Takeaways: Volleyball makes needed adjustments against Kansas


Eleanor Holthaus (right) high fives Alexis Engelbrecht (left) after a point against TCU on Sept. 25.

Aaron Hickman

Iowa State volleyball split the weekend’s matches with the Kansas Jayhawks, losing 3-1 (28-26, 16-25, 19-25, 20-25) on Friday and bouncing back with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-20) victory on Saturday.

The Cyclones moved to 11-4 overall and have put together a solid start to conference play at 3-1.

Necessary adjustments

After winning the first set on Friday, the Cyclones dropped three straight, losing to the Jayhawks 3-1. There were moments in each of those sets where the Jayhawks took control and kept it.

A large part of that was due to the low hitting percentage and errors from the Iowa State attack. Self-inflicted mistakes always hurt, but they hurt worse against solid squads that use those mistakes for momentum.

After committing 26 errors and hitting .184 in Friday’s match, Iowa State cleaned up their mistakes, which led to better efficiency. They trimmed the errors down to seven and hit at a stellar .368 rate. The Cyclones also out-blocked the Jayhawks after failing to do so Friday.

Holthaus continues hot streak

Eleanor Holthaus has been an important staple in the Iowa State volleyball program during her time in Ames and this season has been no different. Her impressive run of form continued over the weekend against the Jayhawks as she picked up two more double-doubles.

Holthaus is now at three straight double-doubles after having 11 kills and 10 digs on Friday and 15 kills and 14 digs on Saturday. She also hit at a .481 clip in Saturday’s match.

Holthaus has continued to prove why she is a Preseason All-Big 12 talent while being a vocal leader and important senior presence on the team.

Time for Texas Tech

The 11-6 Red Raiders are up next for the Cyclones, and they come off a 1-1 weekend against the ninth-ranked Baylor Bears. They’ve had a rough start to Big 12 play, but winning a match against Baylor is a big confidence boost for any team.

Iowa State is currently tied for second in the conference and they have a short week of preparation because this week’s matches are Thursday and Friday.

Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch has preached about continuing to get a little better every week, and this week’s short turnaround will provide a test.