No. 15 Iowa State Begins Season at UND Classic
Live stats for all matches will be availible through undsports.com. Free live video of Iowa State's match against North Dakota will be availible through Big Sky TV.
- No. 15 Iowa State begins the 2013 season at the UND Classic in Grand Forks, N.D. The Cyclones play South Dakota State and host North Dakota Friday before taking on Texas A&M Saturday.
- Iowa State, under ninth-year head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch, finished 2012 with a 22-8 overall record (13-3 Big 12) and a trip to the Regional Semifinals for the fifth time in the last six years.
- Iowa State is one of seven schools to make five of the last six regional semifinals (Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn St, Stanford, Texas).
- The Cyclones were tabbed No. 15 in the AVCA Preseason Poll and Volleyball Magazine Preseason Poll, marking the sixth consecutive year that ISU has made the preseason rankings.
- Three Cyclones were named to the Big 12 Preseason Team in Mackenzie Bigbee, Kristen Hahn and Victoria Hurtt. Hahn and Hurtt were unanimous selections.
- Both Hahn and Hurtt are also returning All-Americans. Hahn, the two-time defending Big 12 Libero of the Year, was named to the AVCA second-team, and Hurtt earned honorable metion.
- Iowa State was picked by the Big 12 coaches to finish second in the conference in the preseason poll, only behind defending NCAA Champion and Preseason No. 1 Texas.
- The Cyclones are the last team to defeat the Longhorns, winning in five sets on Nov. 24, 2012 at Hilton Coliseum.
- Many of ISU’s stars got the chance to compete as part of USA Volleyball set ups. Bigbee, Hahn and Hurtt all were part of the A2 Program and Caitlin Nolan participated with the Junior National Team (see game notes for more info).
- Iowa State returns 11 letterwinners from the 2012 squad and features three newcomers in true freshmen Ciara Capezio, Maria Fruechte and Samara West.
About South Dakota State
- The South Dakota State Jackrabbits finished 2012 with a 16-13 overall record, including an 8-8 mark in Summit League play.
- SDSU will feature a lot of new players as they have to replace four starters and their libero. The Jackrabbits lost two All-Summit League players in middle blocker Kelli Fiegen and libero Shay Birath to graduation.
- The two returning SDSU starters are junior setter Lexi Fowler and junior outside hitter Margit Hansing, who was second on the Jacks with 367 digs last year.
- This will mark the seventh all-time meeting between ISU and SDSU. Last year, Iowa State traveled to Brookings for a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22) win on Oct. 30. Mackenzie Bigbee led Iowa State with 13 kills at a .500 clip and Victoria Hurtt added 12 kills. Kristen Hahn posted 25
About North Dakota
- North Dakota finished 2012 with a 15-17 mark, going 10-10 in Big Sky play.
- UND brings back a wealth of experience with all six starters and the starting libero back for 2013. A total of 15 letterwinners return to the squad.
- North Dakota is led by the All-Big Sky Conference duo of Ronni Munkeby and Lexi Robinson. A senior middle blocker, Munkeby led UND with 20 matches with double-figure kills and had a team-high 119 total blocks in 2012. Robinson, a junior outside hitter, led UND with 397 kills.
- Iowa State and North Dakota will be meeting for the third time, but the first time since 1979. ISU won the first meeting in 1978 15-9, 15-1 and followed it up with a 15-2, 15-9 victory in 1979.
About Texas A&M
- Texas A&M completed its first season as a member of the SEC with a 25-6 overall record, including a 16-4 mark in conference play. The Aggies lost to NCAA Champions Texas in four sets in the second round of the NCAA Championship.
- A&M was tabbed by the conference coaches to finish first in the SEC West alongside LSU. Senior setter Allie Sawatzky was named to the Preseason All-SEC team.
- Sawatzky was one of three AVCA honorable mention All-Americans for the Aggies in 2012. However, A&M will have to replace honorees Lindsey Miller and Alisia Kastmo.
- Iowa State and Texas A&M will renew an old Big 12 rivalry with their 36th all-time meeting. A&M leads the series 23-12 and won the most recent meeting on Nov. 26, 2011 in four sets. ISU had won the previous five matchups before the loss.