Morgan Kuhrt embraces off-the-bench role in redshirt freshman year for ISU volleyball


Photo: Grace Steenhagen/Iowa State Daily

The team celebrates after a kill by No. 16 sophomore Morgan Kuhrt.

Clint Cole

Last season, Morgan Kuhrt stepped onto the ISU campus as a freshman in the volleyball program. She was redshirted for that season.

This season, Kuhrt has now stepped into an off-the-bench role for the volleyball team, often going into the match to serve. So far this season, Kuhrt has played in all 15 matches for the Cyclones and has started five of them.

In the 42 sets played this season, the outside hitter from Waverly, Iowa, is averaging 0.74 kills per set, 0.24 assists per set, 0.21 service aces per set and 1.29 digs per set. Kuhrt said she is trying to embrace her role on the team the season the best that she can and contribute to the team.

ISU senior libero Kristen Hahn thinks she has embraced her role this season and that it has helped her confidence in the position.

“She just provides a good calm when she comes in,” Hahn said. “She’s excited, and it’s been really great to see her transform into a player that is going to bring a little more energy off the bench and sometimes we really need that.”

ISU coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said Kuhrt is becoming a great “all-around” player in her redshirt freshman season.

“Just about every time she’s gone in she’s done something pretty great, so I think her game is coming further; she’s making a lot of nice strides; she goes in and passes for us and we need that,” Johnson-Lynch said. “She’s been a really solid consistent passer for us and she’s really becoming a nice all-around player. I don’t know if she was that when she came in, but she’s growing into that.”

Johnson-Lynch has said on multiple occasions that she is one of the best servers she has coached. They measure serving speed in practice, and Johnson-Lynch said Kuhrt can get her serve up to 41 mph.

“It has a really good float on it so when that ball’s coming at you, it starts to move, and you’re not quite sure where to line up and where to pass the ball, and I think that’s what makes her a good server, but she does it so consistently,” Johnson-Lynch said. “A lot of people can do that maybe every fourth time or fifth time they hit the ball, [and] it’s going to have a really really good float. She has such a good contact on the ball she can create that serve every time she goes back there.”

In her senior year at Waverly-Shell Rock High School, Kuhrt specialized more in kills, finishing eighth in the state with 4.58 kills per set, but she also proved to be a successful server with a 0.928 serve efficiency and 0.39 aces per set.

“I just try to really drive my serve and serve deep,” Kuhrt said. “I think my serve, I’ve been working on having more float on it so it kind of moves around and makes it difficult for the passers to pass the ball.”