Freshmen Bring Success, Friendship To Iowa State
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AMES, Iowa – When Iowa State volleyball coach Christy Johnson-Lynch landed the No. 6 recruiting class in the country, she brought in players that were accustomed to winning at a high level, perhaps none more so than Mackenzie Bigbee and Morgan Kuhrt.
Kuhrt, a Waverly, Iowa native and Bigbee of Williamsburg, Iowa were teammates the Six Pack club team that won the 2011 USA Volleyball 18U Junior National Championship in Atlanta, Ga.
“[Kuhrt and Bigbee] come from a really strong club program,” Johnson-Lynch said. “They’ve been playing at a high level for a lot of years and they’re legit Big 12-type players and just terrific athletes.”
Kuhrt and Bigbee, who have played together on the Six Pack since they were 15 years-old, have become close friends and are now roommates at Iowa State.
“We’ve been friends since the beginning,” Bigbee said. “She [Kuhrt] was one of the first friends I made at [Six Pack] and ever since then we’ve become best friends. It’s kind of crazy sometimes how much we have in common; sometimes people mistake us as twins.”
Kuhrt had already committed to Iowa State when she got a phone call from her friend telling her they would be teammates again in college.
“She [Bigbee] called me and told me that she committed too and I was so excited,” Kuhrt said. “Lately, we’ve been watching a lot of movies in the dorms; we just like hanging out together. We can find fun out of anything, just sitting and laughing at ourselves.”
When Johnson-Lynch was recruiting both players to Iowa State, it was never mentioned that the two might come to the same school, but she had her hopes they might both end up in Ames this fall.
“We did offer them at the same time, but it certainly wasn’t a package deal,” Johnson-Lynch said. “We were hoping that it would help but we certainly would have taken either of them, and we’re thrilled now to have both of them.”
Both Kuhrt and Bigbee said the speed of the college game was going to be the biggest adjustment for them from high school to college, but Johnson-Lynch has been impressed with how the entire freshman class has performed so far.
“All great athletes can make the transition,” Johnson-Lynch said. “I feel like, already in practice, they are holding their own and some of the upper classmen made the comment to that ‘these do not seem like freshmen’ because they are doing some really nice things out there. To me, they don’t look like freshmen either and that is great to see.”
The Cyclones will kick off their season on Friday when they take on Cincinnati at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic in Knoxville, Tenn. at 4 p.m. CST.