Hawkeyes Win College of Charleston Invitational

Sept. 16, 2006

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CHARLESTON, SC – The University of Iowa volleyball team won its third-straight tournament with a thrilling, five-game win over the College of Charleston at the College of Charleston Invitational Saturday night. The Hawkeyes won by scores of 27-30, 30-28, 30-27, 24-30 and 15-10.

The win pushes Iowa’s record to 11-1, and was the 399th career win for Hawkeye coach Cindy Fredrick.

After splitting the first four games, Iowa jumped out to a 10-6 lead in game five, only to have College of Charleston rattle off five-consecutive points to take a 11-10 lead. After a timeout, the Hawkeyes responded in kind when senior Melanie Meister served Iowa to five-straight of their own and the victory.

“This was an amazingly intense game,” Fredrick said. “We struggled with our passing all night, but the team hung tough and I am really proud of them. We really got good play from our middle hitters tonight.”

Senior middle hitter Melanie Meister was named the tournament MVP after recording 18 kills and a .372 hitting percentage. Fellow middle blocker Jen Barcus had a team-high 19 kills with a .326 attack percentage.

Sophomore libero Emily Hiza had 29 digs, while Tiana Costanzo had 20.

Game one with the Cougars was a wild affair. The Hawkeyes were put in a hole early when the College of Charleston stormed out of the gates, taking the first four points. Trailing 13-19, Iowa came flying back into the game by scoring eight of the next 10 points and took its first lead of the game on a Cougar attack error.

The two teams traded points until a Meister kill forced a College of Charleston timeout. The Cougars came out of the break and took four of the next five points to force Iowa into a timeout of its own. The Hawkeyes were unable to re-gain the lead, and a service error at game point ended the game.

Game two was a hotly contested affair, with the score rarely stretching beyond a one-point lead for either side. With the Hawkeyes holding a 24-23 lead late in the game, the Black and Gold came through with three-straight kills and an ace to take a four-point lead.

With Iowa holding game point, the Cougars came roaring back with four-straight points to cut the lead to 29-28. Freshman Allison Smith came through for Iowa, getting the game-winning kill and evening the match.

College of Charleston jumped out to an early lead in game three and looked to be on its way to putting Iowa in a 2-1 hole. Sophomore Catherine Smale had other ideas, however. With the Hawkeyes trailing 10-16, Smale served the Black and Gold to nine-straight points and put her team in the lead at 19-16.

The Cougars came back to tie things up at 26-26, but Iowa responded with a kill from Megan Schipper, a block from Schipper/Barcus and an ace from Smith. Fittingly, it was a Smale ace that ended the game at 30-27.

In game four, Iowa tied the game at 5-5 on a Barcus kill, but then trailed the rest of the way en route to a 30-24 loss, which forced the decisive fifth game.

Iowa will open the Big Ten Conference season next weekend with a pair of home games against Penn State and Ohio State.

MATCH SUMMARYIOWA            27   30   30   24   15Col. of Charleston           30   28   27   30   10