Oct. 11, 2009
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IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa volleyball team swept the 18th-ranked Michigan State Spartans, 3-0, this afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes attacked at a season-best .356 clip to pick up their first home win of the season and end their four-game conference losing streak.
Senior Megan Schipper led the Hawkeye attack with 13 kills. Junior Becky Walters added 11 kills and two total blocks. Junior Mara Hilgenberg dished 36 assists and senior Christina Meister picked up 15 digs in the winning effort.
“We’re gaining confidence as a team,” said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. “We’ve played our share of ranked teams and we’ve had our chances, so it feels nice to win one. Winning a big match like this helps. It will help in practice and it will help every time we take the court.”
The Hawkeyes stormed out of the locker room and jumped to an early 10-2 lead over the Spartans in the opening set. Junior Aimee Huffman collected one of her set-high six kills during the Hawkeyes early run. After MSU battled back to trail, 13-8, Walters picked up back-to-back kills to restart the Hawkeye offense. Huffman later closed the match with back-to-back kills to give Iowa the 25-14 set win.
Iowa kept the momentum rolling into the second set, forcing two MSU errors and using a Walters kill to take a 3-0 edge. The Spartans battled back with a 4-2 run to pull within a point, but junior Katie Kennedy capped a 6-1 run with back-to-back kills to give Iowa a commanding 11-5 advantage. The Hawkeyes never looked back and Schipper recorded consecutive kills to end the set, 25-15. Kennedy picked up a set-high five kills and Hilgenberg dished out 12 assists as the Hawkeye jumped to 2-0 match lead.
Schipper kept the Hawkeye attacking in the third set, picking up seven kills in the 25-19 victory. Meister collected six digs and Hilgenberg handed out 12 assists and added two blocks in the decisive set. The Hawkeyes again jumped to an early 3-0 lead behind two MSU errors and a Walters kill, one of four kills in the set for the Hawkeye junior. The Spartans were able to battle back and eventually took an 18-17 lead before Iowa gathered the troops for a final run. Schipper picked up back-to-back kills to give Iowa a 20-18 lead before putting the game away with another pair of kills to end the match.
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday, October 16, at 6 p.m. when they travel to Indiana to face the Hoosiers.