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ISU volleyballers Malloy and Nolan set for World Championship

logo_iowa_state_cyclonesAMES, Iowa – After making the USA Volleyball Women’s Junior National Team earlier this month, Cyclone sophomores Andie Malloy and Caitlin Nolan are jetting off to the Czech Republic for the Women’s Under 20 World Championship, June 21-30 in Brno.

“I am really looking forward to playing against some of the best players in the world,” Malloy said about playing in the tournament where the WJNT will face teams from Bulgaria, Mexico, Russia and six-time champion Brazil in the first round of pool play.

Malloy and Nolan are surrounded by familiar faces on their own team where they now play on the same side of the net with former foes from Stanford, Florida State, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Stanford, who has three representatives on the WJNT, and Iowa State are the only collegiate programs with more than one student-athlete on the 12-player squad.

However, both players are grateful and excited to have a fellow Cyclone along for the ride.

“It has been great coming here with Andie especially since I am newer to USA volleyball,” Nolan said. “She introduced me to friends she had made being on teams in previous years, and I have known some of the girls from playing against them in club and even in school.”

“It was really nice to have Caitlin [at tryouts] with me,” Malloy agreed. “We ended up being roommates! I was familiar with about half of the girls on the team, so I was excited to be reunited with them, too.”

Both of the Texas natives-Malloy is from Allen, Nolan from Southlake-will be traveling to Eastern Europe for the first time and each is excited to learn about new cultures and absorb new experiences. Nolan did express concern as a less-than-adventurous eater and a player well known for her energy on and off the court.

“I am more of a picky eater so I am nervous for the food, but I heard it is good which makes me feel better,” Nolan said. “I’m a little nervous for the plane ride too because it’s hard for me to sit still for a long period of time.”

Nerves will be far from Nolan and Malloy’s minds when they take the court for the first time on June 21 against Bulgaria. With four matches in five days, both players know they will have ample opportunity to do as much learning on the court as they will off of it.

“I hope to learn more about the game,” Malloy said. “My goal is to absorb all the knowledge that I can about the sport of volleyball. I want to learn something from every opponent that we face and also my teammates.”

Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch believes playing with and against some of the top talent in the world will give the duo, which helped the Cyclones to their fifth NCAA Regional Semifinal in seven years in 2012, an extra edge when they return to Ames in the fall.

“[Andie and Caitlin] have both worked extremely hard to put themselves in this position,” Johnson-Lynch said “They will be playing with and against the best players in the world at their age level over the next couple of weeks and will gain a ton of experience and confidence from this opportunity. I am excited to see them playing at a higher level when they return.”

The WJNT will play its first match of the Women’s Under 20 World Championship on Friday, June 21, against Bulgaria at 5:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. CDT) as part of Pool C. The five teams in each of four pools will play a round-robin intra-pool tournament, with three teams from each pool advancing into the next round.

The 16 teams to advance out of pool play will move on to the Eight Finals, similar to NCAA Tournament play. As the winners in each round advance toward the championship match, losing teams will play classification matches, and teams will be ranked, 1-20, at the end of the tournament.

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