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A Look Back At Volleyball’s 2012 Season

Courtesy: cyclones.com
Release: 12/18/2012
         
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AMES, Iowa – Iowa State head volleyball coach Christy Johnson-Lynch affirmed her position as one of the top coaches in NCAA Div. I in 2012, leading the Cyclones (22-8, 13-3 Big 12) to their fifth-straight 20-win season and fifth NCAA Regional Semifinal appearance in six seasons. Iowa State finished the year ranked 14th by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and second in the Big 12.

After an 8-6 start to the year, including losses to four top-20 teams, the Cyclones finished the regular season 12-1, earning the right to host the first and second rounds of postseason play for the second consecutive year. In defeating IPFW and No. 24 North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament’s opening rounds, Iowa State became just the seventh team to advance to a fifth regional semifinal since 2007. 

After falling at No. 8 Texas, 2-3, Iowa State went on an epic run, winning a record 12-straight matches, including a 3-2 win over the No. 3 Longhorns on senior day at Hilton Coliseum. The club finished the season with seven wins over top-25 teams, including a victory over No. 1 Nebraska in Iowa State’s first-ever win over a top-ranked opponent.

The 2012 squad tied the 2009 Cyclones with two wins over top-5 programs and just one home loss, with a final home record of 14-1. The Cyclones also extended their home streak to 6-0 during postseason play with wins over the Mastodons and Tar Heels.

It was a banner conference season for Iowa State, which led the Big 12 with 17.53 digs per set in league play, led by Kristen Hahn’s 5.83 digs per set. Hahn repeated as the Big 12 Libero of the Year and was named to the AVCA All-America second team, her first all-America team honor. Alison Landwehr, the Big 12’s inaugural Setter of the Year award recipient had a league-best 11.93 assists per set during the conference season, putting the Cyclones on top of the rankings with a team average of 13.91 assists per set. Iowa State also led the Big 12 in kills per set (14.86), behind Victoria Hurtt’s team-high 3.45 kills per set.

Hahn, who broke a league record with eight weekly awards, and Hurt, who finished the season fourth in kills per set during Big 12 play, were both unanimously selected to the All-Big 12 first team and were joined on the team by Landwehr and Jamie Straube, who finished her career as just the second Cyclone to hit .300 in her career. 

Freshman Mackenzie Bigbee made history as the first Cyclone ever to be named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and also earned AVCA All-Region Freshman of the Year honors. Bigbee (unanimous) and Andie Malloy were both voted onto the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.

In addition to Hahn’s second team honor, Landwehr (third team) and Hurtt (honorable mention) were also selected as AVCA All-Americans. Landwehr is a repeat honoree after landing on the first team in 2011. The award is the first for Hurtt.

Attendance continued to set standards in 2012, as the team finished the year 11th in the nation with an average crowd of 2,532 at Hilton Coliseum. Matches against Texas (4,396), Nebraska (3,385) and Texas Tech (3,311) drew crowds ranking in the top-10 all-time for the Cyclones.

Another trademark of Johnson-Lynch’s teams, the Cyclones put six players on Academic All-Big 12 teams this season. Hahn, Rachel Hockaday, Taylor Knuth, Landwehr and Straube were all named to the first team with Tenisha Matlock repeating on the second team. Hahn, Landwehr and Straube each garnered Capital One Academic All-District honors and Straube became the first Cyclone since 1995 to receive national academic recognition, named to the Capital One Academic All-America second team.

Cyclone Notebook             
• For the fifth-straight season, an sixth overall under Christy Johnson-Lynch, No. 14 Iowa State notched 20 wins, finishing the 2012 season 22-8 overall and 13-3 in the Big 12, in second place.
• Iowa State is one of seven schools to make five of the last six regional semifinal’s (Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn St, Stanford, Texas), including 2012.
• Iowa State tied a 1996 record, playing 13 matches against ranked opponents in a single year.
• Iowa State also won a record 12-straight matches, leading into its regional semifinal match against No. 2 Stanford.
• The Cyclones defeated two top-5 teams this season, No. 1 Nebraska and No. 3 Texas, tying a record set in 2009.
• 2012 seniors Jamie Straube and Rachel Hockaday are the only Cyclones to ever beat both the Huskers and Longhorns twice in their careers.
• In six postseason matches at Hilton Coliseum, the Cyclones are 6-0 with four sweeps and two five-set wins, including wins over IPFW and No. 24 North Carolina in 2012.
• The Cyclones played in three-straight five-setters from Nov. 24-30, winning all three, the first time the team has gone five sets in back-to-back-to-back matches since 1993.
• Overall in 2012, the Cyclones hit .243, the third-highest percentage in school history.
• Iowa State posted hitting percentages of above .300 eight times this season; opponents hit above .300 five times.
• While Iowa State was held to nine matches of sub-.200 hitting, they returned the favor twice as many times, shutting teams down 18 times for sub-.200 hitting.
• The squad’s 56 block assists are the most since 2009 (66) and its 1985 points are the most since 2008 (2291).
• The 2012 Cyclones are the second team to lose just one match at home, last doing so in 2009. In both 2011 and 1992, the team lost two matches at home.
• The Cyclones defeated a record seven ranked teams in 2012.

Conference Notables
• Iowa State and Texas set a Big 12 season-high in attack percentage, as each team hit .333 against other in a match this season. The Cyclones hit .333 in their win over the Longhorns at home and Texas put up the .333 mark on its home turf.
• The teams also tied for the most kills in a conference match, recording 76 kills apiece on Nov. 24 in Ames.
• Iowa State’s 74 assists in the win over the Longhorns was the most in a Big 12 match this season.
• Senior Rachel Hockaday was one of four conference players to have 10 double-doubles in 2012, finishing with 11. Baylor setter Kate Harris led the league with 20 double-doubles.
• Alison Landwehr finished her Iowa State career with 66 assists in the win over No. 3 Texas, tying a career-high and setting the season-high in Big 12 play.
• Kristen Hahn was the only Big 12 player to record 30 digs in three matches this season.

Solo Hits

MACKENZIE BIGBEE
• Tied an Iowa State record with 25 kills against No. 19 Illinois on Sept. 1.
• Set a school record in hitting .733 at West Virginia.
• Is the only freshman at Iowa State to ever record four matches of over .500 hitting.
• Is the second freshman to tally two 20 kills in two matches (Melissa Duffield, 1998).
• The first Iowa State freshman named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and AVCA Central Region Freshman of the Year.

JENELLE HUDSON
• The first freshman with four aces in a match (Eastern Washington), since 2007.

RACHEL HOCKADAY
• Served 1,652 times during her career, fourth-most in program history and holds a record with a serve percentage of .970.
• Is eighth all-time at Iowa State with 1,227 digs.
• Played in both the seventh most sets (445) and matches (125) at Iowa State.

KRISTEN HAHN
• Is seventh all-time at Iowa State with 1,316 digs and is the only Cyclone to post 600 digs in back-to-back seasons. 609 in 2011 and 626 in 2012 (ranked second and third, respectively, in single-season totals).
• Averaged 5.44 digs per set in both 2011 and 2012, only the second Cyclone to average above 5.00 digs per set in a season.

ALISON LANDWEHR
• Graduates with 3,862 assists, third-most at Iowa State.
• Averaged 11.39 assists per set in her career, second in Cyclone history.
• 1,313 assists in 2012 ranked fifth at Iowa State.

JAMIE STRAUBE
• Is the second Cyclone to hit .300 in her career (979-278-2335) and has 831 more attack attempts than the first-place player on the list.
• Ranks 10th with 979 career kills.
• Is fourth with 320 block assists and is fifth with 377 total blocks.
• Is one of five players to ever record 300-plus block assists in her career.
• Is 10th all-time at Iowa State with 1,269 points.

Streaks and Trends
• Iowa State opponents have hit over .300 just 20 times in 253 matches under Johnson-Lynch.
• Iowa State was 11-3 in three-set matches in 2012. Under Johnson-Lynch, Iowa State is 99-33 in three set matches.
• Behind Johnson-Lynch’s leadership, the Cyclones win 88% (139-19) 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 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 40-match streak of 10 or more digs, including 18 matches this season of 20 digs, an Iowa State record, and three of 30. The junior is the only Big 12 player with 30 or more digs in three league matches.

Trio Take All-America Honors
• Kristen Hahn (second team), Alison Landwehr (third team) and Victoria Hurtt (honorable mention) were named AVCA All-Americans following the 2012 season. It is Hahn’s first team nod after being an honorable mention selection in 2011. Landwehr picks up her second-straight all-America award, named to the first team in 2011 and Hurtt receives her first career all-America selection.

Straube Named Capital One Academic All-American
• 2012 Iowa State senior Jamie Straube became the first Cyclone since 1995 to earn national academic all-America honors, voted to the second team Capital One Academic All-America. Straube holds a 3.99 cumulative grade-point average at Iowa State while working towards a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.

AVCA All-Region Awards Announced
• Iowa State earned AVCA All-Central Region VI honors on Dec. 4, with the selections of Kristen Hahn and Alison Landwehr to the all-region team; Victoria Hurtt and Jamie Straube were named honorable mentions. 

Freshman right side Mackenzie Bigbee was named the Central region’s top freshman of 2012, the first time an Iowa State student-athlete has been tabbed for the award.

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

Cyclones’ RPI Is On The Rise
• When the NCAA released the first RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) rankings of 2012, Iowa State ranked 44th with an 8-6 overall record. After advancing to the NCAA Regional Semifinals for the second-straight season, the Cyclones’ RPI rose to 15th at season’s end.

Johnson-Lynch’s Defensive Reputation Is Earned
• Since Christy Johnson-Lynch took the reins of the Iowa State volleyball program in 2005, the Cyclones have improved in every category, growing from an also-ran bottom-of-the-league team into a perennial powerhouse that has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last six seasons.

Maybe the most remarked-upon change has come on defense, where the Cyclones have won four-straight Big 12 Libero of the Year Awards and numerous defensive weekly awards from the Big 12 office. 

Ashley Mass (2007-10) holds the Big 12 record with 2,294 career digs and was a two-time AVCA All-American (1st and 3rd Team) and two current Cyclones, Kristen Hahn (1,316) and Rachel Hockaday (1,227) rank in the top-10 at Iowa State for their career dig numbers. 

Trio Garners Preseason Honors
• Cyclones Kristen Hahn, Alison Landwehr and Jamie Straube were named to the 2012 Big 12 Preseason Team, the league office announced. Landwehr and Straube were First Team All-Big 12 members in 2011 and Hahn is the conference’s reining Libero of the Year.

Three All-Americans Return
• Cyclones Alison Landwehr, Kristen Hahn and Jamie Straube earned all-America distinction from the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2011. Landwehr was named a first team selection, stretching the Cyclones streak to three-straight seasons with a first team honor. Both Hahn and Straube garnered honorable mentions. 

Johnson-Lynch’s Winning Record
• Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch set the Iowa State volleyball coaching record against Texas Tech last season, picking up win No. 136.

Johnson-Lynch also holds the distinction of reaching 100 career wins faster than any coach in the history of the program, doing so in 157 matches.

1. Christy Johnson-Lynch (2005-) 172-81 (.680)
2. Vicki Mealer (1985-92) 135-110 (.551)
3. Sharon Hitsman (1978-80) 85-80-7 (.494)
4. Mary Fischl (1981-84) 80-62-1 (.559)

ISU And The Big 12 Defensive Player Of The Week Award
• The Big 12 has been awarding its Defensive Player of the Week Award since the beginning of the 2007 season. Iowa State has picked up 31 defensive nods, more than twice the total of any other Big 12 school, past or present.

Former Cyclone Ashley Mass won 15 weekly nods in her career, the most weekly awards in Iowa State Athletics history and the most in Big 12 history. Current Cyclone Kristen Hahn is second all-time in Big 12 history with 12 defensive awards.

Other Cyclones to be awarded the league’s top defensive award are Erin Boeve, Kaylee Manns and Tenisha Matlock, who each have one weekly award.

On Oct. 1, 2012, Hahn made Iowa State history, earning defensive honors for the third-straight week. Iowa State had never before earned back-to-back weekly awards in any individual award or combination of awards.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native moved to Big 12 history the following week, named the top defensive player for the fourth-straight week on Oct. 8, 2012.

Hahn added to her list of accomplishments on Nov. 26 when she was awarded her eighth defensive honor of the season, breaking a Big 12 record.

All-Time Big 12 Defensive Player Of The Week Awards 
(By School):

Iowa State - 31 Oklahoma - 6
Missouri - 10 Texas - 5
Baylor - 7 Texas Tech - 4
Kansas - 7 Colorado - 2
Kansas State - 7 Texas A&M - 1
Nebraska - 7

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