Oct. 15, 2004
Iowa (9-11, 1-7) fell in volleyball action tonight to Illinois (13-3, 5-2) in three games (30-19, 30-22, 30-16). The Hawkeyes had an uphill battle playing the #23-ranked Fighting Illini with two starters out with illness. Senior Laura Simpson and freshman standout Stacy Vitali will be on the sidelines for at least two more weeks.
“We were minus two starters and that’s a huge part of your team. It is tough to play without Laura’s leadership and Stacy’s blocks and kills on the court. We just found out about Laura today and it threw us for a loop,” said Coach Cindy Fredrick. “We don’t have a lot of depth and that’s a tough situation to be in.”
The Hawkeyes tried to adjust in game one and battled back to within two points, 10-12. Illinois steadily built up their lead at that point with the help of a large front row and efficient hitting for the 30-19 victory.
Carolyn Giese stepped up for Iowa in the first game, leading her team with eight kills. Still, it wasn’t enough as the Fighting Illini hit at a .500 clip as a team, compared to .130 by the Hawks.
Illinois led the second game from the start on a kill by Jessica Belter. Iowa against struggled to hit effectively as a team, despite scoring 21 points in the loss. Iowa’s attacking percentage was a measly .026 and they had three serving errors, as well.
The final game was a formality for Illinois as they cruised to a 30-16 win. Six different times the Fighting Illini had servers that scored two or more points behind the line. Jacqueline Huguelet led Iowa with five kills and Giese chipped in four more.
On the night, Giese led Iowa with 18 kills. Huguelet was next with eight. Justeen Patton and Chelsey Garrett had 17 and 13 assists, respectively. Tiana Costanzo and Huguelet each had ten digs for the Hawks, and Pam Kavadas served the only ace.
For the match, the Hawks hit .117 and had one block as a team. The Illini hit .472, with Jen Hynds connecting on .680 of her tries for 19 kills. Illinois also had ten team blocks.
“Illinois has a lot of young players, and they’re a good team,” said Fredrick. “They really out-blocked us, 10-1, and that’s a huge discrepancy. We played very poor defense tonight. We just were not in position and too often people were not going after the ball. I think it could have been a different story with the way that Carolyn was hitting and having Laura and Stacy on the court.”
“We just have to move on from here and we can’t dwell on what we can’t fix. Everyone needs to step it up a notch so we can play at the level that we can,” said Giese.
The next opportunity for the Hawkeyes to get a win will be next week on the road. Iowa will face Purdue in West Lafayette on October 22 and then travel to Bloomington to face the Hosiers. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.