Iowa State defeated Kansas State in four sets on Wednesday for its second win in Big 12 Conference play.
Back on track
With its win on Wednesday, Iowa State avoided its longest losing streak since Christy Johnson-Lynch’s first year as head coach back in 2005.
Not only that, but the team finally showed its ability to put together a complete performance for the first time since it’s win over West Virginia. Johnson-Lynch, along with the players, has long said the Cyclones possess high-level capabilities, but they’ve truggled to put together complete performances.
It wasn’t perfect, as evidenced by Iowa State’s third set loss, but Wednesday finally gave the team some re-affirmation that they can go the distance and win a match.
It may not sound like much, especially given the team’s high expectations coming into the season, but a win is a win in this case. The team will gladly take it.
Maybe everyone should’ve seen this coming, actually
It’s evident that the Cyclones have talent. They weren’t ranked No. 21 in the country before the season for nothing, and they didn’t start 5-1 by accident.
Even during this rough stretch, it’s not as if the Cyclones have been getting blown out consistently. In fact, the main source of frustration lies in the fact the team will show flashes of that talent, and then subsequently give up a run and lose its collective head.
However, at least from afar, there looked to be a shift in mentality after the team’s loss to Texas on Saturday.
The team was swept in three sets, but they battled hard, won in multiple statistical categories and hung tough with one of the best teams in the country on the road. They also didn’t lose any set by more than four points, and the Cyclones were able to mostly limit runs for the Longhorns.
Perhaps that performance gave Iowa State a boost of confidence, as that solid play carried over into a much needed Big 12 road win for the Cyclones. They didn’t just win, either. They beat the Wildcats handily by outperforming Kansas State in nearly every statistical category on Wednesday.
Again, it wasn’t perfect, but it was about as close to a complete game as the Cyclones have played in a while.
Can they make it a winning streak?
Iowa State hasn’t won consecutive games since Aug. 31, when it beat Gonzaga and Montana in the same day to start the Montana Invitational. The Cyclones will get a chance to match this unexpectedly difficult feat this Saturday when TCU visits Hilton Coliseum.
It certainly won’t be easy for the Cyclones. Not just because nothing seems to be this season, but also because TCU will be a challenging opponent. The Horned Frogs came into Wednesday sitting at 3-2 in conference play, and the team has beaten two opponents in Oklahoma and Texas Tech that have already beaten the Cyclones.
It also won’t be easy because Iowa State hasn’t won a conference home game all season. And by the time Saturday rolls around, the team will have gone a full month without a home win.
The Cyclones will certainly be motivated to break that home losing streak, and they’ll also come in with a renewed sense of confidence. They’ll need to play a complete game once again if they want to put together a winning streak and get back to .500. It certainly should be an interesting matchup, to say the least.