After having the weekend off, Iowa State Volleyball will return home for its conference home opener against the Kansas Jayhawks at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum.
In last season's series, the Cyclones swept the Jayhawks twice. In their matchup against the Cyclones on Oct. 20 the Jayhawks were ranked 22nd with a record of 13-6 at the time, but have since gone 6-13.
Kansas is four years removed from making it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament, but they seem to be having a down year thus far.
This season, the Jayhawks are 4-7 (0-1 Big 12) with two road victories this season — Aug. 30 against the University of Missouri Kansas City 3-2 and Sept. 3 against the Omaha Mavericks 3-0.
Offensively, Kansas has not been getting the job done as they only have a hitting percentage of .165, which is last in the Big 12. Meanwhile, their opponents are hitting a modest .227.
When Kansas has been successful, it’s been because of how effective they have been in the early stages of a match.
Kansas is 3-1 in matches where they have won the first set.
“They’re really athletic, but I think they are still trying to figure things out,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “We need to not let their athleticism take over and we can’t hit into their block because they have huge blockers.”
Iowa State is 9-4 (0-1 Big 12) this season, coming off of a 3-1 loss against the sixth-ranked Texas Longhorns last week in Austin, Texas.
Against the Longhorns, the Cyclones led midway through all but the first set but still lost.
The Cyclones had a good hitting night against the Longhorns with a .268 hitting percentage, which is on par with their average of .267 per match (third in the Big 12).
"I think we did a lot of good things but if we keep working harder on the things we didn't do so well, then we can win those games," said Iowa State senior outside hitter Josie Herbst.
Iowa State received five votes to be ranked in the AVCA Coaches Poll for the second time in two weeks.
In the past six seasons, Iowa State has played well in its first conference home game — the team holds a 4-2 record in conference openers over the past six years. However, the Cyclones have lost their last two out of three conference home openers.
Against Kansas, Iowa State will have its second opportunity to capture their tenth win of the season.
“Every game is an opportunity to work together as a team,” said sophomore setter Jenna Brandt.