Nov. 29, 2003
IOWA CITY, IA – The Iowa women’s volleyball team dropped its final match of the season Saturday evening in a 3-1 loss to 11th-ranked Penn State in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa finishes the season 6-24 overall and 1-19 in conference play.
The Nittany Lions got off to a fast start to begin game one, taking an early 5-1 lead. The Nittany Lions continued to hold the momentum and defeated the Hawkeyes, 30-16. Iowa was out-hit, .515-.111. Junior Laura Simpson led the attack with five kills. Senior Jitka Stehnova added five digs.
The Hawkeyes gained momentum in game two, pulling out to an 8-3 lead to force a Penn State timeout. Iowa continued to hold a steady lead until the Nittany Lions closed the gap at 21-19. The Hawkeyes held strong and went on for the 30-27 win, marking the first time since the 2000 season that Iowa has won a game against Penn State. The Hawkeyes out-hit the Nittany Lions, .176-.120. Simpson registered seven kills. Freshman Lastascia Granger added four kills. Freshman April Mech collected seven digs.
Penn State regained the momentum coming out of intermission, beginning game three with a 12-5 lead. The Hawkeyes were unable to make a comeback as the Nittany Lions won, 30-19. Junior Pam Kavadas collected six digs.
Errors proved costly for Iowa in the fourth game. Penn State pulled out to a 9-3 lead and never looked back in the 30-19 win, claiming the match. The Hawkeyes committed 14 errors compared to Penn State’s three and registered a -.020 hitting percentage.
In final statistics, Iowa registered 59 kills, 55 assists, one service ace and 71 digs compared to the Nittany Lions’ 66 kills, 58 digs, two service aces and 65 digs. Iowa was out-hit, .294-.089. Team blocks proved to be a major factor as Iowa collected five compared to Penn State’s 17.
Simpson led Iowa with 18 kills. Kavadas led the Hawkeyes with 18 digs. Mech collected her second double-double of the year with 12 kills and a career-high 15 digs. Senior Louise Bates collected 13 digs in her final match as a Hawkeye. For the second consecutive night, Granger established a new career high in kills, finishing the match with nine. Junior Carolyn Giese tallied nine kills and six digs. In her final Hawkeye performance, Stehnova collected 47 assists, nine digs and six kills. Senior Abby Tjaden led the team with two solo blocks and one block assist in her final match.