No. 25 Cyclones Host No. 1 Nebraska On Saturday
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AMES, Iowa – No. 25 Iowa State (5-4, 0-0 Big 12) plays its biggest match of the season on Saturday, hosting top-ranked Nebraska (8-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Hilton Coliseum.
The Cyclones are 2-3 against ranked opponents this season, with victories against No. 19 Illinois and No. 25 Northern Iowa. The squad’s only previous win over Nebraska was back in 2009 in Lincoln, when Nebraska held the No. 5 ranking.
After a tough loss five-set loss to Syracuse to close out last weekend’s Iowa State Challenge, Iowa State will have to regroup and refocus to overthrow the undefeated Huskers, who stole the No. 1 ranking from UCLA after beating the Bruins in five sets last month. Nebraska’s only other match against a top-25 team was a 3-1 win over No. 19 Kentucky last Saturday.
Key for the Cyclones on Saturday will be the defensive play of both the back row, including libero Kristen Hahn, who currently ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 4.43 digs per set, and Iowa State’s front row blockers, who are being out-blocked 2.39-1.57 per set this season. Junior Tenisha Matlock leads Iowa State with 31 total blocks this season, including seven solo blocks.
Freshman right side Mackenzie Bigbee continues to impress, collecting her second 20-plus kill performance of her debut season against the Orange last Saturday. Bigbee ranks in the top-10 in the Big 12 in both kills (3.34) and points (3.57) per set.
On offense, Nebraska will look to team kills leaders Gina Mancuso (3.48), Morgan Broekhuis (3.26) and Hannah Werth (3.26) to get past the Iowa State defense while Meghan Haggerty and Broekhuis protect the net, both players averaging better than 1.00 blocks per set this season.
Due to Iowa State’s football game against Western Illinois on Saturday night, Cyclone volleyball season ticket holders & mobility-impaired patrons may park in lots C1, C2, B1 or B2 using their parking pass. All other fans should park on campus and take the free Cyride bus service (orange route), which drops off near Hilton Coliseum (See links at right).
Fans who show their Iowa State-Western Illinois football game ticket at the Hilton Coliseum ticket office receive $2 admission to the volleyball match.
Saturday’s match between the Cyclones and Huskers is slated for a 1 p.m. CDT first serve.
• Iowa State gets back into competition against ranked foes this weekend when No. 1 Nebraska comes to Ames on Saturday.
• The match against the Huskers will be Iowa State’s last against a (currently) ranked opponent until the team travels to Kansas State on Oct. 3.
• The last time Nebraska visited Hilton was in 2009 (the teams played at Ames High School in 2010), when 10,203 fans set a state of Iowa attendance record for volleyball.
• The Cyclones went 3-1 last weekend, beating No. 25 UNI before ending the weekend with a loss to Syracuse.
• The Cyclones have now played five five-set matches this season. The program record is eight.
• Senior Rachel Hockaday tied a career-high with 25 blocks in the loss to the Orange.
• Hockaday led the Cyclones in digs against Syracuse, becoming the first Cyclone other than Kristen Hahn to lead Iowa State in digs in a match. Five players led a match in digs last season.
• Middle blocker Tenisha Matlock had a career night against Iowa on Friday with a career-high 20 kills on 41 attempts, another personal-best.
• Alison Landwehr jumped from fifth to third all-time in assists over the weekend. Landwehr has tallied 2,960 assists in three plus years at Iowa State.
• Freshmen Jenelle Hudson and Bria Rasmussen saw action for the first time last weekend, Hudson playing in all three Iowa State Challenge matches.
• The San Diego, Calif. native’s debut included four aces against Eastern Washington.
• In their match against the Eagles, the Cyclones hit .370, the first time this season the squad has posted a .300 or better hitting percentage.
• Including Iowa State’s loss to Syracuse, the Cyclones are 0-3 this season when falling in the first set of a match.
• Iowa State tallied nine blocks to Eastern Washington’s three on Friday, the first time this season the Cyclones have won the blocking war.
Streaks and Trends
• Iowa State opponents have hit over .300 just 16 times in 232 matches under Johnson-Lynch.
• Iowa State went 14-3 in three set matches in 2011 and is 2-1 in 2012. Under Johnson-Lynch, Iowa State is 91-33 in three set matches.
• Behind Johnson-Lynch’s leadership, the Cyclones win 87% (125-18) of their matches when earning the first set victory.
• Iowa State has collected 20 wins in five-consecutive seasons under head coach Johnson-Lynch. The Cyclones have had 11 20+ win seasons since 1982.
• Under Johnson-Lynch, the Cyclones have won at least one match over a top 25 opponent in each of her eight seasons and have defeated at least two top 25 teams in each of the last five seasons.
• In the last six seasons, Iowa State has downed at least two top-25 teams, including No. 19 Illinois and No. 25 UNI this season.
• Mackenzie Bigbee’s 25 kills against Illinois on Sept. 1 are the most kills in a match by a conference player this season. Her 26.5 points in the same match ties the Big 12’s season-high.
• Jamie Straube is one of five Big 12 volleyball players with four aces in a match, doing so against the Illini.
• Iowa State’s 76 kills against Iowa is tied for the most kills by a Big 12 team in 2012, as is the Cyclones’ 71 assists against Illinois on Sept. 1.
• Although ranked fourth in digs in the league, no team has had more digs in a match than the Cyclones’ 89 digs against the Hawkeyes.
Scouting No. 1 Nebraska
• Iowa State is 1-80 all-time against the Huskers, winning at Nebraska in 2009.
• Last year in Lincoln, the Huskers swept the Cyclones, 25-23, 25-15, 25-18).
• Nebraska was led in the match by Gina Mancuso who had 14 kills on .371 hitting with 11 digs.
• Morgan Broekhuis hit .304 against Iowa State, posting 11 kills, 10 digs and four block assists.
• The Huskers took a 13-1 blocking advantage in last season’s meeting while holding Iowa State to .087 hitting.
• This season, Nebraska is 8-0, playing only one road match, at UC-Irvine.
• The Huskers knocked UCLA out of the top spot in the rankings in a five-set win in Lincoln last month.
• Last weekend, Nebraska defeated Duquesne in straight sets and downed No. 19 Kentucky in four games.
• Three Huskers are averaging better than 3.00 kills per set this season: Mancuso (3.48), Broekhuis (3.26) and Hannah Werth (3.26).
• Broekhuis (.347) and Werth (.375) are also hitting over .300 for Nebraska.
• As a team, the Huskers are out-hitting opponents, .318-.154 and out-blocking those 2.87-1.85.
• Lauren Cook runs the Nebraska offense, averaging 11.33 assists per set and digging, 3.19 balls per set.
• Meghan Haggerty and Broekhuis are the regulars who have tallied more than 1.00 blocks per set this season. Haggerty averages 1.24 blocks per set and Werth sits squarely on 1.00 blocks per set.