On Saturday, the two teams tied for fourth in the Big 12 — Iowa State and the Texas Tech Red Raiders — face-off in Ames.
“We’ve got to separate ourselves in the conference and these matches coming up are a huge opportunity to do that,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said.
Texas Tech is 12-6 (2-2 Big 12) this season and is coming off of a disappointing 3-2 loss to the 6-8 (1-3 Big 12) Texas Christian (TCU) Horned Frogs on Wednesday.
In its loss on Wednesday, the Red Raiders were held to a .200 hitting percentage and the Horned Frogs’ defense earned 11 blocks.
The Red Raiders have one of the better attacking teams in the conference, with the fourth-best hitting percentage in the conference, .247.
Sophomore middle blocker Karrington Jones leads the Red Raiders in hitting with a .340 hitting percentage, which is fourth in the conference.
Senior outside hitter Emily Hill has been one of the best scorers in the Big 12 as she is first in the conference with 311 kills in 69 sets and first in total points with 344.5 in 69 sets.
On defense, Texas Tech is allowing its opponents to hit .200 this season, which is third in the conference.
The Cyclones, who are 11-5 (2-2 Big 12) this season, are coming off of a 3-0 loss to the top-ranked Baylor Bears.
Two of those sets were decided by only two points.
“Being able to hang with the big dogs has given us a lot of confidence,” sophomore middle blocker Avery Rhodes said.
Iowa State’s strength this season has been its offense as the Cyclones are third in hitting percentage at .263.
Junior middle blocker Candelaria Herrera, sophomore right-side player Eleanor Holthaus and freshman outside hitter Annie Hatch have led the way for the Cyclones offensively.
Herrera is second in the conference in hitting percentage, hitting .352 in 61 sets this season. Holthaus is ninth in the Big 12 in kills per set, averaging 3.08 kills per set, which is ninth. Also, Holthaus is second in the conference in points scored at 218.5 points.
Joining Holthaus on the list of top attackers in the Big 12 is Hatch, who is averaging 2.88 kills per set.
One of the best middle blockers in the Big 12 plays for Iowa State, Rhodes, who is third in blocks per set with 1.16.
Under Johnson-Lynch, Iowa State is a perfect 14-0 against Texas Tech at Hilton Coliseum.
The start time for the match is 1 p.m.