Nov. 21, 2009
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EVANSTON, IL -The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to Northwestern tonight at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Hawkeyes were met by an enthusiastic senior night crowd and fell in straight sets, 25-15, 25-17, 25-15. Sophomores Mallory Husz and Tiffany Nilges led the Iowa offense with six kills each. Sophomore Paige Steven contributed with a team-high 15 assists off the bench and senior Christina Meister picked up six digs. Husz added her first two career service aces to the effort.
“Our passing continues to be an area of concern,” said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. “We’ve had three straight matches where we’ve passed very poorly and I think we should have addressed it by now. The main thing going forward is improving our ball control and playing smarter.”
The Wildcats (7-11, 16-14) gained a one-set advantage with a 25-15 win in the opening frame. Northwestern never trailed from the opening point, attacking a .429 clip against Iowa’s defense. Senior Megan Schipper picked up consecutive attack points to pull Iowa within four points, 12-8, midway through the set, but Northwestern answered with a 7-3 run to extend its lead, 19-11. Iowa later fought off set point with Husz’s first career ace, but the Wildcats hammered the game-winning point to take a 1-0 match lead.
Iowa (4-14, 12-18) bounced back in the second set and built an 8-6 lead behind a block, a kill and another ace from Husz, but Northwestern was able to halt the Hawkeye rally and eventually pull out a 25-17 victory in set two. Trailing 22-12 late in the frame, Iowa used a block and a kill from Husz to close a 5-1 run and pull within six points, 23-17, but the Wildcats were able to steal the final two points to capture a 2-0 match advantage.
Iowa dropped the third and final set, 25-15. Meister served a couple aces to compliment kills from Husz and Schipper as Iowa battled back from an early deficit to pull within three points, 11-8. Northwestern then answered with an 8-1 run to stretch its lead, 19-9, and eventually held on for the 3-0 match win.
Iowa returns to action Friday, November 27 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes host Purdue at 7 p.m.