Cyclones want to be relentless to close out regular season at Baylor


The Iowa State sideline focuses on the game against Kansas State on Nov. 13.

Aaron Hickman

As the only Big 12 team ending its respective regular season this weekend, the pressure is on for Iowa State volleyball.

Sitting at third in the conference standings with no chance to move up and plenty of ways to fall down, the Cyclones face a tall task against the No. 7 Baylor Bears on Friday in Waco, Texas.

“Baylor’s good, so we expect them to come out and play big and jump high,” setter Jaden Newsome said. “We just need to be relentless and play all out.”

Playing big and getting up high has played a big part in the Bears leading the conference in opponent digs. Hitters like Yossiana Pressley make things very difficult for opponents week in and week out.

Iowa State libero Marija Popovic will have her work cut out for her, and she hopes the team can put together a better performance than Saturday’s match against Kansas State.

“I think we played really bad,” Popovic said. “We deserved to lose. I hope this is a good lesson for our next match so we can improve everything we messed up last weekend.”

The team will need to play fairly mistake-free to be successful against a top program like Baylor.

Head Coach Christy Johnson-Lynch has maintained that every match is critical, and that is true, but getting at least one win down in Waco would have an enormous impact, both in the standings and on the team’s postseason resume.

“We’re gonna have to be firing on all cylinders in every part of our game because we’re going in and playing a really tough team on the road,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Johnson-Lynch also talked about how the team will need to play relentless defense while getting points out of every hitter on the floor and taking each set one point at a time.

Most importantly, Johnson-Lynch and her team are maintaining a very confident approach.

“We’re gonna have to play great. But when we’ve played great, we’re capable of beating anybody,” Johnson-Lynch said.

The first match will be played at 6 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. The second match will be at the same time Saturday.