GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The No. 15 Iowa State volleyball team came out on top of a dramatic four-set match against Texas A&M 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 27-25) Saturday morning at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The win improved ISU to 3-0 on the season, and took the Aggies to 1-1. Iowa State was the champions of the UND Classic with its three wins.
Turning Point of the Match
The Cyclones dropped the first set 25-21, and were down for early portion of the second set. Tied 15-15 in the second, the Cyclones pulled off a 4-0 run powered by two Natalie Vondrak kills to get ahead for good, take the set 25-22 and tie the match at one set each.
Cyclone Match Ball Goes to …
Tenisha Matlock. The senior was unstoppable for portions of the match. Matlock tied a career high with 20 kills, and had one of her most efficient matches as a Cyclone, posting a .526 percentage. Matlock also chipped in a solo block and two block assists.
An honorable mention to Mackenzie Bigbee, who had 18 kills at a .394 hitting percentage and recorded a few big kills in the fourth set to get Iowa State home with the win. A mention also for Natalie Vondrak, who had the best match of her young career with eight kills off the bench. Her two kills in the afore mentioned 4-0 second set run propelled Iowa State back into the match.
Quoting Christy Johnson-Lynch
“This was an exceptional start to the season. I thought going into this that if we were 3-0 that would show we were a very good team. We showed some grit and had lots of great performances from many different people. We are beginning to see our team identity and I am excited with what I am seeing so far.”
*For the fifth time under head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch, Iowa State won its first three matches of the year.
*Iowa State has won six of its last seven matches against Texas A&M.
*Tenisha Matlock tied a career-high with 20 kills. She also posted 20 kills in ISU’s win over Iowa in 2012. Her .528 hitting percentage was the third-best of her career. It was also the first time a Cyclone had 20 kills in a match since Victoria Hurtt had 22 at Texas last year.
*Kristen Hahn had 23 digs to extend her streak of at least 10+ digs in a match to 43 matches, only one behind Ashley Mass’ school record of 44 matches. She had 20+ digs for the sixth time in the last seven matches dating back to last season.
*Mackenzie Bigbee was in double-figures for kills for the third time this season with her 18 kills. She now has 19 career matches with at least 10 kills.
*Victoria Hurtt had 11 kills, her second double-figure kill match of the season and 29th of her career.
*Morgan Kuhrt’s 13 digs were a career-high.
*Caitlin Nolan’s 10 digs marked the first time this year and 14th of her career she entered the double-figures threshold.
Iowa State is on the road in Cedar Falls against UNI on Wednesday. First serve against the Panthers is slated for 7 p.m.