Thrilling Comeback Gives Iowa Win Over Virginia

Sept. 6, 2008

Box Score

DENVER, Colo – – Trailing 2-0 in the match, the University of Iowa volleyball team mounted an impressive comeback to down Virginia, 15-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-9 in its final game of the Pioneer Classic, hosted by Denver University. The win bumps Iowa to .500 on the season (3-3) while Virginia drops to 4-2.

“We played pretty poor in the first two sets,” Head Coach Sharon Dingman said. “But give our players credit, they found a way to work into a groove in the final three sets. I thought Kiley (Fister) did a great job of taking control and Megan (Schipper) really got hot towards the end. (Laura) Kremer had a consistent match and our bench made some great contributions, with both Christina (Meister) and Samantha (Brannigan) coming in and serving very well. This was a good way to end the weekend.”

Senior Laura Kremer and junior Megan Schipper had a team-high 14 kills with Kremer also recorded three total blocks and a .375 attack percentage. Senior Catherine Smale tallied 12 kills while sophomore Katie Kennedy added 10 kills, a .381 attack percentage and six total blocks. Senior Kiley Fister once again led the Hawkeyes in assists with 49 while senior libero Emily Hiza had 21 digs.

“We really learned from our mistakes against Denver and the first two sets against Virginia,” Fister said. “We showed some poise in coming back against a good Virginia team. It was great to see us come away with a win and we need to take some of this momentum with us into practice this week.”

The Hawkeyes started slow, dropping the first set by 10 points. Schipper recorded a kill to start the match, but that would be the only time Iowa would lead in the frame. Virginia used an 8-1 run to take a 14-10 lead and closed the set with a 6-1 surge.

Iowa once again grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the second set, but Virginia quickly responded to regain the lead at 4-1. The Hawkeyes forced ties at four, five, six, seven and 10 before the Cavaliers ran ahead with a 15-12 margin. The Hawkeyes made things close at the end, knotting the score four times before Virginia reclaimed the lead for good at 20-19.

The Hawkeyes used three kills and a .750 attack percentage from Kennedy along with four kills from Smale to take the third set. Iowa only trailed once in the frame at 14-13. Iowa started strong, using an early 6-1 run to take a 7-2 lead. Virginia managed to tie the score at 13, 14, 15 and 16 before a Smale kill gave Iowa the lead for good at 17-16. Two-straight Virginia errors forced a Cavalier timeout and a smashing kill by Kremer one rally out of the pause made the score 20-17. Meister then served four-straight points to bring up set-point at 24-17. Virginia wouldn’t go away quietly, using a 4-0 run to make things interesting at 24-21, forcing a Hawkeye timeout. Kennedy wrapped up the set win with a kill to give the Hawkeyes new life at 2-1 in the match.

Schipper was on fire in the fourth stanza, collecting four kills with a .444 attack percentage. Smale collected five kills while Fister added 15 assists and seven digs.

The teams traded points early in the frame before Brannigan served the Hawkeyes to five-straight points for an 8-5 lead. Iowa added a short 3-0 surge later in the set for an 11-7 lead. Virginia used its own 4-0 spurt to tie the set at 11, and the teams battled back and forth with ties at 12 and 13. The Hawkeyes used a Cavalier attack error to take the lead at 14-13 and never looked back. With the score sitting at 21-17 in favor of Iowa, the Hawkeyes used kills from Kremer and Smale along with two Virginia attack errors to gain set point at 24-18. Virginia fought back with three points to make the score 24-21, but a powerful kill by Kremer on a free ball forced a crucial fifth set.

Iowa completed the comeback with a dominating 15-9 win in the fifth set. Schipper collected three of the team’s eight kills in the frame while Smale and Kennedy each had two.

The Hawkeyes never trailed in the fifth set and Virginia managed to tie the score only one time at two points each. After the tie, Iowa used a Virginia service error followed by back-to-back kills by Kennedy to take a 5-2 lead, forcing a Virginia timeout. Fister rocketed a service ace and two more Cavalier errors gave Iowa a commanding 8-2 lead in the frame as the team’s switched benches. After the switch, Virginia collected a kill for an 8-3 score, but yet another error made the score 9-3. One rally later, Smale tallied a kill and a bad set by Virginia’s Lauren Dickson made Virginia burn its final timeout at 11-4. Kills from Kremer and Smale gave the Hawkeyes 13 points, but four-consecutive Cavalier points made the score 13-9. Schipper sealed the win for Iowa with two strong kills in the final two rallies for the win.

Iowa and Iowa State will kick off the 2008 Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series Friday when the two teams meet in Ames at 6:30 p.m.