Sept. 1, 2006
OMAHA, NE – The University of Iowa volleyball team started off the 2005 Bluejay Invitational on a thrilling note, taking a wild, five-game match from North Dakota State, 30-20, 30-22, 25-30, 332-34 and 15-10.
“That was one of the most frustrating matches I have ever been a part of,” Iowa Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. “We seem to be fine in the first two games, but then we take a hiatus during the rest of the match. It was good to see us come back and finish it out, however. We just need to work on being more consistent. Right now, we seem to be really up and down with our play.”
Senior middle hitter Jen Barcus had a monster game and set a school record with a .636 attack percentage in a five-game match. The Washington State transfer had 21 kills on 33 attempts and no errors. The previous record was .607, which was set by Kari Hamel in 1986.
Sophomore outside hitter Catherine Smale also had 21 kills and 17 digs on the match.
After splitting the first four games, the Hawkeyes came out in game five wanting to leave no doubt. Senior Melanie Meister served the Hawkeyes to a 6-0 lead to start the game, and Iowa cruised from there on out to take the match.
The Hawkeyes started slow in game one, and the Bison took advantage – jumping out to a 4-0 lead. Iowa began to claw its way back into the game, eventually taking a 10-9 lead on a kill from Barcus.
From that point on, the Hawkeyes didn’t look back. Iowa dominated play the rest of the way, and a Megan Schipper/Laura Kremer block sealed the 30-20 opening game win.
In game two, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early lead then had to hold off a late comeback attempt from North Dakota State. With the score 21-12 and Iowa looking to pull away, the Bison re-grouped with a timeout and cut the lead to five at 25-20. The Black and Gold were up to the challenge, however, and closed things out on a kill by Allison Smith.
The Bison responded in game three, leading almost the entire way and handing Iowa a 30-25 loss.
In game four, the Hawkeyes were down early, but made a furious comeback and tied the game up at 24-24 on back-to-back kills by Smale – forcing North Dakota State into a timeout. After the break, Iowa took its first lead of the game on a Barcus kill. The teams remained neck-in-neck until three-straight Hawkeye errors gave the Bison a 34-32 win and forced the pivotal game five.
The Hawkeyes return to action in the Bluejay Invitational with a pair of games tomorrow. Iowa will battle Jacksonville State at 9:30 a.m., then finish up with Creighton at 7 p.m.
MATCH RESULTSIOWA 30 30 25 32 15NDSU 20 22 30 34 10