Sept. 13, 2008
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AMES, IA – The University of Iowa volleyball team swept Drake (25-18, 25-11, 25-16) to close out the Iowa State Tournament Saturday afternoon. The Hawkeyes only trailed in three rallies during the entire match and improve their record to 5-4 overall. Drake falls to 7-4 on the season.
“I thought we really took care of business today,” Head Coach Sharon Dingman said. “We played hard, competed and executed for the entire match. It was a great effort by our team today.”
The Hawkeyes had a solid team performance, out-hitting the Bulldogs .347-.102 and also tallied eight blocks to Drake’s three.
Junior Megan Schipper and senior Catherine Smale both turned in double-doubles to lead the way. Schipper had 11 kills and 13 digs while while Smale had 10 kills and 10 digs. Senior Laura Kremer collected eight kills with a .500 attack percentage and also had six block assists. Senior Kiley Fister had a team-high 23 assists while sophomore Mara Hilgenberg had 16. Redshirt sophomore Becky Walters, who suffered an ACL injury last season, played in her second-straight match of the season and had three kills and two block assists.
“We just didn’t give up today, and our play showed that,” Hilgenberg said. “We fought hard through all the sets. Our goal now is to go 3-0 next weekend and I was really happy to get the opportunity to help out our team.”
Iowa took the first set, 25-18. Sophomore Katie Kennedy led the Hawkeyes in the first stanza with four of her six kills along with a .375 attack percentage while Smale also collected four kills. Fister added seven assists while Hilgenberg had six helpers. Schipper also added seven digs.
After the set was tied at one and two, Iowa used a 5-1 run to take a 7-3 lead. Drake battled back tie knot the score at 12, but a 7-2 Hawkeye surge forced Drake to use its first timeout at 19-14. After the Bulldogs recorded a point to make the score 19-15, Iowa used four Drake errors coupled with kills from Kremer and Walters to take the first set.
Iowa hit at a .524 clip with only one error en route to a 25-11 win in the second set. Schipper led the way with four kills and a .667 attack percentage while three other Hawkeyes had two kills.
Hilgenberg served the first four points of the second frame to give Iowa the early lead. The Hawkeyes then railed off a solid 6-2 run for a 10-2 advantage and Drake burned its first timeout of the set. Back-to-back kills by Schipper later in the stanza gave Iowa a 12-3 lead and a Schipper ace capped a 3-0 spurt for a 15-4 advantage. Iowa kept its lead throughout the set and used two kills from freshman Mallory Husz, one from Walters and two Drake errors to go up 2-0 in the match.
Iowa sealed the sweep with a 25-16 win in the third set. Schipper had five kills while Kremer and Smale both had four. Senior Emily Hiza also tallied six of her 13 digs in the frame.
The two teams traded points to begin the third set, with ties at one and two before Drake took its first lead of the match at 3-2. Drake stretched its lead to 4-2 before Iowa regained the advantage with a 3-0 run at 5-4. The Bulldogs managed to the score again at five, but a 10-2 Hawkeye surge gave Iowa an eight-point cushion at 15-7. Iowa held its lead and later used a double-block by Kennedy and Schipper for a 20-11 lead. Back-to-back kills by Smale and Schipper closed out the match.
The Hawkeyes return to Iowa City next weekend to host the Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challenge. Dingman will make her home debut Friday night against Portland at 7 p.m.
“The team is excited to play at home next weekend,” Dingman said. “The players really want to win their own tournament and we, as a staff, are very excited to get back home for our first experience in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. We can’t wait to play at home in front our fans next weekend.”