Iowa Drops Tough, Four-Game Match To No. 9 Wisconsin

Oct. 13, 2007

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IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa volleyball team was defeated by ninth-ranked Wisconsin, 3-1 Saturday night in front of the largest crowd in Hawkeye volleyball history. Iowa falls to 9-10 overall and 1-7 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin stays undefeated in the Big Ten at 8-0 along with a 16-1 overall record.

A massive crowd of 2,191 fans dressed in pink filled the seats of North Carver for “Attacking Breast Cancer” night, shattering the previous record of 1,690 set against Iowa State in 2006. The University of Iowa Athletic Department will now donate $1,191 to the Holden Cancer Research Center, or $1 for every fan over 1,000 in attendance at Saturday’s match.

Four Hawkeyes finished with double-digit kills. Junior Laura Kremer led the Iowa attack with 18 kills and 10 total blocks (three solo, seven assists). Junior Catherine Smale added 14 kills and 13 digs while sophomore Megan Schipper chipped in 12 kills and five block assists. Freshman Aimee Huffman swatted 10 kills.

Junior Kiley Fister led the team with 45 assists and junior Emily Hiza led the Hawkeye defense with 26 digs. Iowa out-blocked the Badgers, 14-11.5, marking the fifth-consecutive match the Hawkeyes have recorded more blocks than their opponent.

Iowa started game one strong, sprinting out to a 10-5 lead. The Hawkeyes stretched the advantage to 15-10 before the Badgers forced a tie at 16. The teams traded points, with ties at 18, 19, 21 and 22 before Wisconsin re-gained a 23-22 advantage they never surrendered. The Badgers brought up game point at 29-24, but four-straight Hawkeye points forced Wisconsin to take a timeout. The Badgers were able to record a kill after the break to seal a win, 30-28.

The Hawkeyes took an early 5-4 lead in game two and never trailed. Iowa used kills from Kremer and Smale along with a Christina Meister service ace to take a 14-9 lead, forcing a Badger timeout. Wisconsin then scored seven points in the next 12 rallies to bring the score to 18-17, forcing Iowa to use a timeout. A small 5-2 run by Iowa gave the Hawkeyes a 23-19 lead and they were able to extend the score to 27-24. A Huffman kill gave Iowa 28 points and back-to-back Wisconsin errors evened the match score at one game a piece.

Wisconsin became the aggressor in game three, storming out to a 5-0 lead, but Iowa responded with an 8-3 run to tie the game at eight. The game stayed within three points, with ties at 18, 19, 20 and 23. The Badgers used an Iowa attack error to take the lead for good at 24-23, but didn’t win the game without an Iowa comeback. The Hawkeyes kept the game within three points and came close to tying the game when a Badger error made the count 28-27, but two-straight Badgers kills gave them a narrow 30-27 win.

The Badgers never trailed in game four, winning 30-21. Iowa kept it close for the majority of the game, but couldn’t nudge ahead. The Badgers took an 11-6 lead before Iowa used kills from Huffman and Smale along with two Badger errors later in the game for a 15-13 score. That was the closest Iowa would get, as Wisconsin went on an 8-4 surge for a 23-16 lead and eventually closed out the game for the match win.

Iowa continues Big Ten action Friday at Michigan State. Match time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. central time.

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