Hawkeyes Fall in Ann Arbor 3-1


Oct. 31, 2009

Box Score

ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to the Michigan Wolverines, 3-1, tonight at Cliff Keen Arena. The Hawkeyes picked up a 25-16 win in the match opener, but Michigan captured the next three frames to pull out the four-set victory.

Junior Aimee Huffman led Iowa with 13 kills and three total blocks. Junior Mara Hilgenberg dished 37 assists and senior Christina Meister picked up 22 digs for the Hawkeyes.

“I thought at times we passed the ball well tonight,” said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. “But again, we were inconsistent with our defense and Michigan made the plays. Michigan played a great game. They were better than us tonight.”

Iowa came out in control of the net in the opening set, recording nine kills and three blocks to win the first frame, 25-16. Senior Megan Schipper led the offense with three kills, Meister picked up a team-high five digs and Hilgenberg dished seven assists.

After trailing 4-1 early, Iowa used a Schipper kill and three Wolverine errors to tie the set, 5-5. From there, the Hawkeyes used three kills from Schipper to spark a 12-3 run and take command of the set, 17-8. Michigan used a 4-0 run to threaten Iowa late, but the Hawkeyes answered a Dingman timeout with kills from freshman Emma Krieger Kittle and Huffman to force set point, 24-16. The Wolverines then fought off two set-points before Huffman stuffed a Michigan attack at the net to give Iowa the 1-0 match advantage.

Michigan (7-5, 19-6) came out swinging in the second set, using 16 kills to tie the match with a 25-12 win. Huffman and Krieger Kittle led the Iowa offense with four kills each. Hilgenberg dished 10 assists and Meister picked up a set-high seven digs.

Iowa (3-9, 11-13) battled to an early 5-5 tie in the second frame behind two kills from Krieger Kittle and a kill each from Huffman and junior Becky Walters. The Wolverines then went on a 6-2 run before Schipper attacked with a kill to pull Iowa within three points, 11-8. A five-point Michigan run then awarded the Wolverines control of the set, 16-8. Krieger Kittle, Huffman and Schipper peppered in a few more attack points, but Michigan eventually pulled away and captured the second frame, 25-12.

Michigan took a 2-1 set lead with a 25-20 win in the third frame. Walters led the Hawkeye offense with four kills, Hilgenberg handed out 11 assists Schipper picked up five digs.

Michigan rode its second set momentum into the third frame, building a 17-5 lead before the Hawkeyes woke up and used a kill and a block from junior Katie Kennedy to spark a 6-1 run and pull within seven points, 18-11. After the Wolverines had extended their lead to 22-12, Walters sandwiched two attack points around a Michigan kill to make the score 23-14. The Wolverines then forced set-point, 24-14, before Iowa used two kills each from Huffman and sophomore Tiffany Nilges to fight off set-point with a 6-0 run. Michigan’s Alex Hunt then picked up a decisive kill to give the Wolverine’s the set win and a 2-1 match advantage.

The Wolverines prevailed in the fourth and final set, 25-13, to win the match, 3-1. Huffman led the Hawkeyes with four kills, Hilgenberg added nine assists and Meister picked up six digs.

Iowa started the fourth frame with kills from Huffman and Kennedy and a service ace from Nilges to take an early one-point advantage, 6-5. Michigan then used a nine-point run to take a commanding 14-6 lead. Schipper landed a kill to stop the Wolverine rally, but Michigan was too strong and finished the set with an 11-6 run to win the match, three games to one.

Iowa continues conference play Friday (Nov. 6) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes host the Ohio State Buckeyes at 7 p.m.