Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State earns another home victory against Wright State


Maeley Rosengren

Cyclone volleyball celebrates a point in 3-1 win over Wright State on Sept. 10.

Payne Blazevich, Sports Reporter

After a high-energy win over Iowa Friday night, Iowa State parlayed its CyHawk success with another home victory Saturday afternoon. 

The Cyclones took down Wright State in four sets, maintaining control throughout the match. The win secured a sweep for Iowa State in its home event, keeping the Cyclones undefeated in Hilton Coliseum. 

With one more non-conference event remaining, Iowa State aims to take another step forward in the progression of the young team. 

A complete performance

Both the offense and defense were efficient in Iowa State’s victory. Senior Eleanor Holthaus had another 17-kill performance, following her dominant showing against Iowa. Although Holthaus held a majority of the kills, the offense fired off multiple cylinders. 

Senior Mariah Mitchell had seven kills, followed by senior Solei Thomas and freshman Kelsey Perry with six. Thomas has seen more of the court recently and was a key factor in the win against the Raiders.

“It’s pretty awesome to see how we can mix up the lineups all the time, and girls are always stepping up and ready to go, I think that’s what makes us special,” Holthaus said.

The defense was also an area of strength for Iowa State, especially up front. The Cyclones out-blocked Wright State 12-6, with Perry earning eight blocks. 

Although Iowa State had fewer digs, the ability to shut down attacks at the net was crucial. Even when blocks did not land, a presence up front helped set up the rest of the defense. 

“No matter where I was set up, whether I got the block or not, they were getting digs around it,” Mitchell said, who was another presence up front with five blocks. 

Homestand sweep

With the win over Wright State, Iowa State secured a sweep in the Cardinal and Gold Challenge. The Cyclones also broke the .500 mark, currently sitting at a 5-4 record. 

Although they have played competitive matches all throughout the season, wins are starting to materialize for the Cyclones. With the help of a home crowd, along with improved play up front, Iowa State finds itself in a desirable position with conference play looming.

“You always want to win, so it’s really exciting for us that we’re finding our groove and our rhythm,” Holthaus said. 

The wins have not come easy, as Iowa State often found itself fighting from behind throughout the weekend. The necessity to claw back into a match has been a constant so far this season, but now the end result is starting to favor Iowa State.

Each match has required a level of perseverance to either come back, or put a tough team away. The ability to fight is one aspect of the team that head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch is especially proud of.

“I think the identity of our team is really, no matter the record or anything, it just feels like we are figuring out how to persevere,” Johnson-Lynch said. 

One event to go

With the Cardinal and Gold event complete, Iowa State has a match against Northern Iowa, followed by the Saint Louis Invitational up next. After the event, Iowa State will begin conference play.

The Cyclones have spent the beginning of the season trying to figure out their most optimal roster rotation and identity as a team. Although conference play is approaching, the roster has remained somewhat fluid. 

“I think what we’ve learned this week is we have some really nice depth, and depending on the matchup and what we need, [new] players are ready to go,” said Johnson-Lynch. 

The rotation will begin to slim down as the season progresses, but Iowa State is still aiming to find the best combination of players for certain situations. 

“I feel like we are figuring out our options, even though at the same time, I feel like we’re throwing so many things out there that maybe it doesn’t seem as focused because it’s not the same lineup each time,” Johnson-Lynch said. 

With a string of wins on the board, the Cyclones will look to keep the momentum rolling with the non-conference slate coming to a close. A mid-week match and one final weekend event is all that separates Iowa State and its first Big 12 matchup against TCU.