Nov. 13, 2009
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IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa volleyball team fell in straights to 13th-ranked Minnesota tonight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (25-13, 25-13, 28-26). Sophomore Paige Stevens set career highs with 11 digs and two blocks in her second career start. The Hawkeyes played their second straight game without starters Mara Hilgenberg and Aimee Huffman. Both juniors are out due to unrelated illnesses.
“We came out a little flat tonight,” said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. “Our effort wasn’t where it needed to be. I liked what I saw from Mallory Husz and Allison Straumann, but we needed a better collective effort.”
After picking up a career-best 12 kills in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Wisconsin, Husz responded with a team-high 10 kills against the Gophers. The sophomore tied a career-best with three digs and added three total blocks defending the net. Straumann saw her only action of the match in the third set. The freshman started the frame and picked up a couple digs while serving Iowa to four points.
After Minnesota (11-4, 20-7) had taken command of the match with consecutive 25-13 wins in sets one and two, Iowa bounced out of the intermission with a five-point rally to start the third frame. Husz picked up three kills during the opening run. Minnesota then battled back within two points, 10-8, before a kill from junior Katie Kennedy and back-to-back kills from Schipper extended Iowa’s lead, 13-8. After the Gophers rebounded to tie the set, 19-19, Schipper attacked with a kill to give Iowa a narrow one-point lead. Minnesota then battled back and forced match-point, 24-23, before Husz slammed a kill to tie the set. One point later, Husz fought off another match-point with a kill to set up senior Megan Schipper’s tie-breaking attack point. With the Hawkeyes leading, 26-25, Minnesota forced two Iowa errors and recorded a kill to pick up the final three points and escape the third set with a 28-26 win.
Husz finished with eight kills in the final frame. Stevens dished 14 of her team-high 23 assists and senior Christina Meister picked up six digs in the decisive third set.
The Hawkeyes (4-12, 12-16) return to action next Friday when they travel to Champaign, IL, to face the Fighting Illini. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Huff Hall.