Sept. 18, 2009
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West Point, NY – The University of Iowa volleyball team lost its first road contest of the season Friday night when West Point Challenge host Army defeated the Hawkeyes 3-1 at Christl Arena. Senior Megan Schipper led the Hawkeyes with 16 kills. Senior Christina Meister added 18 digs and junior Mara Hilgenberg dished out 38 assists.
“This was a good match for us,” said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. “The crowd was loud. It was the type of atmosphere we’re going to see each weekend in the Big Ten. It’s important for some of the newcomers to gain this type of experience because it gives us a chance to learn from it. Similar to our other losses, I think we need to be more aggressive with our serve. Serving should be a strength and we’re going to need to serve to score points.”
Iowa dropped the opening set 25-23. Schipper paced the Hawkeyes with four kills; Hilgenberg added nine assists and junior Signe Mueller recorded six digs.
The teams traded points early until Iowa used back-to-back kills from Schipper and junior Aimee Huffman to take a 9-7 lead. Army then used a 6-0 run to take a 13-9 lead that would hold until Iowa strung together two kills from freshman Emma Krieger Kittle and a Huffman kill to take a 22-20 advantage. The Black Knights then used a 4-0 run to push set point, 24-22. After a Katie Kennedy kill brought the Hawkeyes within one, 23-24, Army fought for the final point to take a 1-0 match lead.
Iowa fought back in the second set to win 25-21 and even the match at one set apiece. Walters, Huffman and Schipper led a balanced attack with four kills each. Hilgenberg dished 13 assists and Schipper had a team-high six digs.
Trailing 4-7, Iowa used an eight-point run to take control of the set, 12-7. Army battled back to cut Iowa’s lead to 16-13, but Walter’s came back with three kills to give Iowa a 19-14 edge. The Black Knights later rallied to pull within three, 20-23, but Schipper attacked with two kills to finish the set and square the match, 1-1.
The Hawkeyes dropped the third set, 16-25. Schipper led Iowa with four kills, Hilgenberg added eight assists and Meister contributed with five digs.
Kennedy, Walters and Schipper attacked with kills as Iowa established an early 4-3 lead, but Army won 10 of the next 11 points to take control of the match, 13-5. A Schipper ace and two blocks from Walters cut the lead to six, 19-13, but the Black Knights used a 6-3 run to finish the set and take a 2-1 match advantage.
Army closed the match with a 25-21 win over the Hawkeyes in set four. Schipper led the Hawkeyes with four kills, Hilgenberg dished eight assists and Meister and Schipper had four digs each. Iowa trailed throughout the match, but managed to pull within two points with a late rally. Behind 23-18, Iowa used two errors, a Schipper kill and a block from Huffman and Walters to pull within two, 21-23. Army, however, answered with the final two points to win the set and take home the 3-1 match victory.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday at 8 a.m. (CT) vs. Morgan State in the final round of the West Point Challenge.