ISU volleyball takes 2-0 conference record to matchup with Sooners


Brian Achenbach/Iowa State Daily

No. 2 sophomore right setter Mackenzie Bigbee spikes the ball at UNI’s defense during Iowa State’s 3-2 win over the Panthers on Sept. 4 at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls.

Clint Cole

Undefeated is a good place to be early in the  conference season, and that’s just where the No. 25 ISU volleyball team is right now, and for the third time of the Christy Johnson-Lynch era. The Cyclones (8-4, 2-0 Big 12) have momentum in their favor as they get ready to travel to Norman, Okla. on Saturday for a match against Oklahoma (13-3, 1-1 Big 12).

Earlier this week when talking about both road matches against Texas Tech and Oklahoma, Johnson-Lynch said they would be focusing more on themselves rather than their opponents before each match.

“The other teams we’re going to see are not that unorthodox,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We’re not going to see anything real different that I think we have to spend a lot of time preparing for. It’s going to be mostly us.”

In their last match, the Sooners were swept by No. 4 Texas in Austin, Texas: 25-17, 25-21 and 25-19. Texas outside hitter Bailey Webster had 15 kills in the match and the Longhorns had a .319 hit percentage against the Sooners.

Oklahoma middle blocker Kierra Holst led the way offensively for the Sooners with 9 kills, but the Sooners only managed a .174 hitting percentage against the Longhorns. The Sooners were also out-blocked by the Longhorns 8-4.

The Cyclones are coming off of their second-straight conference sweep with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-13) win over Texas Tech in Lubbock. ISU sophomore Mackenzie Bigbee led the Cyclones offensively with 17 kills and a .333 hitting percentage while Ciara Capezio had 12 kills. Capezio has 10 or more kills in seven matches in her freshman season.

According to ISU junior Tory Knuth, Johnson-Lynch has been focusing on working on “playing hard” this season.

“We don’t let balls drop; we just go for everything,” Knuth said. “That’s just been a really big focus for the entire season, that we just play hard, every point, and we don’t take any points off and just push through everything.”

The Cyclones have recent history on their side having won four-straight matches over the Sooners over the last two seasons. Their last loss to the Sooners was Nov. 13, 2010, in Norman by a score of 3-1 when the Cyclones were ranked No. 14.