Coming off of a disappointing loss against Iowa to close out the Cy-Hawk Series Tournament on Saturday, the Iowa State volleyball team is determined to earn a win against in-state opponent Northern Iowa on Wednesday.
UNI currently holds a 4-5 record on the season, with one opponent in common with Iowa State, as both the Panthers and the Cyclones have faced off against Ball State. UNI was defeated by Ball State three sets to one, while Iowa State took a 3-1 victory. Iowa State is 7-3 against Northern Iowa in the last ten match-ups that have taken place.
Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch discussed the short preparation time that the team has when playing in weekly tournaments and how Iowa State has managed its time.
“Just bounce back and move on from the Saturday match,” Johnson-Lynch said. “You don’t have time to really make all of these adjustments, you have to just make sure that you are really good on your side of the net.”
Northern Iowa has had success under current Bobbi Petersen. Coach Petersen is coaching her 22nd season as head coach of the Panthers with an impressive 522-180 with the team. Petersen has won Missouri Valley Conference coach of the year a total of six times.
One area that Iowa State has a major advantage in is experience. Of the 17 players on the Panther roster, 10 are either freshmen or redshirt freshmen. The Cyclones have nine seniors on their roster compared to zero from UNI. This experience could play a major role in the outcome on Wednesday.
Junior middle blocker Carly Spies is currently third in the Missouri Valley Conference with 1.10 blocks per set. Iowa State will need to find a way to get hits through or around Spies to score.
Coach Johnson-Lynch said that if the team stays aggressive at the net, they will be able to get the win that they expect.
The Cyclones are set to begin the match against the Panthers at 7 p.m. Wednesday.