Iowa State begins its quest today to put the most disappointing season ever under coach Christy Johnson-Lynch in the rear-view mirror.

The Cyclones, who missed the NCAA tournament last season for the first time since 2005 despite being a preseason top-25 team, tip off the season in Oxford, Miss. today at 3 p.m. against Central Florida at the Rebel Invitational.

ISU will face host Ole Miss on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., a match that will be broadcast by SEC Network+.

“We've talked a lot about continuing our legacy,” Johnson-Lynch said last week. “It doesn't just happen.”

The Cyclones were beset by multiple injuries last season, which did soften the blow of the reality of missing the tournament for the team.

“Last season was just some unfortunate injuries,” setter Piper Mauck said. “Stuff we're trying to bounce back from.

“That's always going ot be our goal every season,vto make the NCAA tournament. It was nice to cap it off last year with an NIVC championship but I think that's still awlays going to be our goal.”

ISU is youthful, with just a single senior, Josie Herbst, on the roster. Sophomore Eleanor Holthaus is a preseason all-Big 12 pick afternotching 268 kills with a .270 hitting percentage - the fourth-best ever by a freshman at ISU.

The Cyclones were picked fourth in the Big 12 preseason poll by the league's coaches coming off last year's disappointment.

“It's up to you each year to continue that legacy,” Johnson-Lynch said. “That's through hard work and commitment.”