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Mastodons draw No. 23 Iowa State in NCAA volleyball tourney

IPFW's women's volleyball team will play 23rd-ranked Iowa State in the first round of the NCAA tournament at 8 p.m. Thursday in Ames, Iowa. Pairings were released Sunday afternoon by the NCAA.

It is the second trip to the NCAA tournament in four years for the Mastodons (25-6), who received an automatic bid by winning the Summit League tournament in Fargo, N.D. IPFW lost at Illinois 3-0 in its previous first-round match in 2009.

"We don't know a lot of particulars," IPFW coach Kelley Hartley Hutton said. "We'll start the process of getting tape and all that (today)."

Iowa State (20-7) finished second behind the tournament's No. 3 seed Texas in the Big 12 Conference standings. The Cyclones enter the tournament on a 10-match winning streak.

Although sophomore Emily Spencer leads IPFW with 507 kills, four others are bunched with more than 250 kills each. Senior Jessie Manwaring has 310, senior Haley Emenhiser has 270, redshirt freshman Hailie Ripley has 261 and sophomore Kendall Wienkes has 254.

Senior Megan Steenhuysen leads the Mastodons with 1,447 assists, and senior Tessa McGill has 735 digs. Both played on the IPFW team that fell 25-16, 25-15, 25-12 to the Illini.

"It's a really wonderful experience," Hartley Hutton said of the NCAA tournament. "I kind of fell for that the last time. We were all just happy and thrilled to be there and be part of it. Now we want to win. We're working and preparing to win our first-round game."

stwarden@jg.net

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