Iowa Falls to Illinois State in Championship Game

Sept. 5, 2004

Final Stats

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NORMAL, IL – The Barker GMC Classic was designed as a round-robin format, but when Iowa and host Illinois State met across the net on Saturday night, they each met had a 2-0 record and bragging rights were on the line. Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes had to settle for runner-up position as the Redbirds took the match, 3-0. The first game of the match stayed close for the first few minutes. Iowa setter Chesley Garrett caught the Redbirds off guard with a kill to make it 5-4, but Illinois State pulled ahead with several quick attacks in the middle. An Iowa error on serve reception allowed a putback by Laura Doornbos and forced coach Cindy Fredrick to call a time-out with her Hawks trailing 13-6. Illinois State wasn’t slowed and built up a double-digit lead over Iowa with quick attacks by Kari Staehlin and Emily Kabbes, a pre-season Missouri Conference pick. The Hawkeyes managed a few points, but couldn’t string anything together. Freshman Megan Gatens kept Iowa’s hopes alive with a kill to make it 29-21, but another kill by Kabbes gave the Redbirds the match 30-21. Iowa had a hard time finding their groove in the second game and hitting errors lead to several points for Illinois State. The Hawks also couldn’t find a way to stop Redbird setter Kelly Rickli from setting up quick attacks. Laura Simpson and Gatens manage to stuff Staehlin once to make it 5-4 early on, but the 6′ 2″ freshman came right back with a kill to give the Redbirds another sideout. Later a kill from Stacy Vitali on the outside pulled Iowa to within three points and Tiana Costanzo followed with an ace to make it 13-11. But Illinois State stopped the Iowa surge and pulled ahead to a 28-15 lead. Iowa’s Jacqueline Huguelet prevented the end of the game with a cross-court kill, but Kabbes served out the game, 30-16. Despite being down two games in the match, the Hawkeyes continued to fight in game three. Junior Justeen Patton, in at the setter position, snuck in a kill against the Redbirds and a stuff by Carolyn Giese meant Iowa was just down one point, 14-13. Illinois State kept coming with the quick attack and went up 22-18, when Vitali hit home with another kill and gave Iowa a sideout. Vitali and Giese then teamed up for a block and another kill by Giese made it 22-21. Illinois State took advantage of a few Iowa mistakes and took advantage of some match-ups at the net to win the match 30-25. Giese led the Iowa attack with 11 kills in the match and hit at a .280 clip. Garrett and Patton had 17 and 11 assists, respectively. Tiana Costanzo led the Hawks with ten digs. Illinois State led in most of the statistics. They had a .312 hitting percentage and 55 kills compared to just 32 kills by Iowa. Iowa hit .060 in the match. The Hawkeyes were also outdone at the net with only two blocks to the Redbirds 5. “The big difference tonight was our lack of serving tough which meant were weren’t taking them out of their offense and allowed them to run their middles,” said Fredrick. “Hitting errors also caused us a lot of points. However, Justeen did a good job coming in the third game and giving us a little bit of a spark.”