Iowa State to Face Colorado in NCAA First Round
This will be Iowa State’s fourth trip to Minneapolis under Christy Johnson-Lynch. In 2008, the Cyclones went into the Sports Pavilion unseeded and defeated Northern Iowa and Minnesota in four sets to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The Cyclones played the first round at Minnesota again in 2010, falling 20 Creighton in five sets. Iowa State’s most recent visit to Minneapolis was in 2011 for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. ISU defeated Minnesota in four sets before falling to Florida State in five sets in the Regional Final match-up.
Friday will mark Iowa State and Colorado’s first meeting since the Buffaloes left the Big 12 for the Pac-12. Though CU leads the all-time series 39-17, Iowa State won the last five meetings between the two teams and had not lost to Colorado outside of Boulder under Christy Johnson-Lynch. Iowa State seniors Kristen Hahn and Tenisha Matlock both played against Colorado as freshmen. Hahn started at a defensive specialist position when the two teams met in Ames, and Matlock recorded six kills at Colorado.
The Buffaloes finished the regular season with a 17-13 overall record with a 9-11 record in Pac-12 play. Colorado has three wins over ranked opponents in 2013, including a four-set win at home against Washington that gave the No.3 Huskies their first loss of the season. The CU attack is led by junior Taylor Simpson with her 3.64 kills per set. Junior Kelsey English ranks among the top-50 nationally in hitting percentage, earning her 1.81 kills per set at a .357 hitting clip. Iowa State and Colorado have two common opponents. The Buffaloes and St. Mary’s split a pair of meetings to open the season, and Colorado swept Baylor at home back in September.
A win for Iowa State would mean a match-up with either host Minnesota or Big South champion Radford Saturday at 7 p.m. Iowa State and Minnesota have played three times under Johnson-Lynch. The Cyclones hold that edge 2-1, with both wins coming in the NCAA Championship. Minnesota, who was No. 11 in the latest AVCA rankings, leads the all-time series 22-10. The Gophers finished the regular season with a 27-6 overall record, 15-5 in Big Ten play.
Iowa State and Radford have never faced each other. The Highlanders finished the regular season with a 25-9 overall record, 11-3 in the Big South and won the Big South Conference Tournament with a sweep of Costal Carolina.
Tickets for the First and Second Rounds go on sale tomorrow at 9 a.m. through the Gopher ticket office. All-Session reserved tickets will be $20, while all-session general admission is $17 and student/youth/senior general admission is $12. Single session tickets will go on sale, Friday, Dec. 6 at 9 a.m. To purchase tickets, go to mygophersports.com or call the ticket office at 1-800-UGOPHER or 612-624-8080.