Freshman Izzy Enna impressing at new position


Freshman Izzy Enna serves agains the Mavericks during the first set of the game. Iowa State went on to beat Omaha 3-0.

Garrett Kroeger

On Sept. 12, the Iowa State volleyball team fell behind early against the UNI Panthers. Iowa State lost the first set and it was trailing early in the second.

The Cyclones tied the second set at nine apiece. After tying the set, coach Christy Johnson-Lynch decided to sub in freshman libero/defensive specialist, Izzy Enna.

Even though the stat sheet won’t show it, Enna played well against the Panthers. She had several good serves and recorded two digs.

Since then, Enna’s playing time has steadily increased, which is something she did not think was going to happen coming to Ames.

“Coming in, no, I didn’t think I would play that much,” Enna said. “Then unexpectedly, I started playing more.”

“Definitely, it’s a honor playing this early. Being a [defensive specialist], it’s hard to play anyway because once you mess up, you’re out. It’s a honor to play.”

Enna comes to Iowa State after a successful high school and club career as a libero.

She finished her high school career as the school’s record holder in digs (1,052) and service aces (189). Enna also helped lead her club team, KC Power, to an 18-1 record and national title in the open division at the Girls’ Junior National Championships in April 2017.

Plus, she was also named a ‘defensive dandy’ last season by, which means she was one of the best defensive players in the nation.

Along with her defensive skills, it has been Enna’s serving that has allowed her significant playing time.

“The best thing she is doing is serving,” Johnson-Lynch said. “She is a very good server. If you just look at the statistics, we tend to score a lot of points when she serves. She is a just a great server. On top of that, she is just playing well. She is a good passer and defender.”

Enna has always been the libero for her previous teams, but since Iowa State returned redshirt sophomore Hali Hillegas, who was a 2016 All-Big 12 Freshman Team selectee, Enna has transitioned to a new position.

“(Enna) is trying to learn a new position,” Johnson-Lynch said. “She has always been the libero for her team, so she has always played where Hillegas is playing, in what we call the left back spot. Now, she is having to play middle and right back. Very different positions. You read it differently.” 

According to Johnson-Lynch, Enna is not 100 percent comfortable at her new position. However, she is getting there.

Out of the two new positions, Enna has been primarily playing right back. The biggest thing she is focusing on at the position is reading. Reading the hitters. Where you dig the ball, how you dig the ball and how the ball comes at you.

“That’s hard,” Johnson-Lynch said. “She has always played left back. But she is getting better and better.”

Not only is Enna transitioning to a new position, she is still getting used to the collegiate style of play. As she put it, club volleyball is 10 times slower than college ball.

While Enna has been shocked about her playing time early on in her Iowa State career, she is just happy to be here.

Now, Enna is at Iowa State. She is impressing coaches and teammates alike. When it is all said and done, Enna could be one of the best to wear the cardinal and gold.

“I think she could be great,” Hillegas said. “I think she could really step up her game and who knows, maybe in a couple years, maybe next year, she could just be going after it.”