Sept. 9, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa volleyball team swept Chicago State Friday evening in its opening match of the Iowa Invitational, 3-0. The Hawkeyes were led by freshman Erin Leppek’s career best eight kills. Sophomore Nikki Dailey dished out 34 assists and sophomore Bethany Yeager picked up 16 digs. Senior Tiffany Nilges matched Leppek with a game-high eight kills.
“I thought we did a nice job tonight,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “We had more attack errors than I would have liked to see, so that’s something we need to address before tomorrow because we play a pair of pretty good teams. But I thought we played well up and down the roster. It was nice to play some people who don’t always see a lot of time and I’m glad we got the win.”
Five kills from Nilges and an early 7-0 run helped Iowa defeat Chicago State 25-15 in the opening frame. The Hawkeyes controlled the lead early in the set with an 11-1 run that resulted in their biggest lead of the game, 17-6. Senior Mallory Husz, freshman Emily Yanny, and freshman Alex Lovell also contributed two kills each. Dailey dished out 12 assists and Yeager added seven digs.
Iowa advanced to a 2-0 match lead with a 25-11 win in set two. The Hawkeyes took control of the set early with a 12-3 run and never let the Cougars close within seven points. Leppek and Nilges led Iowa with three kills each. Senior Megan Eskew picked up six digs while Dailey recorded 11 assists.
The Hawkeyes finished the match with a 25-18 victory in set three. The set opened with a 9-2 run that included three Leppek kills. The Cougars were unable to score more than three consecutive points and the Hawkeyes eventually cruised to the three-set sweep. Leppek led the team with five kills while Dailey recorded another 11 assists and Yeager grabbed another five digs. Eskew added three kills in the final frame.
Eskew, whose father Bob Eskew is the head coach of Chicago State, finished the match with five kills and eight digs.
“That was really neat for Megan,” said Dingman. “We didn’t talk much about it today because she showed some nervous excitement yesterday, but I thought she played a great match and I’m sure she’s excited to move forward tomorrow. She’s a tremendous competitor.”
The Hawkeyes return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena tomorrow to face Loyola at 12 p.m. The Hawkeyes are also scheduled to face Oakland tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. in the final match of the Iowa Invitational.
|Chicago State vs. Iowa||1st||2nd||3rd|
|Chicago State (1-8)||15||11||18|
|Kills: Tiffany Nilges (UI) 8 | Levitt (CSU) 7|
|Assists: Nikki Dailey (UI) 34 | Brewer (CSU) 19|
|Digs: Bethany Yeager (UI) 16 | Townsell (CSU) 9|