Hawkeyes Battle but Wisconsin Prevails


Oct. 22, 2010

Box Score | Iowa vs. Wisconsin Photo Gallery

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker to Wisconsin tonight inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Four of the five sets were decided by the minimum two points. The Hawkeyes claimed sets two and three before Wisconsin rallied to win the final two sets and escape Iowa City with a 3-2 win (27-25, 23-25, 25-27, 25-17, 15-13). Iowa is now 4-2 in matches that have gone five sets.

“Everyone on the team has to be ready to contribute every night,” said Head Coach Sharon Dingman, “and until everyone contributes, it’s going to be a long Big Ten season in the second half. Wisconsin played a lot harder than we did and they had more people contributing.”

The first set featured nine ties and established the tone for a very competitive night. Iowa jumped out to an early lead 7-2 lead behind a pair of Megan Eskew kills before Wisconsin rallied to tie the set 8-8. Iowa would later rally behind a Mallory Husz kill and a Badger attack error to extend its lead, 18-14, but Wisconsin answered with a 7-2 run to grab a 21-20 edge. Rachael Bedell hammered her second kill of the set to fight off set point and tie the frame, 25-25, but the Badgers answered with consecutive kills from Allison Wack to steal the first set, 27-25.

Iowa captured set two, 25-23, with the help of a dominant middle attack. Trailing 4-0 early, Becky Walters and Husz attacked the net to knot the score, 5-5. Husz eventually recorded one of her six kills to give Iowa a slim 15-14 advantage and Walters hammered five kills down the stretch to lead Iowa to the win and tie the match, 1-1.

The Badgers looked to regain control of the match by narrowly grabbing hold of set three. The Hawkeyes struck first with an Eskew kill, but Wisconsin rallied with four straight points and didn’t trail again until an attack error gave Iowa set-point at 26-25. With Nikki Daily serving set-point, the Badgers again fired an errant attack to give Iowa the 27-25 win and a 2-1 match advantage.

Wisconsin regained the momentum in the fourth set, winning the frame 25-17 and tying the match, 2-2. The Hawkeyes held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before Wisconsin seemingly grabbed control of the set by storming to a 16-10 lead. Walters then answered by serving Iowa to a 5-0 run and pulling within a point, 16-15, but Wisconsin finished with a 9-2 run to win the frame and forced the decisive fifth set.

The final frame featured 11 ties and six lead changes before the Badgers pulled off the 15-13 win. Trailing 8-5, Iowa used a Wisconsin miscue and a pair of kills from Husz to tie the frame, 8-8. The teams then traded points until the set was tied 13-13. Wisconsin’s Annemarie Hickey recorded her 13th kill of the frame to force match point and, following a Dingman timeout, Janelle Gabrielsen closed the match with a kill to give the Badgers the 3-2 win.

Three Hawkeyes recorded double digit kills, including Eskew, who picked up her fourth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 13 digs. Walters added 12 kills and five blocks and Husz finished with a team-high 16 kills. Paige Stevens dished a team-best 43 assists and Bethany Yeager picked up a game-high 24 digs.

The Hawkeyes return to action Oct. 23 when they welcome Illinois to Iowa City. Iowa hosts the Illini at 7:30 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa vs. Wisconsin 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Wisconsin 27 23 25 25 15
Iowa 25 25 27 17 13

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Mallory Husz (UI) 16 | Wack (UW) 25
Assists: Paige Stevens (UI) 43 | Gabrielsen (UW) 63
Digs: Bethany Yeager (UI) 24 | Kuzma (UW) 20