Walters Shines in Final Match


Nov. 27, 2010

Box Score

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa volleyball team wrapped up its regular season with a 3-1 loss to Ohio State Saturday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Senior Becky Walters, playing in her final match, recorded 10 kills and four aces, raising her season total to a modern day record of 41.

“We couldn’t ask for more from a senior than what Becky Walters gave us every night,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “She is a tremendous leader for this team on and off the court. She brings a tremendous amount of passion to the floor and we appreciate everything she does. She was very impressive tonight after she settled down.”

Junior Tiffany Nilges led the offensive effort with 11 kills while freshman Nikki Dailey tied her career best with 32 assists and recorded a career high 18 digs.

“Nikki got a chance tonight to run a 5-1 offense and I think she did great,” Dingman said of her freshman setter. “The freshmen played as well tonight as we’ve seen all year.”

Freshman Bethany Yeager, who started every match this season, picked up 15 digs in the contest. Freshman Rachael Bedell added six kills, eight digs and one block.

Iowa dropped the first set of the evening 25-16. Ohio State jumped out to a 5-0 lead before a block from Walters made it 5-1. The Buckeyes continued to press, but a three-point run from the Hawkeyes brought it as close as 8-5 in favor of Ohio State. Kills from junior Mallory Husz, Nilges and Walters helped Iowa extend the set, but Ohio State escaped with the victory. Junior Megan Eskew posted five kills and junior Paige Stevens contributed five assists.

The Hawkeyes battled in set two before ultimately falling, 25-23. Back-to-back kills from Eskew and Walters gave Iowa the 2-0 advantage early in the frame. The Hawkeyes led by as many as four points before Ohio State went on six-point run to build an 11-9 lead. In a competitive set all the way through, Walters tied it up at 18-18 with one of her four kills. A kill from Husz pulled Iowa within one, 24-23, but the Buckeyes were able to close out the second set to take a 2-0 match advantage. Along with Walters, Nilges posted four kills and Dailey recorded 12 assists.

Walters took matters into her own hands to start the third set, boosting Iowa to a 3-0 advantage with three straight aces. A couple kills from Nilges and an ace from Bedell made it 6-1 in favor of Iowa. Ohio State tied it up at 8-8, but Dailey responded with a kill and Iowa carried the lead for the remainder of the frame. The Hawkeyes closed out an impressive 25-19 win with a 9-5 run that included points from Dailey, Walters, Bedell and Husz. Nilges’ four kills highlighted Iowa’s third set while Dailey recorded nine more assists and seven digs.

Iowa’s momentum continued into the fourth and final set with a 4-0 start, but Ohio State prevailed in a 25-18 win that clinched the match. The set continued with eight ties before the Buckeyes began to pull away after the 12-12 mark. The Hawkeyes used a 4-3 run that included kills from Eskew, Walters and Bedell to fight off match point, 24-18, but an Ohio State kill closed out the set and the match.

“Overall I thought we played well,” said Dingman. “We just didn’t play well long enough. It’s something we constantly talk about and I think it’s something we’ll be better at next year as we get a little stronger and one year older.”

The Hawkeyes conclude the regular season with a 2-18 Big Ten record, 7-22 overall. Iowa is expected to return five starters plus its libero in 2011-12.

Ohio State vs. Iowa 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Ohio State (10-10, 22-11) 25 25 19 25
Iowa (2-18, 7-22) 16 23 25 18

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Tiffany Nilges (UI) 11 | Danks (OSU) 17
Assists: Nikki Dailey (UI) 32 | Hone (OSU) 47
Digs: Nikki Dailey (UI) 18 | Halverson (OSU) 22