Iowa State wraps up road trip at Texas Tech


Iowa State volleyball players talk with Head Coach Christy Johnson Lynch during their match against TCU on Sept. 24. 

Aaron Hickman

The Iowa State volleyball program is back in action earlier than usual this week as they face off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Thursday. This is the Cyclones’ last road matchup for a few weeks and they’ll play on a Thursday for the first time this season.

The Cyclones come into the meeting with an 11-4 overall record, and they have gotten off to a 3-1 start in conference play. The Red Raiders are 11-6 overall and 1-3 in conference play, with their lone win coming from their meeting with the ninth-ranked Baylor Bears.

Kansas is the only common opponent between the two teams so far this year. Iowa State went 1-1 against the Jayhawks this past weekend, and Texas Tech went 0-2 with both losses coming in five sets. However, the fact that the Red Raiders were able to go 1-1 against Baylor and go five sets in both matches against Kansas shows that they are not an easy out.

“They’re a very good team,” Christy Johnson-Lynch, Iowa State women’s volleyball head coach said of the Red Raiders. “They went five sets with Kansas both nights. All the things that we put together on Saturday have to keep happening each night.”

Johnson-Lynch noted that one of those things is serving tough on the first night, instead of waiting until the second to make the adjustment.

The Red Raiders have four players with triple-digit kill numbers, and they are led by Kenna Sauer who has 194. Reagan Cooper and Brooke Kanas are each hitting around the .300 mark and the final player with over 100 kills is Karrington Jones, who is hitting .403. Jones’ hitting percentage is the best in the Big 12, and Kanas’ is tenth. Alex Kirby leads the team with 577 assists.

Defensively, they are led by KJ Adams, who leads the team with 289 digs. On the block, Kanas leads the team with 61.

Blocking and defense will be a key aspect of the game for the Cyclones if they hope to contain hitters with such high hitting percentages. Candelaria Herrera is currently first in the Big 12 with 74 total blocks, and Iowa State has held opponents to a .190 hitting percentage while hitting at a .264 clip. The Red Raiders are hitting .258, while allowing opponents to hit .209.

Despite the talent on the opposing side, the key to winning is clear for Iowa State.

“Focus on us,” senior Eleanor Holthaus said. “We know how good we are and we know how good we can be, so if we focus on what we do on our side of the net, I think we’re going to be alright.”

The Cyclones will play at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and at 6p.m. on Friday. Both matches will be played at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas.