Thrilling Comeback Gives Iowa Upset Win Over Michigan

Sept. 28, 2007

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IOWA CITY – Trailing 2-0, the University of Iowa volleyball team put together a furious comeback to upset No. 11 Michigan, 3-2 (28-30, 29-31, 30-26, 30-28, 15-10) Friday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win was Iowa’s first victory over a ranked opponent since 2000 when the Hawkeyes knocked off No. 20 Michigan State, 3-2. Iowa improved its record to 9-6 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten while the Hawkeyes handed Michigan its second loss of the season (13-2 overall, 1-2 in the Big Ten).

“This is a great win for our program,” Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. “I thought we deserved this win considering the way we played. We battled all night and I am so happy to come away with the win. I thought Laura (Kremer) had an outstanding night for us and Kiley (Fister) was everywhere we needed her to be. Emily (Hiza) played great defense all night. What an exciting win.”

“We have been waiting for this,” junior Laura Kremer, who had a career-high 21 kills along with 11 total blocks (five solo, six assists) said. “After the third game, we needed to just put them away. This is such a great feeling and we know there will be more of these to come.”

Kremer recorded 13 of her 21 kills and six of her 11 blocks in the final three games to spark the Hawkeyes in the upset. The LaMotte, IA, native had eight kills with a .667 attack percentage in game three to start the Iowa rally.

Junior Kiley Fister was just one kill and one dig away from a triple-double, finishing with 54 assists, nine kills and nine digs. Sophomore Megan Schipper added 13 kills while four other Hawkeyes each had nine kills. Junior Emily Hiza led the Hawkeye defense with 27 digs. As a team, the Hawkeyes out-blocked the Wolverines, 16.5-7.

The Hawkeyes stuck with the 11th-ranked Wolverines all night, dropping the first two games by two points each. Game one saw 20 ties and nine lead changes before Michigan squeaked out a 30-28 win.

Game two was more of the same, with 13 ties and five lead changes. With the game tied at 28, an Iowa attack error gave the Wolverines game point, but an Aimee Huffman kill tied the game at 29. Michigan countered with two-straight kills to take what seemed to be a commanding 2-0 lead as the teams jogged to the locker rooms.

Iowa turned the corner in game three, taking an early 8-4 lead. Michigan stormed back to tie the game at 12, and it remained close until another tie at 22. The Hawkeyes used a 6-1 run, capped by a Catherine Smale kill to take a 28-23 lead. Michigan responded with three points to come within two at 28-26, but back-to-back kills from Kremer and Fister brought the match score to 2-1.

Game four saw Michigan take an early 12-9 lead and maintained the advantage until a double-block by Kremer and Fister tied the game at 16. The teams traded points until the Wolverines took a 25-21 lead, but Iowa used a 4-0 run to the score at 25. A Hawkeye attack error and a Michigan kill gave the Wolverines a 27-25 lead, but Iowa fought back once again to the score at 28. Another Michigan attack error set up a crucial game point, and after a Michigan time out, Fister blasted a kill to force game five.

Iowa took an early 3-2 lead in game five and never trailed after. Michigan managed to tie the score at four and five, but Kremer and Fister each tallied kills to keep the advantage in favor of Iowa.

The Hawkeyes took full advantage of three Wolverine ball handling errors to help seal the upset. Iowa took a 10-7 lead off the first error and a Stacy Vitali kill made the score 11-7. Schipper recorded a kill followed by a Wolverine error to give Iowa a 13-8 advantage. Michigan’s second ball handling error of the game brought up match point and the third and final error gave Iowa the thrilling victory.

The Hawkeyes return to action Friday night when they travel to State College, PA, to take on No. 3 Penn State. Match time is scheduled for 6 p.m. central time.

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