Final home match brings emotions out of the Cyclones



Iowa State volleyball players hold up their fingers in the Cyclones’ match against West Virginia on Oct. 30.

Andrew Harrington

Kansas State volleyball managed to split the weekend series with Iowa State, taking the second match on Saturday. 

It was senior day for Iowa State, causing the players to come in with a lot of emotions ahead of the weekend. While the team dropped the match in straight sets, the roster had years of memories to look back on afterwards.

Head Coach Christy Johnson-Lynch is proud of the nine seniors on the roster, saying that they have been great players, but even greater people.

“They just are coming from all of these different experiences and from all over the world, so I think they’re special,” Johnson-Lynch said. “I guess I just can’t say enough about them because if I went through and talked about them individually, we would be here for an hour.”

Seniors Brooke Andersen, Eleanor Holthaus and Taylor Baranski are each still undecided on whether or not to return, with the option to use their waiver years. This may have also been their last matches in the Hilton Coliseum.

Marija Popovic, Candelaria Herrera and Avery Rhodes will all not be returning next season, marking their final home weekend with Iowa State.

Candelaria Herrera was emotional after the match, as Iowa State has meant a lot to her over the past few years.

“It’s a very special moment because I know it is my last time in this beautiful gym, beautiful fans, beautiful teammates,” Herrera said. “Being away from home, they always make it to feel very special and like I was home.”

There were a lot of problems that the Cyclones believe need to be improved upon for Saturday’s match including getting outhit .275 to .133 and unblocked 12 to seven. 

These statistics are concerning to Johnson-Lynch, but she also believes that Kansas State just made better adjustments than her team ahead of the second match. The teams had a day off on Friday with the first match of the series on Thursday, allowing the Wildcats to have an extra day to review film and game plan for the second match.

“A lot of these teams in the Big 12, a lot of us are splitting on these weekends,” Johnson-Lynch said. “That says something about the teams that are making adjustments for the second night. I think that’s a real challenge to win two in a row against a good team home or away.”

The theme among Iowa State is forgetting the match and shifting the focus to the upcoming week against Baylor.

Baylor currently sits in second place in the Big 12 Conference, posing a serious threat to the Cyclones as they attempt to hold their spot in third to close out the regular season.

“I think for us it’s just learn a lesson and move on for Baylor. We don’t have time to just keep thinking about it,” Herrera said.