Volleyball team huddle TCU 2021 (GAME 1)

Iowa State volleyball players talk with Head Coach Christy Johnson Lynch during their match against TCU on Sept. 24. 

Iowa State volleyball has built up a lot of momentum to open conference play, but it will now face off against a red-hot Kansas squad.

The Jayhawks are riding a winning streak of eight as they prepare for a pair of home match-ups with the Cyclones. Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch believes that every game in the Big 12 Conference is tough and that there are no easy wins.

“Playing on the road in the Big 12 is tough, so we are going to have our hands full with a good team on the road," Johnson Lynch said.

Kansas doesn't put up the same gaudy statistics that other teams do, ranking in the bottom five in the Big 12 in every major team statistic this season. What Kansas has relied on so far has been limiting mistakes and taking advantage of its opponent's mistakes.

During the pair of matches that Kansas played against Texas Tech the previous weekend, Kansas recorded the fewest kills per set during the first two Big 12 match-ups of any team in the conference, yet the team came away with two wins.

Another factor that has contributed to the Jayhawks’ success to open conference play has been serving. Kansas trails only Iowa State in service aces per set over the first two conference matches, with 1.80. There is a wide margin between Iowa State, Kansas and the rest of the field in this statistic, with Texas Christian University falling in third with just 1.25 per set.

Johnson-Lynch acknowledged the strong serving play of Kansas thus far, saying that every rally starts with a serve.

“A lot of what we do always comes down to serve and pass, especially when you go into an opponent gym,” Johnson Lynch. “I do think they serve pretty tough, so I think we will start with serve, and then after that, offensively can we get kills against their big block?”

The first battle of the weekend will take place at 4 p.m.  Friday, followed by the second matchup Saturday at the same time.

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