Iowa State prepares for first Big 12 road match


Freshman Grace Lazard and senior Mackenzie Bigbee go up for the block. The Cyclones beat Dayton 3 sets to 1.

Brian Mozey

In recent history, some may argue that ISU volleyball has been consistently dominant against Oklahoma. 

In the past five seasons, Iowa State has played Oklahoma 10 times. Iowa State has come out victorious in eight of those games with the help of some veteran players. 

But Oklahoma won’t be just another game on the schedule when the two teams meet Wednesday night in Norman, Okla. The Sooners have always given the ISU offense tough opposition. 

“We’ve enjoyed playing [Oklahoma] because they’re a defensive-minded team as well,” said volleyball coach Christy Johnson-Lynch. “They’re also different in the way they play their offense, so it’ll be a fun matchup on Wednesday.”

Oklahoma and Iowa State enter the matchup unranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association top-25 poll.

Iowa State is 8-4 on the season and 1-0 in the Big 12 with the win against Texas Tech on Saturday. Oklahoma is 6-7 on the season and starting 0-1 in the Big 12 conference with a loss against Texas Tech on Sept. 23.

The only two ISU losses to the Sooners in the last 10 games came in the 2013-14 season (2-3 loss on the road) and in the 2010-11 season (1-3 loss on the road).

To senior libero Caitlin Nolan, these statistics are just more numbers that aren’t necessary.

“I think we need to come into this match forgetting these numbers because we need to focus on our game,” Nolan said. “We just need some of the veterans to come in and dominate the game like they can.”

The veterans on this team have had their share of success in Oklahoma matches throughout their career, but a pair of veterans own a little more success than the rest. 

Senior Mackenzie Bigbee and redshirt junior Morgan Kuhrt have had some of their best performances against the Sooners. 

Last season, Kuhrt had career matches against Oklahoma with a double-double in both matches. 

Bigbee on the other hand, had a successful couple matches against Oklahoma in the 2013-14 season. At home, Bigbee had 13 kills and a .370 hitting percentage. In the away match, she recorded a double-double with 18 kills and 11 digs.

Even though Bigbee doesn’t play as often, the team is going to need to use her and Kuhrt for a win against Oklahoma on Wednesday. The team will also need a healthy lineup with two competitive Big 12 teams this week.

Sophomore setter Suzanne Horner has been dealing with a concussion and has seen a steady increase in the amount of minutes she plays since her injury.

Freshman Jess Schaben was dealing with a sore shoulder Saturday during the Texas Tech match, but it seems like she will be ready for any challenge this week.

The mindset this week is to continue working hard as a team and take each of these games one at a time.

“Keep our energy up, keep on fighting,” said sophomore setter Monique Harris. “Last year we weathered the storm, and we just have to keep on being aggressive.”