with an overall record of 16-11 and a conference record of 8-8.

Still sitting at third in the Big 12, there is plenty of drama left to unfold.

Cyclones continue to falter against top teams

Iowa State fell to 0-6 against top-25 teams with its two losses at Baylor. In those six matches, the team only managed to win one set.

Against the top-25 this year, the Cyclones allowed opponents to hit at a .275 clip while hitting .099 themselves.

With the amount of talent and experience the team has, a switch could be flipped at any time. As the NCAA tournament approaches, that is something that will have to change if Iowa State hopes to make a run.

Out of their hands

Being able to control your own destiny is something teams long for. This upcoming week, Iowa State does not have that luxury.

Since the Cyclones were the only team in the conference to end their regular season over the weekend, they will have to sit and watch while the standings get sorted out.

The only team that could pass Iowa State outright is Texas Tech (7-7), but that would require a weekend sweep against the No. 2 Texas Longhorns.

Kansas, Kansas State or West Virginia (all 6-8) could all tie the Cyclones in the standings. Since the Jayhawks and Wildcats face each other, one of them would have to sweep the other. West Virginia takes on TCU, the team at the bottom of the conference.

Iowa State split against every team that could potentially make life difficult in the final weekend.

Tourney time

The 2021 DI Women’s Volleyball Selection Selection Show will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28th. It will be televised on ESPNU.

With 32 teams making the tournament as automatic qualifiers, Iowa State must hope to land in the other 32 as an at-large team.

Iowa State sits at 45th in country in the Rating Percentage Index (RPI), which is a system that ranks teams based on the quality of their wins and losses, as well as strength of schedule.

The team is sixth in the Big 12 in the RPI, sitting behind Baylor, Texas, West Virginia, Kansas State and Kansas.

In terms of resume, Iowa State currently sitting at third in a very difficult conference says a lot about the team’s quality. However, as mentioned earlier, they are 0-6 against top-25 squads.

It’s hard to know where the Cyclones will end up, both in the Big 12 and in the RPI.