Sept. 2, 2006
OMAHA, NE – In an amazingly tight volleyball match, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes won the 2006 Bluejay Invitational with a thrilling, five-game match over host Creighton Saturday night in Omaha, NE. Iowa (5-1) won by scores of 23-30, 30-27, 30-28, 27-30 and 15-13.
Like the entire match, the decisive game five was a barn-burner that went back-and-forth the entire way. Neither team took more than a two-point lead.
Trailing 11-12, Iowa rebounded to take the lead on a Melanie Meister block and Creighton attack error. Another Creighton error took the score to 14-12, but the Bluejays responded with a block to cut the Iowa lead to 14-13. Freshman Megan Schipper ended things with her second kill of the night.
“This was a great win for us,” Iowa Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. “Creighton is a really good team, and this is a tough place to play. It was a real test for our young players to come into a great environment like this and come out with a win.”
Jen Barcus was named the tournament MVP after pounding out 15 kills and hitting at a .353 clip in the championship match. Kiley Fister was also named to the all-tournament team, putting up 49 assists in tonight’s match.
Sophomore Catherine Smale added 14 kills and 20 digs for Iowa.
The Hawkeyes took an early lead in game one, jumping out to a 6-3 lead. Creighton was quick to respond, tying the game at 10-10. The Bluejays began to slowly pull away, but Iowa wouldn’t go down without a fight. The Hawkeyes cut the lead to two at 23-25, but Creighton rattled off five-straight kills to end the game.
Iowa responded in game two, using a late comeback to even the match at a game apiece. The Bluejays looked to pull away with a 26-22 advantage, but Iowa came storming back by taking advantage of some Creighton errors and a pair of blocks from Barcus and Fister. Back-to-back hitting errors by the Bluejays gave Iowa the win and evened the match.
The score was close throughout game three, with both teams staying within three points of each other the whole way. Iowa’s defense closed the show and gave them the win, getting its final two points on blocks from Barcus/Costanzo and Barcus/Fister.
Game four was another tight one, featuring 11 ties. A Costanzo kill brought Iowa within one at 27-28, but Creighton was able to close things out and force the decisive game five.
The Hawkeyes return to action next weekend when they host the Hawkeye Holiday Inn Challenge.
MATCH SUMMARYIOWA 23 30 30 27 15Creighton 30 27 28 30 13