Dec. 6, 2008

Courtesy of Iowa State

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Victoria Henson had 25 kills and Rachel Hockaday chipped in 16 as Iowa State stunned sixth-seeded Minnesota, 3-1 (25-14, 26-24, 25-27, 25-19), on its home floor Saturday evening to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year. The Cyclones will face 11th-seeded Oregon in Austin, Texas.

"We are very excited about going to the Sweet 16 again," Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson said. "Last year kind of felt like magic and I didn't know if magic would strike again and it has. It is certainly difficult to go into an opponent's gym and win against a great team. I felt like our team executed really well and really followed the game plan well."

Hockaday finished hitting .349 while Henson hit .271 for ISU, which hit .288 as a team. Hockaday posted a double-double, finishing with 17 digs in the contest while Henson recorded her third-straight double-double with 10 digs.

The Cyclones (21-12) also got 11 kills from freshmen Debbie Stadick and 10 from Kelsey Petersen.

ISU seemed to dig almost everything, finishing with 86. Sophomore Ashley Mass finished with a match-high 22 digs and broke the single-season school record in the match. Mass currently has 611 digs on the year, passing the previous mark of 606 set by Steph McCannon in 1995.

Amy Vos had a season-high 13 digs as well in the contest.

If ISU wasn't digging the ball it was blocking it, finishing with 10 blocks. Stadick led the way with seven block assists in the match while Petersen finished with five.

Kaylee Manns added 59 assists and 13 digs in the match. Manns went over 1,000 digs for her career. She is just the 11th player in school history to top the 1,000-dig plateau and just the second player to reach 1,000 digs and 1,000 assists in a career at ISU.

Iowa State blistered the ball at a .472 clip and held an 85 percent sideout rate to take the first set 25-14. The Cyclones, who never trailed in the opening frame, got seven kills from Hockaday and six from Henson. ISU separated itself from Minnesota with a 5-0 run after the Gophers closed the gap to 4-3. ISU's largest lead in the set was 10 at 22-12.

In the second, ISU built a 13-8 lead and increased it to 20-14 before Minnesota got hot. The Gophers scrapped back and forced a set point with a 24-23 lead, but ISU got a block from Malcom and Petersen to tie it. After an attack error from Minnesota's Katie Vatterrodt, Manns found Henson on the pipe and she blasted her 11th kill of the match to the floor for the 26-24 win.

In the third set, ISU led most of the set and had a 23-20 edge before the Gophers mounted a comeback. Malcom put away a kill to make it 24-22 but Minnesota fought off a match point and went ahead 25-24. Henson slammed home a kill to tie it at 25-25 but the Gophers scored the next two points to force a fourth set.

The Cyclones took control of the fourth and deciding set with a 6-0 run to start the set. Minnesota was able to close to within two at 12-10 but the Cyclones held on for the 25-19 win, getting six kills from Henson and five from Hockaday in the set.