Hawkeyes Roll in Season Opener

Aug. 28, 2009

Chicago, IL – The University of Iowa volleyball team opened up the 2009 season with a dominating 3-0 win over host Loyola-Chicago in the Loyola Invitational tonight. The Hawkeyes won their season opener for the second straight year under Head Coach Sharon Dingman.

“It’s great to start the season with a win,” said Dingman. “I thought our ball handling was very strong. We dug well and we passed well. There are some things we need to improve on, but we had a strong effort overall. Aimee (Huffman), Becky (Walters) and (Megan) Schipper played great at the net tonight.”

Iowa took the first set 25-9 behind four kills apiece from Schipper and Walters. Huffman added three kills and three blocks in a set the Hawkeyes never trailed.

Iowa came out firing on all cylinders to take a 4-0 lead. Loyola-Chicago got on the board after a Hawkeye error, but Iowa bounced back with the next three points to take an early 7-1 advantage. After Loyola closed the gap to 9-5, Iowa rallied for the next nine points to take a commanding 18-5 lead. The teams then exchanged points before Iowa closed the set on a 5-0 run.

Iowa grabbed a 2-0 match lead with a 25-19 victory in the second set. Schipper and Huffman tallied four more kills each and junior Mara Hilgenberg contributed with 12 assists for the second straight set.

Iowa trailed early, 2-3, but used a 4-0 run to take a 7-3 lead and never looked back. The Ramblers rallied late to pull within three points, 22-19, but a Loyola error and two kills from sophomore Mallory Husz ended the threat and the set.

The third set featured eight ties and seven lead changes. Iowa and Loyola battled to a 13-13 score before Walters unleashed a kill to give the Hawkeyes a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The junior dominated the third set with four blocks to send Iowa to the three -set sweep.

The Hawkeyes conclude the Loyola Invitational tomorrow (Aug. 29) with a 10:30 a.m. contest vs. Marquette and a 5 p.m. meeting with Eastern Kentucky.