Nov. 6, 2009
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IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa volleyball team dropped a four-set match to the Ohio State Buckeyes tonight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Junior Aimee Huffman led Iowa with a team-high 12 kills, junior Mara Hilgenberg dished a match-high 36 assists and senior Christina Meister picked up 14 digs. Sophomore Tiffany Nilges recorded a career-best seven kills in the effort.
“We started out tonight defending very well,” said Head Coach Sharon Dingman, “but we didn’t have the effort we needed near the end. It comes down and to effort and execution and we have to sustain both throughout the entire match. We weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Iowa (3-10, 11-14) controlled the net in the opening set. Six different Hawkeyes picked up a block in the frame and Iowa attacked at a .310 clip to win the set, 25-20, and take a 1-0 match advantage. Leading 15-14, Iowa closed the set with a 10-6 run behind three team blocks and a pair of kills from Nilges. Junior Aimee Huffman and Nilges led the Hawkeyes with three kills apiece in the winning effort. Hilgenberg handed out 10 assists and Meister recorded a set-high four digs.
Ohio State evened the match with a 25-19 win in set two. Nilges picked up another three kills to match junior Becky Walters offensive efforts. Hilgenberg led Iowa with eight assists and Huffman recorded four digs. Iowa took a 7-6 lead in the frame following a kill from sophomore Mallory Husz, but Ohio State rallied with a 5-1 run to take an 11-8 advantage. Later in the frame, senior Megan Schipper attacked with a kill to tie the set, 15-15, but the Buckeyes answered Iowa’s rally with a 6-1 run to take a five-point edge, 21-16. Nilges and Walters followed the Buckeye run with a pair of kills, but OSU’s Betsy Hone finished the set with a kill to tie the match, 1-1.
Ohio State (7-6, 19-7) rode its second set momentum into the third frame, building a 15-10 lead before Iowa stormed back with a 7-3 run. Schipper picked up a service ace and a kill as Iowa battled back to within one point, 18-17. The Buckeyes then answered with the next two points before Schipper and Huffman recorded a kill apiece to pull Iowa within striking distance, 21-19. Iowa was able to force one more OSU attack error, but the Buckeyes scored four of the final five points to record the 25-20 set three victory.
Ohio State finished the match with a 25-17 win in the fourth frame. Buckeye junior Katie Dull attacked with seven of her match-high 18 kills in the fourth and decisive set. Iowa freshman Emma Krieger Kittle came off the bench for Iowa and led the Hawkeyes with four kills in the final frame. Hilgenberg dished 13 assists and Meister picked up seven digs. Ohio State never trailed in the fourth set, jumping out to leads of 3-0 and 10-5 in the early going. Iowa battled back within four points, 14-10, behind two kills from Krieger Kittle before the Buckeyes pulled away with a 6-2 run to take command of the set and eventually capture the 3-1 match victory.
The Hawkeyes return to action tomorrow at 7 p.m. when they host top-ranked Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Saturday is Football Fan Appreciation night. Any fan that presents their Northwestern vs. Iowa ticket stub will gain free admission.