Volleyball team survived nerves and now second-ranked Stanford awaits

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Christy Johnson-Lynch’s team closed the regular season playing its best volleyball of the season. The Cyclones were “off” a bit last week when they hosted the first and second-round of the NCAA Volleyball Championships. But, they advanced.

Next up is Stanford. The Cardinal has won more NCAA women’s volleyball championships than any other school (six) and is currently ranked second nationally.

As Johnson-Lynch plots her strategy for the upcoming match, she also reflected on what happened last week against IUPUFW and North Carolina.

“I think it was a lot of nerves,” she said. “I wasn’t surprised by the nerves, especially with a lot of freshmen playing. Last week allowed us to shake some of that nervousness out.”

The Cyclone staff is developing its “X’s” and “O’s” game plan for the Cardinal but also helping the team’s mental approach.

“I really think it’s about playing as good as we can this weekend,” Johnson-Lynch said. “That’s very simple, but it’s not really any more than that.”

Rather than try to hide her young team’s anxiousness last week, Johnson-Lynch is addressing it head on.

Here’s the message she is giving her team: “We love this sport, we are so thankful to be advancing and we were nervous (last week). Let go of some of that and play the very best volleyball we can. If we do that, I think it’s going to be a very fun weekend.”

There’s no “coach-speak” there. Johnson-Lynch is just telling it like it is. Have fun and compete.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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