ISU to host NCAA first and second rounds

AMES (ISU) — For the second-straight year, Iowa State will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The No. 15-seed Cyclones (20-7, 13-3 Big 12) will play IPFW (25-6, 12-4 Summit League) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m, following the first round match between North Carolina and California at 5 p.m.

The Mastodons were Summit League Champions this season, powered by 4.30 kills per set from sophomore outside hitter Emily Spencer. Libero Tessa McGill enters postseason digging an average of 6.18 balls per set. The Cyclones and Mastodons have never faced each other before and the Cyclones will be the first ranked opponent for IPFW this season. 

The Cyclones are on a 10-match winning streak as they head to their seventh-straight NCAA Tournament under head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch and broke a record during the regular season with six wins over top-25 opponents, including defeating No. 3 Texas, 3-2, on senior day. The win over Texas helped vault the Cyclones’ RPI into the top-20, landing at 18th, and helping the squad earn a home court advantage for the third time in four years.

UNC (25-5, 16-4 ACC) and Cal (15-15, 9-11 Pac-12) played each other in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, with the Tarheels advancing in five sets. The Golden Bears eliminated UNC in the second round of the 2010 tournament, winning 3-1.

All-session tickets for the first and second round matches went on sale to the general public at noon today and will be available until 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. Cyclone season ticket holders and Cyclone Club members could purchase tickets beginning at 8 a.m. this morning. All-session tickets are lower level reserved seating (sections 109-113, 131-135) and adult tickets can be purchased for $14. Tickets are $10 for youth (high school and younger).

Single-session tickets for Thursday’s first round matches will go on sale on Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. with tickets for Friday’s second round match available at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. All single-session tickets are general admission in the lower corners, lower level west end and in the balcony. 

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