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Sooners shock Cyclones, Iowa State swept in rematch

Josue Aleman
Brooke Stonestreet goes for a dig against Oklahoma at the Hilton Coliseum on Oct. 29.

Iowa State came into Sunday’s match against Oklahoma fresh off its sweep the day prior. Match two had a different tune, as Oklahoma was the one with the broom to take down the Cyclones (26-24, 25-23, 25-20).

Lilly Wachholz had the shining moment of the match early on with three aces in a row in set one. For the Cyclones, this hot start did not stick, and the lead melted away.

“We had them in the first set,” head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “We really let that one go. It was the story of the match because when you’re up like that, you’ve got to win.”

The Cyclones led 22-15 in set one and were outscored 11-2 to end the set. Oklahoma rocketed from behind to take set one 26-24.

“We had opportunities to at least be up one game to none, or two games to none. We let that one slip away,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Ending set one like that really changed the flow for the Cyclones. Oklahoma had the momentum and took control after stealing the opening set.

Iowa State did keep it close in the second set, but a late push by the Sooners gave them the win. Set three, on the other hand, was all Oklahoma.

Johnson-Lynch said the Sooners had a similar lineup from the first match, but they executed better in match two.

“The serve and pass was way different tonight. Last night we had 11 aces to now four. I thought they just passed a lot better tonight, and we couldn’t put the pressure on them,” Johnson-Lynch said.

Oklahoma dominated on offense, having 51 kills in the match on nearly 30 more attacks than Iowa State. The Cyclones mustered 29 kills and hit an uncharacteristic .135 on the day.

“We struggled defensively in a lot of spots and let them control a lot of the match,” Johnson-Lynch said. “It felt very skewed to their side, so I’m not sure we did very much well. We really got exposed. OU [Oklahoma] played ten times better than they did the night before.”

The difference between both matches was night and day, proving how tough the Big 12 is this season.

“There’s tons of parity; everyone’s beating everybody right now,” Johnson-Lynch said. “Texas is the only undefeated [team]. Everybody else has seen the parity of the Big 12, so it’s a very, very tough conference. The doubleheaders are difficult. It’s always challenging when one team dominates one night [and] where the second night it’s a much different story.”

The Cyclones finish the month of October 5-5 in the Big 12. Iowa State will close out conference play with eight matches in November, starting on the road against TCU.

“We’ve just got to keep grinding,” Johnson-Lynch said. “Our backs are against the wall a little bit right now in our conference. We’ve got to steal and win some road matches to have a chance at the tournament, so hopefully we’ll feel a sense of urgency.”

The matches against TCU will be at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Both matches will be streamed on ESPN+.

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    Russ Twelmeyer | Oct 30, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you Brett Twelmeyer for another outstanding article on this game. The write up makes you fell as if you were watching the the game. Very good written article.