The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State volleyball team saw the rewards of its 3-0 start on Monday as the Cyclones moved up to No. 11 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. Adding to the intrigue is that both of ISU’s opponents for the Iowa State Challenge this coming weekend, Illinois and San Diego, went from unranked to into the top-25.
The Cyclones started the season with three wins in the UND Classic in Grand Forks, N.D. After sweeps of South Dakota State and North Dakota on Friday, the Cyclones defeated Texas A&M in a challenging four-set match to clinch the crown. It was the fifth time in Christy Johnson-Lynch’s tenure that Iowa State has won the first three matches of its season.
Iowa State’s opponent for Wednesday, at UNI at 7 p.m., is not ranked or receiving votes after a 1-2 start in a tournament in Utah, but the Cyclones’ two opponents for this weekend’s Iowa State Challenge will be ranked when they enter Hilton Coliseum.
San Diego, who takes on Iowa State at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, is ranked No. 14 after being one of the highest vote receiving squads outside of the top-25 in the preseason poll. The Toreros went to Hawai’i to take part in the in the challenging Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational. After a four-set win over UTEP, USD took No. 1 Texas to five sets before falling to the Longhorns. San Diego would be able to redeem any disappointment with a big five-set victory over hosts Hawai’i, who defeated Texas two nights earlier and lead the NCAA in attendance on a yearly basis with over 7,000 in the Stan Sheriff Center for the match.
Illinois, who play the Cyclones Sunday at 2 p.m., will make the trip to Ames as the No. 18 team in the country. The Illini were also out West at the Long Beach State Mizuno Invite. Their tournament started with a sweep of No. 18 Florida State before falling to hosts LBSU in four sets the same day. The next day, UI fought through a dramatic five-set win over No. 17 Kentucky. Illinois joined USC as the only teams to earn two victories over ranked opponents in the first weekend of the season.