Takeaways: Iowa State volleyball struggling with consistency


Katlyn Campbell/Iowa State Daily

Middle blocker Candelaria Herrera spikes the ball during the volleyball game against University of Oklahoma at Hilton Coliseum on Oct. 3. The Cyclones lost 3-1.

Sam Stuve

For only the second time this season, Iowa State went an entire week without capturing a victory.

In this past week of play, Iowa State struggled on the attack, couldn’t rally to win after dropping the first set and had a solid week defensively but is still working things out.

Iowa State is now 11-6 (2-3 Big 12) this season.

Cyclones offensive woes

Iowa State struggled on the attack against the top-ranked Baylor Bears and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, which led to two losses this weekend.

Against the Bears, the Cyclones only had one hitting period where they hit above .200, the third period where they hit .286. In the first two periods, the Cyclones hit a combined .090. In total, the Cyclones hit .147 against the Bears.

On Saturday, against Texas Tech, Iowa State was inconsistent on the attacking, having two periods where it hit above .250 but also had two periods where it hit below .110. Iowa State hit .164 against Texas Tech.

The Cyclones lost to the Red Raiders 3-1, despite holding the Red Raiders to a .158. The Cyclones only hit .164 against the Red Raiders.

What led to the poor hitting percentage for the Cyclones was their passes not getting them in a good position for a good set.

“We were out of our system tonight, a lot of sets were off the net, but even so, I have to get my feet there and give them the best set possible,” junior setter Piper Mauck said.

In total, Iowa State hit .155 combined against Baylor and Texas Tech.

“They served us pretty tough and we haven’t had that trouble passing in a while,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said.

Iowa State struggling to win after dropping the first set

After dropping the first set, Iowa State has struggled to turn the momentum around and to win the match.

The Cyclones have lost the first set of a match seven times and only one of those matches resulted in a win.

In five of those seven matches, the Cyclones have lost a set by five points or less.

Their lone victory after dropping the first set of the match came against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Cyclones won the match 3-1.

All six of Iowa State’s losses this season have come after it has lost the first set of a match. In matches where they haven’t lost the first set, the Cyclones are a perfect 10-0.

Cyclones had solid week defensively but still trying to build consistency

Iowa State had a good week defensively, holding Baylor to a .214 hitting percentage, its lowest hitting percentage of the season thus far. Texas Tech didn’t have a good day on the attack against Iowa State as well, only hitting .158.

Despite solid defense in the past week, Johnson-Lynch still felt the need to make some changes, specifically at Libero.

In the middle of the match against the Red Raiders, junior Libero Izzy Enna subbed in at Libero for Michal Schuler, who would go back to playing a different spot in the Cyclones’ rotation.

“If you look at the numbers, Izzy was having a really good night passing, they (Texas Tech) were hitting balls that Izzy was digging better and Michal [Schuler] was not feeling great today,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Enna stated she did not expect to be put in at the Libero spot, despite having started in seven starts this season.

The Cyclones are allowing their opponents to hit .212 this season, which is fifth out of nine in the Big 12.

What’s next?

Iowa State continues its homestand, facing the Texas Christian Horned Frogs on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.