AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State volleyball team had a new look on Wednesday evening at Hilton Coliseum and it brought home a big result as the Cyclones swept No. 22 Kansas State 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-22). The win moved ISU up to 12-9 overall on the season, 4-6 in the Big 12. K-State fell to 20-4 overall, 7-3 in conference competition.
Running a 6-2 for the entire match, Monique Harris stepped in as the second setter and recorded her first career double-double with 23 assists and 10 digs. Morgan Kuhrt led the attack with 14 kills.
Story of the Match
ISU gave Harris the start at setter as the Cyclones surprised the Hilton Coliseum faithful with a new formation and look. The first set started out fairly even, but at 8-8 Victoria Hurtt went on a tear with five kills in six points to spur ISU ahead 13-9. That gave ISU some breathing room until late on in the set when K-State got a 5-1 run of its own fueled by three straight ISU errors to move ahead 22-21. The Wildcats got ahead 23-22, but the Cyclones took the final three points via a Kuhrt kill, a Kuhrt ace and Katie Reininger firing a shot wide to give ISU the first 25-23.
The second set saw ISU sprint out to a quick 9-3 lead as multiple Wildcat errors and some intimidating serving by Suzanne Horner separated the Cyclones. K-State built its way back into the set and eventually put together a 7-0 run to move ahead 18-15. The Cyclones did not waste much time erasing the deficit as ISU scored four of the next five, with Alexis Conaway’s ace tying the set back up. Kansas State briefly re-took the lead at 22-21, but ISU took four of the final five points of the set via kills from Ciara Capezio, Kuhrt and Mackenzie Bigbee, who finished the set with the shot to make it 25-23 Cyclones.
Iowa State again got out to a commanding lead in the third set, with three-straight Kansas State errors putting the Cyclones ahead 7-3. A crucial 7-2 run saw the Iowa State lead move from 12-10 up to 19-12. At that point, it looked like the Cyclones were home free, but K-State fought back with a 7-2 run of its own to reduce the ISU lead to 23-21. Hurtt brought up match point with a kill, but K-State saw off one match point with a Chelsea Keating kill. The Cyclones went back to Hurtt on the second match point and she was able to put it away to complete the Cyclone sweep.
Cyclone Game Ball Goes to…
Monique Harris. The freshman from Clinton was thrust into a new role, but a familiar role. A setter in high school, Harris had transitioned to a defensive specialist when coming to Ames. Wednesday night, Christy Johnson-Lynch decided to run a full 6-2 offense with Harris and Suzanne Horner sharing the reigns.
While there were moments where the chemistry looked to be not there yet, Harris eventually got in a groove, with Victoria Hurtt in particular, and helped lead the ISU offense to victory. Her setting duties did not take her away from her defensive duties as she recorded a double-double with 23 assists and 10 digs. Harris also had two service aces.
*Iowa State has now defeated a ranked opponent in all 10 seasons of Christy Johnson-Lynch’s tenure as ISU head coach. Iowa State has 31 wins over top-25 opponents under Johnson-Lynch.
*Wednesday marked the sixth sweep of a ranked opponent under Johnson-Lynch, the last coming in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Championship against Miami (FL).
*Morgan Kuhrt’s 14 kills led Iowa State and marked the sixth time in 2014 she had at least 10 kills.
*Kuhrt’s four block assists were a career-high.
*Caitlin Nolan finished with 12 digs, seeing her streak of matches with at least 20 digs end at eight. However, her streak of matches with at least 10 digs is now at 10 matches.
*Monique Harris set a career-high with 23 assists. She also tied a career high with two service aces.
*Harris posted her first career double-double, as she added 10 digs to her 23 assists.
*Victoria Hurtt finished with 12 kills, her 10th match of the season in double-figures.
Iowa State is back on the road Saturday to take on West Virginia in Morgantown. First serve is slated for 3 p.m. CT.