Sept. 22, 2006
IOWA CITY – The Hawkeye volleyball team opened its 2006 Big Ten campaign with a hard-fought loss to the second-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions, 3-0. Iowa (11-2) was defeated by scores of 30-25, 30-18 and 30-26.
Iowa battled strong throughout, but the Penn State attack was too much in the end.
“I think we put Penn State back on their heels a bit early,” Iowa Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. “But with a team that good, it’s tough to keep them down. They just keep coming at you. We did match them in blocks (9-9) which is pretty darn good.”
In game one, Iowa showed they weren’t going to be intimidated by Penn State’s ranking and undefeated record (13-0), keeping the game close early. A Melanie Meister kill cut the Nittany Lion lead to 11-12 before Penn State began to pull away. Iowa pulled within three at 28-25, but freshman Megan Hodge ended things with back-to-back kills.
Penn State managed to shut down the Iowa attack in game two, holding the Hawkeyes to a -.073 attack percentage and just seven kills in the 30-18 win.
Iowa proved they wouldn’t go quietly in the third and final game, keeping the score tight throughout. Back-to-back service aces from Kiley Fister tied things up at 10-10. Penn State looked to pull away with a 21-15 lead, but Iowa came storming back and tied the game at 23-23 on a Meister kill. The teams traded points, then Penn State took advantage of three Hawkeye miscues to take a 29-24 lead. A kill by Catherine Smale and an error from Hodge took it to 29-26, but Hodge ended the match with her match-high 23rd kill.
Meister was Iowa’s leading attacker with 10 kills and a .348 hitting percentage. Fellow middle hitter Jen Barcus had seven kills and hit at a .400 clip.
Iowa returns to action Saturday night against No. 12 Ohio State. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
MATCH SUMMARYPSU 30 30 03IOWA 25 18 26