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VOLLEYBALL: Syracuse Comes Back To Defeat Cyclones

AMES, Iowa – The No. 18 Cyclones (5-4, 0-0 Big 12) suffered a five set loss (21-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 14-16) to Syracuse (5-5,0-0) in the final match of the Iowa State Challenge on Saturday night. Iowa State’s Tenisha Matlock and Mackenzie Bigbee were named to the all-tournament team.

“I’m obviously very disappointed,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “Syracuse played great and they had a couple players who really stepped up when they needed to. I’m really disappointed in the defensive effort and we just didn’t show enough fight.”

The Cyclones broke out for a 4-0 lead in the final set but Syracuse clawed back, tying the set at 12-12 and erasing two match points for a 14-14 tie. Syracuse advanced to match point on an ace by standout Silvi Uattara and completed the win on a block assist by Monika Salkute and Nicolette Serratore.

Bigbee led the Cyclones in the match with 22 kills on .260 hitting, finishing the weekend with a team-high 3.70 kills per set. Against the Orange, Bigbee and Matlock each posted four block assists, a career-high for Bigbee, and Matlock added a solo block. During the weekend tournament, Matlock averaged 1.23 blocks per set, collected 16 total blocks.

Uattara led Syracuse offensively Saturday with a match-high 25 kills.

The Orange had a total of 17 blocks on the night, led by Serratore with six block assists. Iowa State struggled offensively for much of the night, attacking at a .191 clip.

Syracuse came out strong in the opening set, taking a 1-0 match lead on .290 hitting, powered by Silvi Uattara who led all players with nine kills to open the match. Bigbee was Iowa State’s leading scorer, smashing seven kills.

The Cyclones evened it up with a win in the second set. Bigbee was at the top of Iowa State’s scoring sheet again, collecting six kills with Victoria Hurtt adding four in the Cyclones’ .295 hitting barrage. Uattara continued to confound the home team, picking up five more kills.

The Orange went up 16-10 in game four before the Cyclones’ went on a 9-3 scoring run to tie the game at 19 points apiece. However, the Cyclones failed to ever take a lead and Syracuse closed out the set on a block assist by Salkute and Serratore. Iowa State scored only 11 kills in the set while committing 11 errors.

It was close in the fourth after Syracuse cut the Cyclones six-point lead in half, closing to 20-17 but Iowa State hung on, helped by four attack errors from the Orange. Offense eluded the teams once again, Iowa State out-hitting the Orange, .190-.075.

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