For the fifth time in six years, Iowa State has been picked to finish as league runner-up (to Texas) in the Big 12 Volleyball Preseason Poll.
Although Coach Christy Johnson-Lynch is accustomed to that lofty position, the lack of Cyclones on the preseason all-league team (only libero Caitlin Nolan was honored) caught her attention.
“The interesting thing about our team right now is that we were picked second in the Big 12 but we only had one player on the preseason All-Big 12 team and that was our libero,” Johnson-Lynch said.
“(There were) no hitters. That’s really curious to me.”
Although the Cyclones return most of their players from a year ago, the loss of hitter Victoria Hurtt (more than 1,000 career kills) is the most significant. Most great teams, according to Johnson-Lynch have some “go to” players.
“From what I’ve seen, the best teams have a couple of players ready to get 4-5 kills per game every night,” the 11th-year coach said. “To get picked second in the poll and have no hitters says that we have a lot of good players but who is going to emerge?”
Johnson-Lynch is excited about the prospects vying for a shot to be the “go to” players but she feels that filling that gap will determine the success of the season.
“I’m confident we’ll have a couple (hitters) on that All-Big 12 team at the end of the year,” Johnson-Lynch said. “(But right now) I’m as curious as you are as to who that player will be.”