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No. 17 ISU Heads to Ameritas Player's Challenge

Courtesy: cyclones.com
Release: 09/11/2013
         
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AMES, Iowa - The No. 17 Iowa State volleyball team is back on the road as they head to Lincoln, Neb. for the Ameritas Player's Challenge at Nebraska's Devaney Sports Center. The Cyclones start the tournament on Thursday against Dayton at 4:30 p.m. Iowa State will then take on St. Mary's (Calif.) on Friday at 4:30 p.m. Saturday will feature the renewal of one of the best rivalries in the country as the Cyclones take on No. 12 Nebraska at 7 p.m.

Live stats will be available on huskers.com, and cyclones.com will host a live blog for all three matches.

Cyclone Headlines
  • No. 17 Iowa State looks to get back on track after two difficult losses in the Iowa State Challenge against a pair of top-20 teams at the Ameritas Player’s Challenge in Lincoln, Neb. The Cyclones start with Dayton Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Friday will be a showdown with St. Mary’s (Calif.) at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday marks the match against No. 12 Nebraska at 7 p.m.
  • Last season, the Cyclones defeated then-No. 1 Nebraska in Hilton Coliseum. It was ISU’s first ever win over a No. 1 opponent and the first win for Iowa State over Nebraska in Ames.
  • The Cyclones have dropped back-to-back to matches to then-No. 14 San Diego, 3-1, and then-No. 18 Illinois, 3-0 at the Iowa State Challenge last weekend. Iowa State was coming off a five-set win over Northern Iowa last Wednesday.
  • Senior libero Kristen Hahn has proven herself as one of the best players in the nation, and she has the stats to back it up with a team-high 122 digs at 5.55 digs per set, first in the Big 12 and 11th nationally.
  • Against San Diego last Friday, Hahn set an Iowa State record with her 45th-straight match with at least 10 digs, surpassing Ashley Mass’ record of 44 from 2007-08. Hahn’s streak is currently at 46 matches.
  • Hahn won her 13th career Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award for her efforts in the UND Classic.
  • Iowa State leads the Big 12 in assists (13.32) and service aces (1.73). Both marks rank in the top-40 of the NCAA.
  • Three Cyclones were named to the Big 12 Preseason Team in Mackenzie Bigbee, 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.
  • 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.

About Dayton

  • The Dayton Flyers are 3-3, coming off a 1-2 weekend at the Ohio Baymont Inn Invitational in Athens, Ohio. UD defeated Cincinnati, but lost to then-No. 24 North Carolina and Ohio.
  • Dayton started the season with their home-tournament Dayton Invitational. The Flyers defeated Northeastern and Tulsa, but lost to Missouri State.
  • The Flyers went 27-5 in 2012, including a perfect 14-0 mark in the Atlantic 10. They went to the second round of the NCAA Championship, defeating Pepperdine in five sets before falling to No. 5 seed Oregon in three.
  • The Dayton attack is led by senior middle blocker Megan Campbell with her 2.86 kills per set. She was the MVP of the Dayton Invitational and is a Senior CLASS Award Candidate.
  • The Flyers are a strong blocking team, averaging 2.8 blocks per set.
  • This will be the fourth meeting all-time between Dayton and Iowa State with the Cyclones holding a 2-1 edge in the all-time series.
  • The most recent meeting was in 1996 at the Iowa State Invitational, with the Cyclones winning in five sets. The school record for most attacks in a match took place that day as Sonya Van Helden had 76 attempts. ISU had 21 total blocks, the fourth-highest single-match total in Iowa State history.

About St. Mary's

  • The St. Mary’s College Gaels are 3-1 on the season and are receiving votes in the latest AVCA Poll after earning home sweeps against Miami (FL) and Air Force.
  • The Gaels started the season with a double header at Colorado. St. Mary’s came out on top of the first match in four sets before the Buffaloes came back the next day to take the second.
  • St. Mary’s was 18-11 in 2012 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship, defeating San Diego State before falling to No. 4 seed USC.
  • The Gaels have a strong attack led by seniors Kristina Graven and Jordan Shaw. The outside hitters are each averaging 3.50 kills per set with Shaw also posting 2.86 digs per set and Graven 2.50 dps.
  • The Gaels are also experienced at setter with Dalas Dodd averaging 11.21 assists per set.
  • This will mark the first ever meeting between Iowa State and St. Mary’s.

About No. 12 Nebraska

  • One of the top non-conference rivalries in the Midwest and the country resumes between the Cyclones and the Cornhuskers.
  • Nebraska is 4-1 on the season after opening its home slate with wins over Villanova and Georgia. NU started the season at a tournament in St. Louis, defeating Louisana-Monroe and Saint Louis, but falling in four sets to Auburn.
  • As always, the Cornhuskers have a plethora of attacking options, with nine players recording at least 10 kills this season. They are led by senior Kelsey Robinson, who is averaging 3.29 kills per set and 3.71digs per set.
  • Nebraska is a young team with eight freshmen on the roster that made up the top recruiting class in the nation according to Volleyball Magazine.
  • This will mark the 83rd meeting all-time between Iowa State and Nebraska, with the Cornhuskers holding an 80-2 advantage.
  • ISU is on a one-match winning streak, as the Cyclones defeated then-No. 1 Nebraska 3-1 last season. Iowa State’s other win in the series came in 2009 in Lincoln.
  • Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch was one of the best players in Nebraska history, earning All-America honors twice and leading NU to its first national title in 1995. Johnson-Lynch had a record of 63-2 as Nebraska’s starting setter.
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