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Iowa State volleyball heads to Arizona for GCU Tournament

Jordan+Hopp+celebrates+a+point+against+DePaul+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Aug.+27%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Jordan Hopp celebrates a point against DePaul at Hilton Coliseum on Aug. 27, 2023.

The Cyclones started the season 2-0 in the Cardinal and Gold Challenge with sweeps over South Dakota and DePaul. Now they turn their focus to the GCU Invitational, where they will look to pick up three more wins over the weekend. 

Iowa State’s first match of the tournament will be against Arizona on Friday. 

Arizona started off its season with the Cactus Classic on its home court in Tucson, Arizona,  where the Wildcats went 1-2. Arizona took losses to UC Davis and North Carolina before picking up its first win of the season against Pacific. 

Arizona will look to turn things around after a slow start to its season. Iowa State’s second opponent of the weekend will be Long Island University on Saturday.

Long Island will be looking for its first win of the season at the GCU Tournament. The Sharks went 0-3 in the Cherry and White Challenge in Philadelphia, taking losses against Lehigh, Iona and Temple. 

Iowa State’s final match of the tournament will be against hosts Grand Canyon University just after Long Island. 

Grand Canyon has had a solid start to its season, going 2-1 in its opening matches at the Wake Forest Tournament in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Grand Canyon defeated Northeastern and Toledo before losing in the tournament finale to Wake Forest. 

The Cyclones seem to stack up well to their opponents and will be looking for key players to continue producing standout performances.  

Players to look out for this weekend include Morgan Brandt, Nayeli Gonzalez and Annie Hatch. 

Hatch and Gonzalez recorded 22 kills each at the Cardinal and Gold Challenge. Both were named to the All-Tournament Team for their standout performances. 

Brandt was named Cardinal and Gold Challenge MVP after racking up 65 assists, 20 digs, six kills, four blocks and two aces over the weekend.

If the Cyclones can get the same type of performance from that group of three over the weekend, they should be set up for success.

The Cyclones match against Arizona is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by Long Island and Grand Canyon at noon and 9 p.m. Saturday, respectively. All the matches will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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