Iowa State looks to continue its home-court dominance against West Virginia Wednesday night. With a deep conference slate remaining, the ability to win matches at home becomes even more important.
At Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State holds a 5-1 record this season. The volleyball squad earned wins over Iowa and No. 13 Baylor with the support of crowds in the thousands. With another home match on deck, the Cyclones will look to win in an area they have consistently found success.
“I think we’re at the point where every match is crucial, you know, every match means a lot. So we have to always make sure we’re really prepared and ready to go,” head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said.
Although the team has been able to take care of business at home, Iowa State has yet to win a Big 12 match on the road. Losses to Kansas State and TCU set the Cyclones back, and the difficulty in stealing a road win means each home match is even more important.
Against West Virginia, Iowa State will have a chance to iron out some kinks. The Mountaineers are 0-5 in conference play and have lost in straight sets in their previous three matches.
While its first pair of Big 12 matches went to five sets, West Virginia has been unable to find any success at home or on the road. After an unsuccessful homestand, the young West Virginia team — consisting mostly of freshmen — will have to take on Iowa State in a challenging spot.
“I think they’re probably, just like we are, trying to figure some things out,” Johnson-Lynch said. “But they are athletic, they are dangerous, they’ve taken sets and put some close matches with some really good teams.”
One key factor of the match will be Iowa State’s consistency in passing and serving. The Cyclones struggled against Kansas State but saw improvement in their match against Kansas.
Ball control has been a deciding factor for Iowa State all season. Poor passing and serving led to a blowout loss against Kansas State, and a dip in consistency provided Kansas a chance to steal a set win.
The team has set aside time each practice to work on fundamentals, and remaining consistent will be important against West Virginia’s dangerous middle blockers.
“We worked on it a lot,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We made a lot of progress in that area, we gotta keep that going.”
Iowa State will take on West Virginia at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Hilton Coliseum.