Sept. 9, 2006
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa shook off a sluggish start to storm back and win the 2006 Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challenge with a thrilling five-game win over Florida-Atlantic. Iowa (8-1) took the match over the Owls (2-7) by scores of 27-30, 27-30, 39-37, 30-16 and 15-10.
“We showed some great leadership tonight, and that was critical in the comeback,” Iowa Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. “Our team just said `We are not going to lose this’, and the upperclassmen kind of took over.”
One of those upperclassmen was senior middle blocker and tournament MVP Melanie Meister. The Des Moines native had a career-high 23 kills and hit at a .378 clip.
Sophomore outside hitter Catherine Smale had a career game, recording personal bests in kills (24) and digs (28).
The Hawkeyes struggled in the first two games, dropping each 30-27. Iowa rebounded after the intermission, fighting off three match points in game three before taking the 39-37 win.
That win gave Iowa all the momentum, and the Black and Gold cruised through game four, leading wire-to-wire. Game five was more of the same, with Iowa never looking back after a Meister kill gave them a 8-7 lead.
Sophomore setter Kiley Fister set a career-best with 73 assists, and also added 19 digs and four kills.
Smale, freshman Allison Smith and sophomore Emily Hiza all joined Meister on the all-tournament team.
Iowa will hit the road next weekend when it travels to the College of Charleston Invitational in Charleston, SC.
MATCH SUMMARYFAU 30 30 37 16 10IOWA 27 27 39 30 15