Two teams on losing streaks will meet on Tuesday at Hilton Coliseum as the Iowa State Cyclones host an in-state foe in the Northern Iowa Panthers.
Iowa State will look to move past a rough weekend where they lost their two games in the Cyclone Invitational, 3-0 against sixth-ranked Penn State and 3-2 against the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers.
“It all starts with our passing, we have good hitters that once we give them a good pass in their system, we’re kind of unstoppable in that way,” said freshman outside hitter Michal Schuler.
Northern Iowa hosted a tournament this past weekend, where they lost to the 23rd-ranked Creighton Bluejays 3-2, to the USC Trojans 3-1 and the 12th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats 3-0.
Iowa State and Northern Iowa have one common opponent that they have played so far this season, Creighton, which Iowa State beat in three out of five sets in an exhibition game.
The Panthers are 2-4 this season and the Cyclones are 2-3.
In last season’s meeting, Iowa State defeated No. 17 Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, 3-0. In that match, the Cyclones out hit the Panthers .306 to .202.
So far this season the Panthers have been good defensively despite having a losing record as they have held their opponents to a hitting percentage of .199 — which is fourth out of the 10 teams in the Missouri Valley Conference.
“Traditionally they are very good defensively,” said Iowa State coach Christy Johnson-Lynch. “They tend to come at you pretty quick so we have to be ready for their middle attack.”
The Cyclones have also been good defensively as they have held their opponents to a hitting percentage of .205.
Despite both being good thus far defensively, both teams haven’t had a lot of their success with their attacks as Iowa State has a hitting percentage of .193 and Northern Iowa has a hitting percentage of .176.
Iowa State is very familiar with Northern Iowa as this will be the 15th match between the two since Johnson-Lynch took over beginning in 2005.
The Cyclones have a 10-4 record against the Panthers in Johnson-Lynch’s tenure.
Tuesday’s match will begin at 6:30 p.m.