No. 17 Cyclones gear up to face No. 25 Michigan State


Cassandra Diaz performs her beam routine during Iowa State’s tri-meet against Illinois State and Gustavus Adolphus on Feb. 17, 2017. Diaz scored 9.850 on her routine en route to an Iowa State victory. 

Jordan Swanson

In a meet that did not go quite as planned for Head Coach Jay Ronayne, Iowa State was able to come out on top last Friday against No. 19 ranked Southern Utah with a final score of 196.300 to 195.775 and will return home for another top-25 bout.

The Cyclones will play host to No. 25 Michigan State Spartans Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The meet Friday will end a six-week road trip for the Cyclones.

“It was a long six week stretch,” Ronayne said. “We had to be on all the time during that stretch. It was grueling.”

Iowa State has gone up against 10 ranked opponents this season with a record of 4-6 in those meets but the Cyclones aren’t putting too much stock into rankings and records in their opponent and the Spartans will be no different.

“We try not to think about the rankings at all. We see where we are and we’re proud of ourselves for that, but that is not something that we really look at,” senior Cassandra Diaz said.

Michigan State is currently ranked sixth in the Big Ten with an overall record of 3-3 in head-to-head meets. They recently finished fourth, with a score of 195.975, in a five-team Big Ten meet with No. 7 Minnesota, No. 9 Michigan, No. 24 Maryland, and Penn State as opponents.

The meet Friday will feature two gymnasts who are up for the AAI Award. This is awarded to the most outstanding collegiate senior female gymnast in the country.

The finalists that will be competing in the upcoming meet are Sydney Converse for Iowa State and Ella Douglas for Michigan State.

“I honestly was surprised that I made the top 16,” Converse said. “I was very honored. It’s something I never thought two or three years ago would even be possible. Just to even be considered in the top 32 was amazing, but to make it to the top 16 is unreal.”

Following the conclusion of the meet against the Spartans, Iowa State will prepare to face off against in-state rival Iowa. That meet will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 6 in Hilton Coliseum.