There are a lot of pieces that need to come together behind the scenes to make the Senior Night ceremony like the one from last night’s volleyball match to make it a memorable success. I have my hand in a few of those areas, including writing the Senior Night script read out by PA announcer John Burnett-Larkins and getting photos for the video put together by Rod Bodholdt of B&G Productions. When preparing each of those, I ran into a tidbit about the careers of Kristen Hahn and Tenisha Matlock: they were the last members of the current Iowa State volleyball team to play matches for the Cyclones at Ames High School.
For those who were not aware, in the early weeks of August 2010 the city of Ames experienced multiple consecutive days of thunderstorms and rain that caused the Squaw Creek and Skunk River the flood, leading to almost 14 feet of water entering Hilton Coliseum. The damage to Hilton meant that the building would be unusable for months. That was a problem to the Iowa State volleyball program, coming off its third consecutive trip to at least the Regional Semifinals, as they would need to find a new home for the 2010 season.
After a week at looking through options, it was announced that the Cyclones would be playing its matches at Ames High School for the season. This presented an interesting conundrum as a wildly popular Iowa State volleyball program that averaged 2,734 fans per match in 2009, and included the crazy 10,203 crowd that Hilton Coliseum had for Iowa State’s match against Nebraska. The Iowa State Athletics Department decided that 1,200 season tickets would be sold and buying them would be your only way to guarantee a seat to matches at Ames High. They sold out.
The environment was incredible as the Cyclones played two of their biggest rivals, Northern Iowa and Nebraska, in front of jammed packed gyms with the sound being sent back downward by the low ceilings (and some volleyballs, too). I was a witness to all 12 of those matches as a student assistant in the Iowa State Athletics Communications office, working as caller for stat crew and recap writer for cyclones.com. Against No. 4 Nebraska I remember the roar after Iowa State scored the set point to tie the match up at one set each was incredibly loud. Matt Shoultz (yes, THAT Matt Shoultz!) was doing stat crew and could not see who had the block. I was sitting with him and screamed it as loud as I could. He still could not hear me (it was Victoria Henson and Jamie Straube).
Iowa State returned to Hilton for the final three matches of the home slate in 2010. Those three were the first matches at Hilton Coliseum of Hahn and Matlock’s career. The duo finished with a career record of 33-8 at Hilton Coliseum, and an 11-1 record at Ames High School.