Iowa Bounces Back For Win Over Xavier

Sept. 13, 2008

Box Score

AMES, IA – The University of Iowa volleyball team knocked off Xavier, who participated in the NCAA Tournament last season, 22-25, 25-11, 25-14, 25-19, Saturday morning at the Iowa State Tournament. Iowa bounced back after dropping the first set to win the match in convincing fashion.

Senior Catherine Smale led the Hawkeyes with 17 kills while hitting at a .438 clip. Junior Megan Schipper had 13 kills while sophomore Katie Kennedy had eight kills and a career-high .471 attack percentage along with eight total blocks. Senior Kiley Fister added 28 assists while sophomore Mara Hilgenberg had 17. Iowa out-blocked Xavier, 13-3 in the match.

“This was a great win for us,” Head Coach Sharon Dingman said. “We played very physical and had a great approach. I thought Mara (Hilgenberg) really got things rolling for us today. We knew it would be a hard match, but we are playing better week by week and need to keep making improvements for tonight.”

The Musketeers took the first set, 25-22. Smale led the Hawkeyes with four kills while Kremer and Schipper added three.

Xavier sprinted out to an early 8-3 lead and stretched the advantage to 17-10 later in the frame. The Hawkeyes battled back with an impressive 9-1 run, capped by a stuff block by Kremer, to take their first lead of the set at 19-18. Xavier then closed out the set, using a 7-3 surge to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Iowa used an impressive .583 attack percentage with no hitting errors to take the second set by a 25-11 score. Smale powered Iowa in the frame with six kills and a .750 attack percentage. Schipper nailed four kills and hit at a .571 clip. Redshirt sophomore Becky Walters returned to the court for the first time after suffering an ACL injury last season and had one block assist.

Iowa opened the second set with a 5-1 run and later used a Smale kill to take an 11-6 advantage. After Xavier made the score 11-7, the Hawkeyes went on a 6-2 run to take a 17-9 lead. Back-to-back kills by Schipper brought the score to 19-10 and the Hawkeyes went on a dominating 6-1 surge to even the match at one set each.

The Hawkeyes claimed the third set, 25-14. Smale, Kennedy and Schipper all had three kills while Kennedy had one solo block and two block assists.

The Hawkeyes once again opened strong in the third set and took a 10-3 lead off two-straight blocks by Kennedy. Iowa continued to lead throughout the set, using a small 3-0 surge to take a 13-4 lead. Schipper smoked a cross-court kill to give the Hawkeyes a 19-11 lead and Mallory Husz closed out a finishing 6-2 run to put Iowa up 2-1 in the match.

Iowa wrapped up the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth set. Smale had four kills while Walters added three total blocks.

Set four saw early ties at one and two before a 6-1 Hawkeye run gave Iowa an 8-3 lead. Xavier responded with an 8-0 surge to take an 11-8 advantage. Iowa battled back and a Walters solo block knotted the score at 13. Smale rocketed a kill to help the Hawkeyes regain the lead at 14-13 and they never looked back. Iowa used a 6-2 surge to give Iowa a 20-15 lead and a Walters block later in the set gave the Hawkeyes at 23-16 advantage. Walters smacked a kill to give Iowa set point at 24-18 and a Xavier error gave Iowa the win.

Iowa concludes action at the Iowa State Tournament Saturday afternoon against Drake at 4:30 p.m.