Resiliant Hawkeyes Fall Just Short In Upset Bid


Nov. 26, 2008

Box Score

IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa volleyball team turned in its most impressive performance of the season, but fell just two points short in its upset attempt against No. 12 Minnesota Wednesday, 15-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-11, 13-15. The Hawkeyes fall to 14-17 overall and 6-13 in the Big Ten. The 12th-ranked Golden Gophers are now 25-6 overall and 15-4 in conference action. Wednesday’s match was the home finale for the 2008 Hawkeyes.

“This is the best we have played in weeks,” Head Coach Sharon Dingman said. “I am so proud of our effort tonight. We hung in and battled with a top-15 team, and had chances to win the match. Our players took responsibility tonight and really hustled after every ball and worked extremely hard. You can’t ask for a better effort.”

Four Hawkeyes recorded double-digit kills and two tallied double-doubles. Junior Megan Schipper led the way with 19 kills. Sophomore Aimee Huffman had a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs, while senior Catherine Smale had 10 kills and 16 digs. Senior Laura Kremer added 10 kills and four total blocks, with sophomore Katie Kennedy recording eight blocks. Senior Kiley Fister had a team-best 47 assists and senior Emily Hiza had 18 digs. Tonight’s match was the last in Carver-Hawkeye Arena for Kremer, Smale, Fister and Hiza.

The Hawkeyes came out swinging in the second set, after falling by a 25-15 margin in the first frame. Schipper had four kills to lead Iowa in the win.

Iowa built an early 14-9 lead and later stretched the advantage to 19-13. Minnesota fought back within three at 20-17, forcing a Hawkeye timeout. Kremer tallied a kill after the pause for a 21-17 score and a Minnesota service error late in the set gave Iowa set point at 24-19. Kennedy smacked a kill two rallies later to knot the match at one as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

All 1,296 fans got their money’s worth when play resumed, with Minnesota taking the third set, 26-24. Smale had five kills, with Kremer adding four on a .429 attack percentage.

Minnesota took an early 4-0 lead, but the Hawkeyes used a 6-1 run later to deadlock the count at nine. The teams then traded points until Minnesota once again took the lead, this time at 16-13. Schipper recorded a kill to cap a 4-1 surge, knotting the score at 17. After a tie at 18, Minnesota took a three-point advantage at 22-19. After an Iowa timeout, the teams once again traded rallies, and a Hawkeye attack error gave the Golden Gophers set point at 24-21. Smale extended the set with a kill, followed by a Minnesota error to make the count 24-23. Fister then tallied a kill to tie the score at 24, but consecutive Minnesota points gave the Golden Gophers a 2-1 match lead.

The Hawkeyes didn’t go away quietly, putting on an offensive show in the fourth set. Iowa claimed the stanza by a dominating 25-11 score. Huffman had six kills on nine swings to hit at a .667 clip. Schipper added five kills on seven attempts for a .714 attack percentage. As a team, Iowa out-hit Minnesota in the set, .412-.000

Iowa took an early 2-1 lead before Fister served in nine-straight rallies to give the Hawkeyes a commanding 11-2 lead. Minnesota managed three points for a 12-5 score, but four Hawkeye points in a row brought the count to 16-5. Another massive Hawkeye surge, this time at 7-1, gave Iowa a 22-8 lead. Schipper had kills at 23 and 24 points and a Minnesota error forced a fifth set.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t complete the comeback in the fifth frame, falling 15-13. Schipper had three kills in the loss.

The teams traded points to start, with ties at one, two, three and four before Iowa took a 7-5 lead. Schipper’s first kill of the set got Iowa to eight points at 8-6, and the teams traded benches. The Hawkeyes then used a short 3-0 run for an 11-7 advantage. Minnesota responded with its own 6-0 run to re-gain a 13-11 lead. Two-straight Golden Gopher errors, however, tied the score at 13, and Minnesota took a timeout. Iowa committed a service error out of the timeout to give Minnesota match point, and a Lauren Gibbemeyer kill ended the match.

The Hawkeyes will play their final match of the season Friday, when they travel to East Lansing, MI, to take on Michigan State. First serve is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (CT).