The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
NORMAN, Oklahoma – Iowa State handed No. 24 Oklahoma its first defeat at McCasland Field House of the season as the Cyclones took down the Sooners in five sets 3-2 (23-25, 30-28, 23-25, 25-21, 15-9). The win improved ISU to 14-9 overall and 6-6 in Big 12 play. Oklahoma fell to 17-8 overall, 8-4 in conference play.
Alexis Conaway led the way with a career-high 15 kills at a career-best .560 hitting percentage while also contributing eight block assists. Morgan Kuhrt led ISU with 16 kills at a .359 hitting percentage while Victoria Hurt had 13 kills and Ciara Capezio finished with 12. Caitlin Nolan finished with 34 digs.
Story of the Match
The first set featured very little separation between the two teams, but Iowa State was able to eventually build up an 18-14 lead. However, the Sooners fought their way back to a 20-19 deficit. The Cyclones looked in good shape at 23-20 ahead, but Oklahoma took control for proceedings, and taking advantage of some ISU errors to run off the final five points of the set. Micaela Spann fired the closing kill to give OU the first 25-23.
It was more of the same in the second set as neither team was able to sustain much of a lead. Due to the lack of building leads, the Cyclones ran into a conundrum with its 6-2 offense, running out of substitutions. ISU fought off two Oklahoma set points, but were unable to convert two of their own. After a Samara West kill put ISU ahead 29-28, the Cyclones stuffed an attack by Kierra Holst via West and Monique Harris, who got stuck playing up front due to ISU running out of subs, and ISU took the second 30-28.
The third set was controlled by Oklahoma, as the Sooners led most of the way en route to building a 20-14 lead. With the Sooners up 22-16, the Cyclones made a huge comeback, running off six straight points behind some strong block as back-to-back blocks of Holst by Ciara Capezio and Alexis Conaway tied the set 22-22. However, OU was able to get the final points of the set as Madison Ward recorded a kill and Kimmy Gardiner and Marion Hazelwood blocked Morgan Kuhrt to give OU the third 25-23.
In the do or die fourth set, the Cyclones started to get the breathing room near the halfway point with a 4-0 run to get ahead 16-11. Oklahoma wasted no time taking out that deficit down to 16-15, but the Cyclones never lost their cool. With the set tied 18-18, the Cyclones ran off three-straight points behind the strong serving of Caitlin Nolan to move ahead 23-18. Holst had a pair of kills to battle off set point twice, but Holst was denied by Capezio and Conaway to force a fifth at 25-21.
The fifth set belonged to Iowa State. The Cyclones were only down after the first point, and led the whole way. With ISU up 9-8, the Cyclone ripped off three in a row via three Kuhrt kills to move ahead 12-8. After OU got a point back, ISU closed out the match with three in a row again, a Conaway kill and two blocks for Holst by West and Kuhrt to win the fifth 15-9.
*Morgan Kuhrt had her second career double-double with 16 kills and 10 digs.
*Alexis Conaway finished with a career-high 15 kills at a career-high .560 hitting percentage.
*Caitlin Nolan’s 34 digs marked the fourth time in 2014 Nolan finished with at least 30 digs.
*Ciara Capezio had her sixth double-double of the season, 14th of her career with 12 kills and 11 digs.
Iowa State returns to Hilton Coliseum Saturday for a Big 12 match against TCU. First serve will be at 4 p.m. on Military Appreciation Day.