Hawkeyes Knock Off Spartans In Four Sets

Stats

Oct. 18, 2008

Box Score

IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa volleyball team knocked off Michigan State, 25-17, 25-19, 16-25, 25-18, Saturday night in front of 1,746 fans, which is the second-largest crowd in school history. The Hawkeyes improve to 12-8 overall and 4-4 in the Big Ten, while the Spartans slip to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in Big Ten action.

Iowa’s four conference wins is tied for the most Big Ten victories for a Hawkeye team since the 2000 squad won 11 conference matches. The 2005 Hawkeyes also won four Big Ten contests.

Senior Kiley Fister eclipsed the 4,000 assist mark Saturday night, recording a team-high 36 helpers to put her at 4,027 career assists. She ranks thirds in career assists at Iowa and needs 101 more assists to move into second place.

The Hawkeye faithful brought some noise to Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday night, with 1,746 fans in attendance. Three of the five largest crowds in school history have been set during the 2008 season.

“This is the best we have played in a while,” Head Coach Sharon Dingman said. “You take away that third set and we played some excellent volleyball. We had a bunch of great individual performances tonight, but the whole team is very happy for Kiley (Fister). To reach 4,000 assists in the Big Ten is an impressive milestone, and we couldn’t be happier that she is on our team. The entire coaching staff is so happy we get to coach her for one season. We are very happy with this result and need to take this energy on the road next weekend.”

Sophomore Aimee Huffman tallied a team-best 14 kills with an impressive .429 attack percentage on 28 swings. Senior Catherine Smale was one dig shy of a double-double, with 13 kills along with nine digs. Junior Megan Schipper did notch a double-double, putting up 11 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Katie Kennedy also added a career-high eight block assists. As a team, the Hawkeyes out-blocked Michigan State, 11-8.

The Hawkeyes opened the match with an impressive 25-17 win in the first set. Iowa hit at a .371 clip in the frame and was led by Huffman, who had five kills on eight swings with no errors (.625 attack percentage). Four other Hawkeyes had three kills.

Iowa took an early 6-5 lead and never looked back, stretching the advantage to 11-6. The Hawkeyes then used a 5-0 run to take a 15-8 lead, and a block by Huffman and Kennedy made the count 17-9. Michigan State attempted to fight back, but a steady Hawkeye attack kept the Spartans in check. Redshirt sophomore Becky Walters smacked a kill for a 21-15 lead and kills by Schipper and senior Laura Kremer gave Iowa set point at 24-16. Michigan State managed one more point before Huffman ended the set with a kill.

The Hawkeyes dominated the second set, 25-19. Iowa had 15 kills with just two errors and recorded a .406 attack percentage. Huffman once again sparked Iowa with four kills and a .429 attack percentage. Kremer and Schipper chipped in three kills.

Michigan State knotted the score at one, but a Huffman kill gave Iowa the lead for good at 2-1. The Hawkeyes held the lead throughout the middle of the frame, keeping between a two and four point lead. Michigan State fought back within two later in the set at 18-16, but Kennedy gave Iowa a three-point advantage at 19-16 with a kill. The Hawkeyes took a four-point lead off a Michigan State attack error at 20-16, and held on for the win.

The Spartans came out of the locker room firing the third stanza with a 25-16 win.

Michigan State led the entire frame, using three separate runs of 4-0, 6-1 and 4-1 to take a 20-9 advantage. Iowa would try to claw its way back into the set with a 5-0 surge to cut the deficit to six points at 20-16, but Michigan State kept Iowa in check for the win.

The Hawkeyes ended things with a 25-18 win in the fourth set. Iowa shut down Michigan State in the frame, limiting the Spartan attack to a .000 attack percentage. The Hawkeyes also tallied five of their 11 blocks in the stanza.

Iowa led from wire to wire in the frame, opening the set with an 8-3 run. The Spartans refused to go away and came within two points at 12-10, but a quick 5-1 Hawkeye run gave them a 17-11 advantage. Michigan State later cut Iowa’s lead to three at 19-16, but a Kennedy kill, followed by two Michigan State attack errors made the count 22-17. Yet another Spartan error gave Iowa its first match point and a Smale kill gave Iowa its fourth Big Ten win this season.

The Hawkeyes hit the road next weekend when they travel to Ann Arbor to face Michigan Friday at 6 p.m. (CT).