Dec. 4, 2009

Courtesy of Iowa State Sports Information

AMES, Iowa--The seventh-seeded and fifth-ranked Iowa State volleyball team cruised to its fourth-consecutive NCAA Volleyball Championship second round appearance with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-19) sweep of George Mason Friday evening in the tournament's opening round in Hilton Coliseum.

The blanking of the Patriots continues the recent dominance the Cyclones have exhibited, marking the sixth-straight match ISU has swept its opponent. Furthermore, ISU notched its program-record 26th win.

Iowa State ran a balanced attack, as only two kills separated the top-four Cyclones. Victoria Henson notched 10 kills, Debbie Stadick and Jamie Straube recorded nine, while Rachel Hockaday added eight. Stadick also posted a team-high five blocks.

Kaylee Manns led ISU with 37 assists, while libero Ashley Mass had a team-high 18 digs.

Henson started the match in impressive fashion with an emphatic kill to give the Cyclones the 1-0 lead. After the two squads were level at six in the first set, the Cyclones went on a 6-1 run and never looked back, winning the opening frame 25-22. ISU did not trail in the first set. Manns narrowly missed posting a double-double in the opening set, as the Cyclone setter notched 10 assists and eight digs.

Manns went on to earn her 66th career double with 37 assists and 10 digs.

George Mason (23-9) earned its first lead of the contest, scoring the opening point of the second set. The Cyclones responded with a 9-2 run, taking a 9-3 advantage. ISU would not relinquish its lead for the remainder of the set, winning the frame 25-13.

The third set followed a familiar pattern, with the Cyclones leading narrowly 7-5 before a 7-3 ISU run put the score at 14-8. Iowa State held its advantage the rest of the way and won set three 25-19 to close out the contest.

The Cyclones advance to face Wichita State in the second round at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Hilton Coliseum. Wichita State downed Saint Louis 3-1 in Friday evening's first contest.