Sept. 2, 2011
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AMES, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team improved to 2-0 at the Iowa State Challenge with a 3-1 win over Southern Miss Saturday inside Hilton Coliseum. Megan Eskew recorded her fifth straight double-double with 10 kills and 16 digs and Mallory Husz tacked on 11 kills and 11 total blocks. Nikki Dailey added 41 assists and Bethany Yeager picked up 26 digs.
“I think we grinded out a great win,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “I think we can still show some maturity and the players need to learn to make some adjustments, but I like the result. They showed a lot of courage and perseverance.”
Four kills apiece from Husz and Rachael Bedell helped Iowa cruise to a 25-9 win in set one. The Hawkeyes controlled the frame early, building a 9-3 lead following Kari Mueller’s first career ace, and finished strong by scoring eight of the set’s final nine points. Yeager picked up six digs and Dailey dished nine assists in the frame.
Southern Miss tied the match 1-1 with a 25-21 win in set two. The Hawkeyes used a six-point run to build a 10-4 lead, but the Golden Eagles fought back to tie the set, 13-13, and eventually steal the win. Yeager picked up eight digs in the frame for Iowa.
The Hawkeyes never trailed in the third set but had to fight from a 20-all tie to grab a 25-23 win. Alex Lovell came alive in set three and recorded three of her game-high 14 kills down the stretch. Her fifth kill of the frame, a cross-court attack, ended the set and gave Iowa a 2-1 match advantage.
The Hawkeyes cruised to an 8-1 lead in the fourth frame but needed a clutch double block by Husz and Bedell to escape with a 25-23 win. Husz recorded her season-high 11th kill of the match to give Iowa a 24-21 edge, but Southern Mississippi fought off two set points before the double block ended the set and gave Iowa the 3-1 victory.
Iowa had four players – Lovell (14), Husz (11), Bedell (10) and Eskew (10) – reach double digit kills for the first time this season. Bedell also recorded a career-high nine total blocks.
The Hawkeyes return to the court tomorrow at 2 p.m. when they face Iowa State in the final match of the Iowa State Challenge. The meeting will be the first event of the 2011 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
|Southern Miss vs. Iowa||1st||2nd||3rd||4th|
|Southern Miss (3-2)||9||25||23||23|
|Kills: Alex Lovell (UI) 14 | Ecker (SM) 11|
|Assists: Nikki Dailey (UI) 41 | Seymour (SM) 35|
|Digs: Bethany Yeager (UI) 26 | Knecht (SM) 25|