Takeaways: Cyclones have momentous win at home

Eleanor Holthaus ready for action.

Andrew Harrington

Iowa State volleyball opened up Big 12 play with a pair of weekend victories over Texas Christian University on Friday (25-21, 25-18, 25-23) and Saturday (25-10, 22-25, 25-27, 25-22, 15-4).

The team now holds an overall record of 10-3 and is starting to see the defensive effort that they have put in during practice during their matches.

Coming from behind

Iowa State had to come from behind to win against TCU over the weekend in more than one way.

On Friday, Iowa State fell behind 10-5 in the opening set and 22-20 in the third. The Cyclones did not let these deficits affect them, completing both of these comebacks.

As for Saturday’s matchup, TCU pulled ahead two sets to one and pulled ahead 22-19 in set four. The Iowa State players came together and rallied for a win in five sets.

After the first match, Iowa State Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said she is looking to avoid falling into early deficits.

“We have had a little too much experience of that this season,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We have had that happen where we kind of get down big early in the set.”

Block party

The Cyclone defense put on a pair of strong performances when it came to blocking at the net, especially Saturday evening.

Iowa State out-blocked TCU eight to three Friday and 16 to five Saturday. Not only did these blocks make the difference in Saturday’s battle, but it was also the highest block total so far this season.

Iowa State is a team that has prided itself on defensive play, with the players and coaches continually mentioning how important these strong defensive performances are to them.

Senior Eleanor Holthaus commented on the importance of the blockers, saying that it opens up the game for everyone else.

“Our block does a fantastic job,” Holthaus said. “Which makes my job really easy in the back row just to read and play defense.”

On the road again

After almost a month on the road, the Cyclones finally returned to Hilton to take on TCU. The team was happy to be back, and there was a buzz in the arena. However, Iowa State will hit the road again in the coming weeks.

The Cyclones are set for a pair of road matchups with Kansas on Friday and Saturday before heading to Lubbock, Texas, to take on Texas Tech on October 7 and 8.

Holthaus mentioned that if the Cyclones stay focused like they have been, this road stretch will be just like any other home stretch.

“We are kind of used to it by now,” Holthaus said. “Just mentally preparing for that, getting good rest, just focusing on us and playing like we are at home I think will be really good for us.”