Candelaria Herrera and Jaden Newsome blocking the ball vs Omaha 2021

Candelaria Herrera and Jaden Newsome are seen jumping up above the net to block the ball vs. the Mavericks. 

Coming off of a Wednesday night win against UNI, Iowa State volleyball only had one day to prepare ahead of the Diet Coke Classic in Minneapolis.

University of St. Thomas enters the event on a five match losing streak and a 1-7 record overall for the season. The only shared opponent that St. Thomas has had with Iowa State so far is Ball State University. The Cardinals beat St. Thomas in straight sets back in August. Iowa State was able to take down Ball State three sets to one over the past weekend.

One issue that stands out for St. Thomas this season is its attack. Their squad is being outhit by .143 percentage points which is a major issue for the team. The Cyclones will look to exploit this hole in the offense of St. Thomas on Friday.

Freshman outside hitter Lauren Galvin is by far the most dominant attacker for St. Thomas, as she has a team leading 99 kills. The next highest player on the team has just 40 kills.

University of Minnesota comes in with a 3-3 record, but have faced some high level opponents in non-conference play. The 11th ranked Golden Gophers played against five teams that were ranked in the top-14 nationally when they matched up with them, including major wins over Stanford University and University of Oregon last weekend.

The Golden Gophers have a dominant hitter of their own in Stephanie Samedy. The redshirt senior is certainly an offensive force as she averages 5.21 kills per set, which is good enough for third most in the nation.

Minnesota does not have many points of weakness as they also rank in the top 25 in blocks per set with 2.75.

Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch stressed the importance of focusing on what the Cyclones can do this week, as they have not had their usual amount of practice time with the UNI matchup being played on Wednesday.

“These tournaments are always a lot. It's a lot to prepare for in a short amount of time,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We’ll just have to keep making adjustments on the fly and a lot of it is just important that we take care of the ball on our side of the net.”

The Cyclones are slated to face St. Thomas at 5 p.m. on Friday and Minnesota at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Diet Coke Classic at the Maturi Pavilion at University of Minnesota. These are Iowa State’s final two matches before beginning Big 12 play against TCU on September 24.

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