Set for Success


Written by Caleb Grizzle | Image by ISU Athletics

Morgan Brandt ISU volleyball star

"It was my first love," says Morgan Brandt, a sophomore setter for the Iowa State volleyball team. 

A five-sport high school athlete with all-state honors in volleyball and basketball, Brandt holds fast to that first love at Iowa State.

Brandt started 21 matches during her freshman season for the Cyclones — totaling 579 assists to rank 19th in career assists in Iowa State history. 

“Morgan has been such a wonderful addition to our program,” says Christy Johnson-Lynch, head coach of Iowa State volleyball. “As a freshman, she adjusted quickly to the college game and showed a lot of poise right away during our fall season.” 

“Growing up, I always had a volleyball in my hands,” says Brandt, whose household lived and breathed the sport. Nearly every year from 2009 through 2021, one of the three Brandt sisters filled the role of setter for their hometown high school, Sumner-Fredericksburg.

Her passion for volleyball came from watching older sisters Kaylyn and Jenna compete as setters at the collegiate level.

“I wanted to be like them,” Brandt says. “I was always in the gym playing volleyball or watching them at a young age.” 

The love for volleyball was set from the jump for Brandt, but the passion for Iowa State ran just as deep. Watching her brother Isiah (’19 agricultural engineering) graduate from ISU and Jenna go on to play for the Cyclones program made it a clear cut choice. 

“I had always wanted to go to Iowa State since I was a kid,” Brandt remembers. “The fans are amazing. It always was a dream to be down on the court [at Hilton Coliseum].” 

That cardinal and gold dream was fulfilled last September. With friends and family cheering her on, Brandt made her home debut. Later that season, she led the Cyclones with 30 assists in a win against top-ranked Texas in front of a packed Hilton Coliseum. 

Brandt hopes she can inspire the next generation of young Iowa Staters chasing their dreams.

“Keep your goals in mind, always work for something greater than yourself, and find the joy in what you’re doing. Be grateful for where you are.”