Hawkeyes Fall to No. 6 Illinois


Oct. 23, 2010

Box Score | Iowa vs. Illinois Photo Gallery

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to No. 6 Illinois in three sets inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday evening. The first two sets saw multiple lead changes, but Illinois ended both with two-point victories. The Hawkeyes stumbled in the third set to give Illinois a 3-0 win (25-23, 26-24, 25-18).

“We’re just not closing sets,” said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. “We had chances to win both the first and second sets. The good thing is the only way you learn how to win the close ones is to put yourself in a position. With the exception of the third set, overall I was pleased with how we played.”

Iowa fell 25-23 in a first set that included several lead changes and multiple runs from both teams. A pair of kills from Tiffany Nilges and Mallory Husz sparked a five-point run which gave Iowa an early 6-3 lead. After an Illinois kill made it 6-4, the Hawkeyes went on a four-point run that was capped by an ace from Nilges. The set was knotted at 19 before a kill by Becky Walters gave Iowa the advantage. Megan Eskew picked up her fourth kill of the set, putting the Hawkeyes up 22-20, but a five-point run from Illinois proved too much for the Black and Golf to overcome.

Despite Iowa’s quick start in the second set, Illinois won another two-point decision 26-24. The Hawkeyes struck first with a kill from Husz. Walters then added three more kills of her own to put Iowa up 4-2. After a kill from Nilges and several Illinois miscues, Iowa owned an 11-8 lead. The set continued to go back-and-forth as Husz broke two different ties (16-16 and 17-17) with kills. After 14 ties and 15 lead changes in the set, Illinois forced two straight Iowa errors to pick up the win.

Illinois swept the match with a 25-18 win in the third frame, compiling 16 kills. The Hawkeyes were led by Walters’ three kills as the senior finished the night with nine total.

Eskew paced the Hawkeyes with 11 kills. Stevens had a team-high 25 assists, adding 12 digs and three blocks. Bethany Yeager’s 13 digs led the team as the freshman also had two assists.

The Hawkeyes return to action Oct. 27 when they visit Minnesota inside the Sports Pavilion. The first serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT). The match will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.

Iowa vs. Illinois 1st 2nd 3rd
Illinois 25 26 25
Iowa 23 24 18

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Megan Eskew (UI) 11 | Ward, Bartsch (UI) 14
Assists: Paige Stevens (UI) 25 | Haen (UI) 32
Digs: Bethany Yeager (UI) 14 | Bonilla (UI) 15