Oct. 1, 2004
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Iowa’s volleyball team was looking to make history tonight against Penn State, but they’re going to have to wait for another chance to do so. In 26 previous meetings between the schools, the Hawks (9-5, 1-2) have never beaten the Nittany Lions (12-0, 3-0). Tonight wasn’t their night either as the Lions won the match, 3-0 (30-15, 30-17, 30-18).
Behind senior setter Sam Tortorello, the Lions rolled to a 30-15 victory in game one. Iowa was in the game 5-5, when Penn State went on a run with Kaleena Walters serving. The Hawkeyes had four receiving errors in the first game, making it difficult on setter Justeen Patton to find her hitters. Penn State only out-hit the Hawks 15-11, but they did so at a .556 clip compared to just a .091 hitting percentage by Iowa.
Iowa was trailing just two points in game two, 7-5, when Penn State took the momentum to a 12-6 lead. Laura Simpson split a Penn State block to slam home a kill and give the Hawks a sideout, 12-7 and later Carolyn Giese earned a kill against a single block by Penn State. Lauren Bruckner served up an ace to make the score 24-15 in favor of the Lions, but it was a short reprieve as the Lions still won the game, 30-17. Penn State had five blocks in the game to only one block by Iowa.
The final game of match was much like the first two – Iowa simply couldn’t put together an offense against the tough serving and front row blocks of Penn State. The Lions were up just 18-15, but that was the closest Iowa would come. Penn State went on two big serving runs in the end of the game en route to the 30-18 victory.
Iowa struggled in the both errors of serving against the Lions. In the first game, the Hawkeyes committed three service errors and four receiving errors, in game two they had five serving mistakes and one receiving error, and in the final game had two serving errors and one receiving error.
Giese had 13 kills to lead the Hawks. Patton had 26 assists and Pam Kavadas was the dig leader with 13. Giese, Patton, and Bruckner each had an ace serve in the match.
The Hawkeyes struggled to make it over the blocks of Penn State’s front lines during the game. Penn State, showcasing hitters that ranged from 6-1 to 6-5, put up 12 team blocks compared to just two by Iowa. The Nittany Lions had 49 kills to 36 for the Hawks and they hit at a .440 clip, while the Hawk’s had a .084 hitting average.
“We had a hard time getting into a rhythm and we made a lot of mistakes. We had too many serving errors and too many unforced errors,” said Iowa Coach Cindy Fredrick. “We missed having Jacque (Huguelet) out there, and it changes things when you have different people on the court. Also, Penn State’s transition was really good and we just didn’t have an answer to it.”
Iowa continues their road trip tomorrow night in Columbus, OH, against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT.