‘This is our time to get back in our groove’: Iowa State rebounds against Texas Tech


Lee Chinyama

Maya Duckworth spikes the ball during Iowa State. vs Texas Tech on Nov. 12, 2022.

Iowa State rebounded from a tough stretch of matches with a win over Texas Tech Saturday afternoon. A re-discovered groove helped the Cyclones secure a critical match late in the season.

The volleyball team has faced a challenging November so far. Following a win over Chicago State, the Cyclones dropped two consecutive matches to Kansas State and Texas.

After Iowa State’s long stretch of wins in the thick of conference play, the Cyclones fell into a bit of a slump. But the 3-1 win over Texas Tech could prove enough for the team to work its way back into Big 12 title contention.

“It felt like an important match for a lot of reasons,” head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said.

At this point in the season, Iowa State is playing for a top position in the Big 12, a beneficial RPI ranking and, ultimately, a favorable spot in the NCAA tournament.

“It felt like, ‘this is a pretty big match,’ and there was some pressure there. And it’s nice to kind of get one in the ‘W’ again,” Johnson-Lynch said.

While Iowa State breezed past the Red Raiders 3-0 in its previous matchup, the Cyclones faced a vastly improved Texas Tech team. Tech ran a different offense with the return of its main setter and provided Iowa State’s offense with limited attacking options at the start of the match.

Iowa State fought its way to a 25-21 win in the first set with an array of kills from several different Iowa State hitters. But Texas Tech responded in set two, blowing past Iowa State to win 25-12.

“They started serving tougher and passing well,” senior Annie Hatch said. “I think it was just a serve and pass game a little bit, and blocking too.”

Amid Iowa State reeling, sophomore Brooke Stonestreet sustained an ankle injury that saw her leave the match. Stonestreet has thrived in the libero position, and she was a key component to Iowa State’s eight-match win streak.

Stonestreet was replaced by sophomore Allie Petry, who has seen limited time on the court this season. Petry, who didn’t feel well enough to travel to Texas, didn’t have much practice heading into the match.

But Petry stepped up when Iowa State needed it most. Although she didn’t find a kill, her ability to score service aces helped give Iowa State an advantage in critical moments.

“I thought she played awesome,” Johnson-Lynch said. “Played great defense, passed well, had three aces. Just couldn’t really have asked more from her.”

Whether it was the energy from Petry’s appearance or clutch plays from freshman Maya Duckworth, Iowa State hit its stride late in the third set. The Cyclones overtook Texas Tech after a back-and-forth set, eventually winning 26-24.

From that point on, Iowa State was relentless. The team jumped out to an early seven-point lead and kills across the board helped Iowa State put away Texas Tech in the fourth.

“It definitely felt like a game that was just like, ‘alright, this is our time to get back in our groove and just really bounce back,’” said Duckworth, who ended the match with 15 kills.

Back in its groove, Iowa State will need to bring everything in its three remaining matches in the regular season. The Cyclones follow up the win with a road matchup against No. 10 Baylor, along with matches against Kansas and Oklahoma.

Iowa State put itself in a position to reach a top spot in conference with its win over Texas Tech, but now it needs to ride the momentum into another stretch of wins to close out the year.