AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State Cyclones, who advanced to their second NCAA Elite Eight in two years last season, open the 2012 season ranked 10th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Preseason Poll, released Monday.
The Cyclones have begun the year ranked in the top-10 once before, ranked ninth at the beginning of the 2010 season.
In 2011, Iowa State finished eighth on the year after falling to Florida State in the NCAA Regional Final match, the second-highest year-end ranking in program history. The squad broke a school record in RPI, rising as high as second and ending the year third in the nation.
This season looks to be another challenging season on the court for head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch and the young Cyclones, who count seven true freshmen among 16 team members. The Cyclones will being the year against 2011 NCAA tournament teams Cincinnati, Florida State (No. 12 preseason) and Tennessee (No. 15) before traveling to 2011 NCAA Championship finalist Illinois for two matches. The Illini enter the year ranked seventh.
Texas leads the Big 12 in the preseason poll, ranked second and Kansas State rounds out the conference rankings at No. 22. Oklahoma received votes in the poll.
On Saturday, Iowa State hosts its annual Cardinal and Gold scrimmage at Hilton Coliseum at 1 p.m. CST. The regular season begins Aug. 24 against the Bearcats at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic in Knoxville, Tenn.