Iowa State looks to upset Baylor again


Lee Chinyama

Freshman Maya Duckworth goes for a kill against Texas Tech Nov. 12.

With the regular season in the home stretch, Iowa State looks to take advantage of every possible chance to climb the Big 12 standings. There will be no better opportunity than its second matchup against No. 15 Baylor.

An upset win over Baylor — ranked No. 13 at the time — was Iowa State’s first win over a ranked team all season. It was also the first time the team put together a complete match, achieving on both the offensive and defensive end.

The Cyclones would later trump the top-15 win over Baylor by topping No. 1 Texas. The win came amid an eight-match winning streak that saw the Cyclones climb the Big 12 standings.

Headed into Wednesday’s match, the Cyclones sit one spot behind Baylor.

“For both teams, it’s pretty important,” head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “We’re trying to move up in the Big 12, in the rankings. We’re trying to get the best RPI we can by the time NCAA’s come along.”

Since the loss against Iowa State, Baylor has won 10 of its last 12 matches. The Bears have been dominant at home, dropping its only match to No. 1 Texas.

Similar to the last time the two teams squared off, Baylor will play an up-tempo, physical brand of volleyball. The match was competitive in Hilton Coliseum, but a crowd of 2,642 provided energy in critical moments.

On the road, the Cyclones will need to play a lights-out match to secure a second win over the Bears. Iowa State is a more poised team than the last time it faced Baylor, but everything needs to come together as it did toward the start of conference play.

“I think we’ve done such good things in our serve and pass offense; we’re running some combination plays and being creative,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We’re a really good defensive team, so all those pieces need to stay sharp.”

Sophomore Brooke Stonestreet should make a return following her ankle injury sustained in the Texas Tech match, Johnson-Lynch said. Stonestreet has been a key component of this team, and her growth in the libero position was the impetus for Iowa State’s winning streak.

Iowa State will take on Baylor on the road at 7 p.m. Wednesday.