Oct. 1, 2003
IOWA CITY, IA – The Iowa volleyball team opened up its home season Wednesday evening falling to 10th-ranked Northern Iowa, 3-0, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The beginning of game one proved to be a back-and-forth battled until the Panthers pulled away with a 12-7 lead. Northern Iowa extended its lead, pulling out to a 22-12 advantage. The Hawkeyes fought back claiming eight of the next 11 points to close the lead to 25-20. Northern Iowa once again took control winning five of the final nine points for the 30-24 victory. Junior Laura Simpson led the Hawkeye attack with six kills. Senior Jitka Stehnova and freshman Tiana Costanzo each recorded four digs. Team blocks proved to be a factor as Northern Iowa registered six compared to Iowa’s one.
The Panthers took control in game two and never looked back, handing the Hawkeyes their lowest point total of the season in a 30-13 victory. Errors proved costly for Iowa as the Hawkeyes committed 10 with only nine kills in 30 attempts for a -.033 hitting percentage. Northern Iowa recorded 14 kills and committed only three errors in 22 attempts for a .500 hitting percentage.
Iowa came out of intermission with some momentum, beginning game three with a 3-1 lead. The game then turned into a back-and-forth battle until Northern Iowa took its biggest lead of the game at 13-9. The Panthers then claimed seven of the next 11 points for a 20-13 advantage. The Hawkeyes tried to manage a comeback, but their efforts came up short as Northern Iowa went on to win the game 30-21 to claim the match. Senior Abby Tjaden provided a spark, recording five kills and hit at a .625 clip.
Team blocks cost Iowa as the Hawkeyes posted a season-low one team block compared to Northern Iowa’s 12.5. Hitting percentage once again proved to be a factor as Iowa registered 37 kills while committing 27 errors in 110 attempts for a .091 hitting percentage. Northern Iowa registered 45 kills while committing only 12 errors in 97 attempts to hit at a .340 clip. Service errors also proved costly as the Hawkeyes posted nine compared to the Panthers’ 2. Iowa registered 35 assists, three service aces, and 35 digs. Northern Iowa tallied 42 assists, six service aces and 38 digs.
For the third consecutive match, Simpson led the Hawkeyes in kills with 11. She also recorded one service ace and four digs. Freshman April Mech posted seven kills and eight digs. Stehnova recorded 31 assists and seven digs. Junior Carolyn Giese registered six kills, one service ace and one dig. Junior Pam Kavadas and Costanzo each recorded five digs. The Hawkeyes (5-7, 0-2) will host Illinois Friday evening at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $3.