AMES, Iowa – 15th-seeded Iowa State (20-7, 13-3 Big 12) will open the 2012 NCAA Tournament at home on Thursday night, hosting IPFW (25-6, 12-4 Summit League), a never-before-seen-opponent for the Cyclones.
Iowa State is on a 10-match winning streak after upsetting No. 3 Texas last Saturday in the regular season finale at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones have hit .270 during the stretch, led by Jamie Straube’s .331 hitting clip and 3.69 kills per set from Andie Malloy. Malloy set career-highs for kills (19), digs (20) and hitting (.372) against the Longhorns last weekend, en route to her second-straight league rookie of the week award.
The Cyclones’ hard work throughout the season paid big dividends when the Big 12 postseason awards were announced on Monday. Kristen Hahn was the coaches’ unanimous selection for top libero, Alison Landwehr took home top setter honors, Mackenzie Bigbee became the first Cyclone ever voted the conference’s best freshman and Straube took a share of the scholar-athlete award, along with Taylor Tolefree of Kansas. Victoria Hurtt joined the upper classmen on the All-Big 12 first team while Bigbee was joined on the freshman team by Malloy.
Hahn, who broke a Big 12 record with eight weekly awards this season, will battle it out defensively on Thursday against Summit League Defensive Player of the Year, Tessa McGill. McGill is fourth in the nation this season with an average of 6.18 digs per set. The Mastodons, who have not played a ranked team this year, also boast the Summit League’s top player (Emily Spencer) and setter (Megan Steenhuysen).
A strong serving team IPFW averages 1.24 aces per set; the Cyclones ace foes 1.25 times per set.
Thursday’s first match will feature North Carolina (25-5) and California (15-15) at 5 p.m. CST, followed by the Cyclones and Mastodons at 7:30 p.m.
• The Cyclones will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament this week on Nov. 29-30. Visiting teams include IPFW, North Carolina and California.
• Iowa State is part of the Berkeley Regional, hosted by California, Dec. 7-8.
• Five Big 12 teams earned spots in postseason, including three host schools: Iowa State, Kansas and Texas.
• Four Cyclones took home individual postseason Big 12 Awards: Kristen Hahn (Libero of the Year, unanimous), Alison Landwehr (Setter of the Year, first year awarded), Mackenzie Bigbee (Freshman of the Year) and Jamie Straube (Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year).
• Bigbee is the first Cyclone to ever win top freshman honors.
• Hahn and Victoria Hurtt were unanimous selections to the All-Big 12 first team, and were joined on the squad by Landwehr and Straube. Bigbee and Andie Malloy were named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
• Hahn broke a Big 12 record on Nov. 26, earning her eighth weekly award of the season. The junior has 12 weekly awards, all defensive, to be the second-most decorated defensive player in league history, behind former Cyclone Ashley Mass (15). Hahn is third in all-time combined weekly awards behind Mass and former Longhorn Destinee Hooker (13).
• Andie Malloy repeated as Big 12 Rookie of the Week to end the regular season after leading Iowa State with a career-high in both kills (19) and digs (20) in the win over Texas.
• To earn a hosting spot, the Cyclones upset No. 3 Texas on Saturday in the Longhorns’ first conference loss of the season.
• The win was Iowa State’s sixth over a top-25 team this season, a school record, and the second over a top-5 team. Only the 2009 and 2012 Cyclones have ever defeated two top-5 teams in the same year.
• The 2012 senior class is the only class to ever beat both Nebraska and Texas twice during its tenure. Straube and Rachel Hockaday are the only two players to play in all four victories.
• Iowa State and Texas each had 76 kills in the match in Ames, tying for the Big 12 record this season.
• The Cyclones hit .333 against Texas, the first time the team has ever hit above .300 against the Longhorns.
• The percentage put up by Iowa State against Texas was the same as what Texas hit against the Cyclones in the Longhorns’ five-set win in Austin and ties for the season-high hitting percentage by a Big 12 team.
• Iowa State’s 74 assists against Texas is the most by a Big 12 school in league player this season.
• Landwehr had 66 assists against the Longhorns in Ames, the most in a conference match this season.
• The Cyclones have won their last 10 matches and 12 of their last 14 (dating back to Oct. 3), entering postseason play.
• In Iowa State’s 10-match win streak, the team is hitting .270 with 18.29 digs per set and 14.91 assists per set.
• Four Cyclone regulars are hitting around .300 during the stretch: Straube (.331), Matlock (.306), Malloy (.299) and Bigbee (.297).
• The Cyclones are 12-1 at home this season with four players hitting above .250 at Hilton.
• Against Big 12 teams, Iowa State finished first in assists per set (13.91), kills per set (14.86) and digs per set (17.53).
• The team was second in the league in hitting (.256), opponent hitting (.172) and service aces (1.29).
• Straube (8th) and Tenisha Matlock (9th) ranked among the top-10 in the league in hitting with an averages of .315 and .305, respectively.
• Hurtt was fourth in the conference with 3.45 kills per set and fifth with 3.64 points per set for Iowa State this season.
• Malloy ranked 7th in kills (3.17) and 8th in points (3.53) against league teams.
• Hahn remained atop the Big 12 with 5.84 digs per set, a whole 1.00 digs per set more than the second-place player.
Streaks and Trends
• Iowa State opponents have hit over .300 just 19 times in 250 matches under Johnson-Lynch.
• Iowa State is 11-2 in three-set matches in 2012. Under Johnson-Lynch, Iowa State is 99-32 in three set matches.
• Behind Johnson-Lynch’s leadership, the Cyclones win 88% (138-19) of their matches when earning the first set victory.
• Iowa State has collected 20 wins in six-consecutive seasons under head coach Johnson-Lynch. The Cyclones have had 12 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 six seasons.
• Hahn is on a 37-match streak of 10 or more digs, including 15 matches this season of 20 digs and three of 30. The junior is the only Big 12 player with 30 or more digs in three league matches.
• The Cyclones have never faced the Summit League Champion Mastodons, who are 25-6 overall and 12-4 in the Summit League this season.
• Sophomore Emily Spencer (4.30 kills per set) was named Summit League Player of the Year.
• Teammates Tessa McGill (Defensive) and Megan Steenhuysen (Setter) also earned individual postseason Summit League honors.
• McGill’s 6.18 digs per set this season rank fourth in the country. Kristen Hahn comes in at 24th.
• Steenhuysen is fifth in the country with 12.16 assists per set. Iowa State’s Alison Landwehr ranks 17th.
• Iowa State will be the first ranked opponent for IPFW this season.
• IPFW is making its first NCAA appearance since 2009.
• Two Mastodons, Hailie Ripley (.322) and Jessie Manwaring (.302) are hitting above .300 this season.
• Four IPFW players have at least 24 aces on the year as the team serves up 1.24 aces per set.
Iowa State Wins Big In League Postseason
• The Big 12 announced its postseason awards on Nov. 26 and the Cyclones took home four individual awards and six combined team nods.
Kristen Hahn* - Libero of the Year
Alison Landwehr - Setter of the Year
Mackenzie Bigbee - Freshman of the Year
Jamie Straube - Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year
All-Big 12 First Team: Kristen Hahn*, Victoria Hurtt*, Alison Landwehr, Jamie Straube
All-Big 12 Freshman Team: Mackenzie Bigbee*, Andie Malloy
*denotes unanimous selection
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Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch | Coaching Staff
Roster | Big 12 Standings