Having won two straight matches, Iowa State finds itself with an opportunity to fight for a chance to make the NCAA Volleyball Championship next week. Does Iowa State even have a chance of reaching that goal? There is a chance — a slim chance, but a chance.
In order to qualify for championship play next week, Iowa State would have to win its last two matches of the season and hope that a school ahead of them in the standings loses a game or two this final week. Iowa State's final two opponents give the Cyclones a great chance to push forward to a championship run.
Iowa State (7-7 in Big 12 play) currently sits in fifth place in the Big 12 standings and will start its final two home matchups with the third-seeded Kansas Jayhawks (8-6 in Big 12 play) on Wednesday night. Iowa State was able to not only beat Kansas in the last matchup on Oct. 20, but sweep the Jayhawks.
Iowa State was led by Jess Schaben's 11-kills at .353 hitting percentage and Eleanor Holthaus contributing seven kills of her own at .400 hitting percentage.
The defense came to play that night as well. Iowa State ended the match with 10 blocks, including 6 from Candelaria Herrera.
Kansas may be ahead of Iowa State in the standings but the last matchup proves they can be beaten, which bares well for the Cyclones who need to win to stay alive.
Rounding off the regular season for Iowa State is the seventh-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-8 in Big 12 play).Iowa State fell to Texas Tech 3-1, despite having a double-double from Jess Schaben.
Texas Tech, like Kansas, is a beatable opponent. Texas Tech may have gotten the best of the Cyclones in the last matchup, but a 6-8 conference record shows that the Red Raiders are far from the toughest opponent Iowa State could face.
These final two matches will make-or-break Iowa State's season, which makes this final week even more valuable as the team. Iowa State will not only be playing for one-another, but also a chance to move on toward a championship berth.
Iowa State and Kansas will have first serve at 6:30 pm in Hilton Coliseum.