AMES, Iowa – The No. 25 Iowa State volleyball team (6-4, 0-0 Big 12) beat the No. 1 Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1, 0-0 Big Ten) in four sets (25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21) on Saturday, in the Cyclones first-ever win over a top-ranked team. Saturday’s win in Hilton Coliseum was also the Cyclone’s first-ever home win over Nebraska.
“To do something you’ve never done before is great,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said. “We have a list of things we’ve never done before and that was one of them, so it’ll be nice to cross that off our list. I’m just thrilled to do this at home. Our fans were awesome tonight.”
The Cyclones jumped out to 5-0 advantage in fourth set and would not relinquish the lead. The Huskers pulled the score to within three at 21-18, but the Cyclones would not be denied. Middle blockers Jamie Straube and Tenisha Matlock led the way with four kills each in the final set. Matlock also came up with the match-clinching kill that ended the Cyclones’ home drought against the Huskers.
Four Cyclones were in double figures in kills for the day, led by Matlock who had 13 while hitting at a .357 clip. Straube (12), Rachel Hockaday (10) and Mackenzie Bigbee (10) followed with double-digit kill totals of their own.
The Cyclones out-dug the Huskers 84-78 in the match, led by junior Kristen Hahn with a match-high 26 digs. Hockaday scored her fifth double-double of the season with 17 digs. Freshmen Caitlin Nolan (14) and Jenelle Hudson (12) rounded out the 10-plus dig performances for Iowa State.
Gina Mancuso fired off 18 kills on .298 hitting for Nebraska and Hannah Werth added 16 kills on .333 hitting but couldn’t stop Iowa State from notching its first win when trailing in hitting percentage, a .211-.182 advantage for the Huskers. Both Nebraska seniors completed their double-doubles with 16 for Mancuso and 14 from Werth. Sophomore Lara Dykstra led the defensive effort with 22 digs.
Errors plagued both teams in the opening game but it was Victoria Hurtt and the Cyclones who took the 1-0 match lead. Hurtt had four kills in the set with three other Cyclones and two Huskers each recording two kills. Nebraska had the edge at the net, out-blocking Iowa State, 5-1.
Mancuso lit up the offense for Nebraska in game two but it was no use as the Cyclones rallied, down 18-19, to take at two sets lead as the teams headed to the locker rooms. Hockaday was key for the Cyclones in their set-two rally with five kills on 10 swings in the set. Matlock and Straube each added three kills in the set.
Set three belonged to the visitors, led again by Mancuso who had four kills. Four blocks by the Huskers, stopped the Iowa State offensive push, holding the Cyclones to a .197 mark and sending the match into a fourth set.
The Cyclones open the Big 12 season next weekend, hosting the Baylor Bears at 6:30 p.m. CDT at Hilton.