Iowa drops close match to Eastern Washington, 3-1

Sept. 17, 2004

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After rolling to a 6-1 record to start the season, the Hawkeyes dropped their second consecutive match tonight to Eastern Washington. Iowa rallied to win game three, but eventually dropped the match, 3-1 (27-30, 26-30, 30-26, 25-30).

Eastern Washington, playing in their second match of the day, controlled the tempo of the first two games. In both games, the Eagles jumped out to a lead and managed to stave off late comebacks by the Hawks. Eastern Washington took the first game 30-27 and game two with a score of 30-26.

Game three, however, was a different story. After a short intermission, Iowa returned from the locker room and played a more aggressive game from the first serve. The offense was able to set up for more attacks and the Hawkeyes also did a better job of serving. Iowa held off a late rally by the Eagles to win the game, 30-26.

“Justeen Patton came in for us and provided a good spark,” said Iowa Coach Cindy Fredrick. Patton, a 5-10 setter, is new to Iowa this year after transferring from Barton Community College (KS).

“She really did a nice job of getting the ball to the hitters,” added Fredrick.

The fourth game was a battle for both teams. The score went back and forth for much of the game, but the Hawkeyes had difficulty handling tough jump serves by Eastern Washington. In the end, the Iowa offense just couldn’t get enough momentum going and lost the game 30-25.

Fredrick noted it sometimes comes down the basics for her team. “It’s the little things that keep us from finishing the game,” she said. “When we struggle with serving and serve receive it is difficult to get anything going.”

Freshman Stacy Vitali led Iowa with 20 kills and Carolyn Giese added 13. Vitali hit at a .421 clip in the match. Patton compiled 30 assists in two games and Chelsey Garrett had 16. Pam Kavadas had 17 digs for Iowa and also served for two aces.

Fredrick was impressed with the play of Vitali on the outside. “Stacy had some really good plays. She is just really fun to watch and gets so excited on the court.”

Both squads had 14 service errors. Iowa had five aces as a team compared to just two by Eastern Washington. The Eagles had six blocks to Iowa’s two. The visitors also compiled 67 kills (.226 hitting percentage), while Iowa had 60 kills as a team for a .175 hitting percentage.

“We’re making advances towards learning how to win more – they came out tonight and didn’t quit. I’m never happy with losing, but I have to be happy with seeing improvement,” said Fredrick.

Iowa takes on Furman tomorrow at 1 p.m. and faces Chicago State in the nightcap at 7 p.m.

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