Aug. 25, 2006
IOWA CITY – In a sweltering North Carver, the Hawkeye volleyball team opened the 2006 season with a 3-0 sweep of Drake. Iowa won the match 30-25, 30-22 and 30-22.
The Hawkeyes were especially strong up the middle, with senior middle blockers Melanie Meister and Jen Barcus turing in key performances. Meister had 12 kills, three blocks (two solo) and a trio of digs on the night. She hit at a .360 clip.
Barcus, who was playing in her first game as a Hawkeye after transferring from Washington State, made a strong statement in her Iowa debut with seven kills, three blocks and a team-high .385 attack percentage.
“It’s always great to get that first win under your belt,” Iowa Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. “No matter how much work you put in during the preseason, it’s always to see how the team reacts when they get on the court for real. I think we fought hard tonight and came away with a good win.”
In game one, the Hawkeyes showed a little rust from the offseason – hitting just .049 for the game. Despite the low percentage, Iowa never trailed, allowing Drake just one tie at 7-7. Sophomore outside hitter Catherine Smale had six of her 12 kills in the first game to lead Iowa.
The Hawkeyes came out firing in game two, hitting .303 as a team. The two teams remained neck-and-neck until three-straight Drake errors gave Iowa a lead it would never relinquish. The Bulldogs attempted to close the gap down the stretch, cutting the lead to 24-21 at one point, but the Hawkeyes with five straight points before taking the win on a Drake service error.
In game three, Iowa left no doubt from the mid-point on, using a combination of a pounding attack and Drake miscues to salt the match away. With the Hawkeyes holding match point at 29-22, freshman Megan Schipper closed things out with her first career kill – on what was the Aplington, IA, native’s first career attempt.
“It was really fun to see Megan get a game-winner in her first attempt,” Fredrick said. “You could really see the excitement when it went down – not just in her, but the whole team. It was a great way to end the night.”
Sophomore setter Kiley Fister did a good job directing the offense, putting up 39 assists – her second-highest total in a three-game match. She recorded 40 in last year’s 3-0 win at Northwestern.
On defense, sophomore libero Emily Hiza had a team-high 15 digs, while outside hitter Tiana Costanzo added 10.
The Hawkeyes return to action tomorrow with a pair of games. Iowa will battle Chicago State at 10 a.m., then close out the Hawkeye Classic with a 7 p.m. game against Iowa State.
MATCH SUMMARYIOWA 30 30 30Drake 25 22 22