Top-Ranked Penn State Defeats Iowa


Oct. 10, 2008

Box Score

IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa volleyball team was swept by No. 1 ranked Penn State Friday night, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20, in front of 1,701 fans, which is the second-highest attendance in Iowa volleyball history. The Nittany Lions remain undefeated at 17-0 and still have not lost a set this season (51-straight set wins). The Hawkeyes fall to 10-7 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play.

The Hawkeyes played the top-ranked Nittany Lions tough despite the sweep. Iowa managed to score the second-most points against Penn State this year, netting 58 points throughout the three sets. Hawaii, who is currently ranked No. 6, scored 59 points in the season opener against the defending National Champions. Iowa is the only Big Ten team so far this season to reach 20 points in two sets against Penn State and is only the second team to even reach 20 against the Nittany Lions.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena seated the second-most people for a volleyball match Friday night. Iowa’s match last season against Wisconsin drew 2,191 fans.

“I thought we battled hard and didn’t give up when it got tough,” Head Coach Sharon Dingman said. “That is one good volleyball team and I thought we played pretty well against them. We have a very important match against Indiana tomorrow night, so we need to focus on coming away with a win against the Hoosiers.”

Senior Catherine Smale led the Hawkeyes with 10 kills, while senior Laura Kremer and sophomore Aimee Huffman had six. Senior Kiley Fister led the way with 16 assists and senior Emily Hiza had 14 digs.

Iowa battled against the top ranked team in the country to open the match, but fell 25-20. The Hawkeyes limited the potent Nittany Lion offense to just a .182 attack percentage in the first set.

Penn State grabbed an early 4-3 lead that it never relinquished, stretching the advantage to 16-11 later in the frame. The Hawkeyes then went on a 5-1 run to come within one point at 17-16. Penn State pulled away once again, taking a 22-18 lead, forcing a Hawkeye timeout. The Nittany Lions scored three points in the next five rallies to escape with a win.

The Nittany Lion offense woke up in the second set, recording a .433 attack percentage en route to a 25-18 win. Smale tallied four of her 10 kills in the stanza.

Iowa jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, but Penn State managed to knot the score at five. The Nittany Lions then used a 5-1 surge for a 10-6 lead. The Hawkeyes put together a 5-1 run to tie the score at 11, but a 6-2 Nittany Lion surge made the score 17-13. Penn State held the advantage through the latter part of the frame to get a 25-18 win.

Iowa once again fought hard in the final set, but couldn’t come away with the win. Penn State stormed out to a 15-9 lead and kept Iowa in check, gaining a 20-15 lead later in the frame. Iowa didn’t give in, scoring two-straight points for a 20-17 deficit. Penn State then scored four points in the next six rallies to bring up match point at 24-19, but a Kremer kill brought the Hawkeyes to 20 points at 24-20. Megan Hodge then recorded a kill to end the Hawkeye comeback.

Iowa returns to action Saturday when it faces Indiana at 7 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Saturday’s match is “Attacking Breast Cancer” night, and fans are encouraged to wear pink. Any fan wearing pink will be eligible to receive prizes and the UI Athletic Department will be donating $1 from every ticket sold to the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.