Familiarity of Minneapolis a plus for the Cyclone volleyball team

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The Iowa State volleyball team will play in Minneapolis Friday to open NCAA Tournament play, so preparation time has been limited.

 Coach Christy Johnson-Lynch, who is taking her Cyclones to the national tourney for the 8th straight year, has already found one way to shorten prep time in a hectic week.

 “We can cut and paste our itinerary from the last trip,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We’ll be in our element up there.”

 This will be Iowa State’s fourth trip to Minneapolis for NCAA Tournament competition. The Cyclones’ all-time tourney record there is 3-2. The 2011 trip was the regional championship when ISU advanced to the Elite Eight.

 “We’re used to going up to Minnesota and it’s a great environment, great crowd and great place to play,” Johnson-Lynch said. “I like playing close to home and I like being able to drive instead of fly.”

 The surroundings will certainly be familiar and the opponent is also familiar.

 Colorado, a former Big 12 peer, is the first-round opponent. The Buffaloes have a hefty lead in the all-time series (39-17) against ISU, but the Cyclones won the last five meetings as conference rivals.

 If familiarity breeds success, ISU is in a great place.

 “We’ve been there so many times and are familiar with the whole routine,” Johnson-Lynch added.