Looking ahead: Women’s sports

Emma Hylen throws a pitch in a 17-0 Cyclone loss to the Baylor Lady Bears on April 3, 2016.

Isd Sports Desk



Iowa State’s volleyball squad finished the 2016 season 18-11, including a win over No. 5 Texas. The Cyclones had a hot stretch during the end of October through the beginning of November, rattling off six straight conference wins.


Coach Christy Johnson-Lynch managed to snag the No. 17 ranked recruiting class, according to PrepVolleyball.com. The incoming class features three top-100 players: setter Piper Mauck (No. 24), middle blocker Meegan Hart (No. 86) and middle blocker Avery Rhodes (No. 91).


Iowa State graduated three seniors, but it retains valuable pieces to the team. Jess Schaben, the team leader in kills, is only a sophomore this season. Along with Schaben, Monique Harris returns. Harris led the team in assists last season.


Women’s Golf


Iowa State’s women’s golf team finished second in the Big 12 Tournament, the Cyclones best finish ever. Iowa State was seven strokes behind first-place Texas.


At the NCAA Lubbock Regional, Iowa State finished 10th. Celia Barquin narrowly missed a chance at an individual berth to the NCAA Championship. The NCAA Championship picks the three best scores, but Barquin finished fourth best among players from the six qualifying teams.


The Cyclones are in a prime position to have one of the top Big 12 teams again in 2017. Iowa State returns all five players.




Jamie Trachsel’s Iowa State team finished 23-35 in her first season as head coach. The Cyclones secured the highest finish in the Big 12 Tournament, finishing fifth. Sami Williams and Kelsey McFarland were named to the NFCA Midwest Region First Team.


Taylor Nearad, Andrea Gonzalez, Julie Lewis, and Bryn Hanrahan all committed to the Iowa State program in the offseason. Nearad is a two-time Schutt Sports/NFCA National Junior College National Player of the Year.


The Cyclones graduated four seniors, but Iowa State used its young talent a lot in 2016. Sophomore pitcher Emma Hylen pitched the most innings this season, while freshman Sami Williams was the Cyclones’ top hitter.




The Iowa State tennis team is coming off its best season this century after finishing 15-11. Although the Cyclones failed to advance past their first-round matchup at the Big 12 Championships, the team finished over .500 for the second time since 2000 and second season in a row.

Iowa State at one point won 12 matches in a row. However, it wasn’t enough to propel the team to a second Big 12 win, which seems to be the Cyclones’ bar.

The end of the season marked the end of the career for Sami Budai, who will graduate with the most doubles wins in school history at 76. Budai ranks second all-time in Iowa State history with 141 career wins.


Even though Iowa State will lose such a dominant player, the future seems bright for the Cyclones.
This year’s team will not feature a single senior, giving the Cyclones a young core to use. The team will start play in September.


Swimming and diving


The swimming and diving team had a successful 2016-17 campaign that resulted in a fourth-consecutive top-three finish at the Big 12 championships.


In the final heat of the 1650 freestyle at the Big 12 championships, Keely Soellner set an Iowa State school record in the mile with a time of 16:26.59. Soellner was named first-team All-Big 12 after the season.


Divers Julie Dickinson and Becky Stochl competed at the NCAA Zone D Diving Championship.


Diving coach Jeff Warrick was also named diving coach of the meet at the Big 12 championships, thanks to a strong performance from Dickinson.


The 2017-18 season will get under way in October.



The Iowa State women’s soccer team finished with a 10-8-1 record in 2016, the only above-.500 record the school had had since 2011. Iowa State lost a close game against Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament that ended its season.

The 2017 season features an exciting schedule of games, headlined by a rematch against Florida. Florida was in the top 10 last season and will have a good team again this season. That matchup with Florida falls on September 17 in Ames.

The annual CyHawk game is scheduled for August 25 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes won last season’s matchup thanks to a pair of second-half goals.


Thanks to Haylee Young, Iowa State managed to put up some solid performances in 2016-17. Young qualified for the NCAA Gymnastics Championships after a strong junior campaign.

Against Alabama, Young had one of the best individual meets in recent school history. Young posted an all-around score of 39.525, the best all-around score of any Cyclone since 2007.

This year, Young’s senior campaign as a Cyclone should be intriguing. After her strong performance in 2016-17 Young should be in prime position to qualify for the NCAA Championships once more.

Women’s basketball

The Iowa State women’s basketball team had an up-and-down season in 2016-17, but ultimately, it ended with a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa State lost a pair of early season games to Iowa and eventual national runner-up Mississippi State, but the Cyclones were in good shape early in the season.

After a poor start to Big 12 play, the Cyclones reeled off five straight wins to end the regular season, including a 70-66 win at No. 6 Texas. Thanks to the strong finish, Iowa State ended in fifth place in the Big 12 and was able to make the NCAA Tournament as a nine-seed.

Iowa State’s season — and the illustrious careers of Jadda Buckley and Seanna Johnson — came to an end with an 85-65 loss to Syracuse in the first round.

Next season is promising for the Cyclones. The star of the show will be junior Bridget Carleton, who was a unanimous selection for first-team All-Big 12 as a sophomore. Carleton averaged 15 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and led Iowa State with 63 3-pointers.

Carleton, Meredith Burkhall and Emily Durr are the only returnees with considerable experience at Iowa State, which means incoming freshmen — such as highly touted Madison Wise — will be crucial to Iowa State’s success.