The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
AMES, Iowa – A career afternoon from Morgan Kuhrt propelled Iowa State to a 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 28-26) win over Oklahoma Sunday at Hilton Coliseum. The win improved ISU to 9-6 overall on the season, 2-3 in Big 12 play. The loss dropped Oklahoma to 12-5 overall, 3-1 in conference competition.
Kuhrt continued her fine run of play with a career-high 21 kills and 11 digs for her first career double-double. Mackenzie Bigbee chipped in with a season-high 14 kills, Samara West tied a career-high with 11 kills, Suzanne Horner had a double-double with a career-best-tying 56 assists and 12 digs and Caitlin Nolan contributed 24 digs.
Story of the Match
From the first serve, the match always felt like it would go longer than three sets. Iowa State led the entire way, but Oklahoma always kept the score within five points. That allowed the Sooners to reduce the Cyclone lead down to 23-21 late on in the frame, but ISU was able to keep it together as Kuhrt finished off the first frame with her seventh kill of the set, giving ISU the 25-23 first game.
The second game also started in Iowa State’s favor, as the Cyclones enjoyed an early 6-4 lead. The Sooner offense turned up the pressure, running off nine of the next 11 points to move ahead 13-8. Iowa State was able to reduce the Oklahoma lead in the frame to 18-15 via three straight points, two via Ciara Capezio kills, but OU then ran off four of their own and though ISU fought off two set points, Kierra Holst was able to even the match with a kill to give OU the set 25-20 and to tie the match.
Iowa State came flying out of the locker room in the third set, recording the first four points of the set and building up a five-point advantage. Down 13-8, the Sooners ripped off five points in a row to even the third frame at 13-13. Iowa State responded with four straight points, Kuhrt coming up with three kills in that stretch, to pull back ahead for good. West closed out the set with a kill at 25-21 to take a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set belonged from Oklahoma from the git-go as the Sooners build up a lead early, not allowing ISU much close than within three points. With OU up 20-15, things swung in ISU’s favor as the Cyclones ran off six of the next seven points, capped off by Bigbee and West stuffing Holst to tie it at 21-21. Iowa State looked to have thrown it away as a ball-handling error on Horner, a wide shot from Bigbee and a shot in the net by Horner gave OU set point at 24-21. After a service error, Kuhrt fought off the next two set points with back-to-back kills to tie it at 24-24. Kuhrt battled off the fifth set point of the frame with a kill to tie it at 26-26. An attack error by Madison Ward gave ISU a match point, and Horner and Alexis Conaway closed the match by stuffing Ward and giving the Cyclones the victory.
*Iowa State’s win snapped Oklahoma’s eight-match Big 12 winning streak. OU’s last conference loss was at Iowa State last season.
*The Cyclones finished the match with a season-high 69 kills and 65 assists.
*Christy Johnson-Lynch won her 199th career match as head coach at Iowa State and in her head coaching career.
*Mackenzie Bigbee finished with a season-high 14 kills. It was Bigbee’s 39th career match with at least 10 kills.
*Morgan Kuhrt recorded a career-high 21 kills. Her previous career-high was 15 at TCU last season.
*Kuhrt also recorded her first career double-double, adding in 11 digs to her 21 kills.
*Alexis Conaway hit over .500 for the second time in her career (min. 15 attempts), with her eight kills at a .500 hitting percentage. Coanway hit .526 against West Virginia earlier this season.
*Caitlin Nolan led the match with 24 digs, her sixth 20-dig match of the season and third in a row.
*Samara West tied a career high with 11 kills, she also had 11 against Tulsa. It was her third match with at least 10 kills this season.
*Suzanne Horner tied a career-high with 56 assists. It was her fourth time in her career, third in 2014, that she has dished out 56 assists.
*Horner had her fourth double-double of the season, recording a season-best-tying 12 digs. She also had 12 digs against Milwaukee.
Iowa State is back on the road Tuesday with a non-conference match at South Dakota. First serve at the DakotaDome is slated for 7 p.m.