CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – For the second consecutive year, Iowa State and UNI played out a five set match at the McLeod Center and once again it was Iowa State who came out on top 3-2 (25-21, 28-26, 19-25, 16-25, 15-10). The win improved ISU to 7-3 on the season while UNI fell to 7-6.
Morgan Kuhrt, a local student-athlete from just 20 minutes away in Waverly, came off the bench to lead Iowa State with 14 kills at a .355 hitting percentage. Caitlin Nolan recorded a career-high 32 digs, and Suzanne Horner set a career-high 56 assists.
Turning Point of the Match
After taking the first set 25-21, Iowa State was in business again in the second with a 21-16 lead. ISU got the first set point at 24-23, but the Panthers were able to fight back with two set points of their own. However, ISU was able to get back in control as Suzanne Horner and Samara West stuffed UNI’s Lindsey Schulz and Kayla Haneline committed an attack error to give Iowa State the second 28-26.
After UNI fought back to take two consecutive sets, Iowa State needed to regroup quickly in the third set. The Cyclones got right to work with the first four points of the set. Horner was at it again with a block and a kill and Kuhrt got a kill of her own in the run. The Panthers fought back to tie it 7-7, but big kills from Mackenzie Bigbee and Victoria Hurtt gave ISU control of the set again and the match. At 12-10 ISU, the Cyclones ended the match with three consecutive points, and Kuhrt capping it off with a kill to send ISU back to Ames with a victory.
Cyclone Match Ball Goes to…
Morgan Kuhrt. It seemed surreal at times, the closest Cyclone to the UNI campus being the hero of the match. From Waverly, just 20 minutes from Cedar Falls, Kuhrt did not start the match but came in the second set for Victoria Hurtt. Right away her impact was apparent and she was a consistent presence throughout the evening. Kuhrt was the star of the fourth set, recording four kills, including the match-clincher.
She finished with 14 kills, just one off her career-high, with a .355 hitting percentage. She also chipped in with two block assists.
A couple of honorable mentions for ISU. First to libero Caitlin Nolan, who finished with a career-high 32 digs, which included 13 digs in the second set. Another goes to setter Suzanne Horner. Horner was brilliant in her operation of the ISU offense, finishing with a career-high 56 assists, four kills, nine digs and three block assists.
*Iowa State has tied its all-time series with UNI at 26-26. The Cyclones have won the previous three meetings.
*For the second consecutive season, Iowa State and UNI played a five-set match after the Cyclones won the first two sets.
*Mackenzie Bigbee recorded her 37th match with at least 10 kills, finishing with 12.
*Morgan Kuhrt led Iowa State with a season-high 14 kills, just one off her career-high of 15 last seaston at TCU.
*Alexis Conaway posted her second-consecutive match with at least 10 kills, finishing with 12. It was her third double-figure match of the season.
*Caitlin Nolan recorded a career-high in digs, and her third-career 20-plus dig match with her 32 digs.
*Monique Harris had her first-career double-figure dig match with 12 digs.
*Ciara Capezio posted her third double-double of the season, 11th of her career with 11 kills and 12 digs.
*Suzanne Horner tied her career-high with 56 assists. She also recorded 56 last season at Mississippi State against UAB.
Iowa State opens Big 12 play Saturday at TCU. First serve is at 2:30 p.m. and the match will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.