Hawkeyes Fall at No. 14 Minnesota, 3-0


Oct. 14, 2011

Box Score

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to No. 14 Minnesota in straight sets tonight at the Sports Pavilion (25-16, 25-14, 25-16). The Golden Gophers used a .312 attack percentage and owned a 9-3 advantage in blocks to earn the 3-0 victory.

The Hawkeyes were led at the net by Rachael Bedell. The sophomore came off the bench to record a team-high six kills. Sophomores Bethany Yeager and Nikki Dailey led Iowa with 11 digs and 18 assists, respectively. The Golden Gophers had five players pick up double-digit dig totals. Big hitters Katherine Harms and Ashley Wittman each added a match-best 10 kills to lead Minnesota.

“Minnesota is a very physical team,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “We told the team coming in that they hit the ball as hard as any team we’ll see this year.”

Minnesota used 19 kills to earn a 25-16 win in set one. Iowa trailed early, 5-1, but battled back within one point behind an ace-kill package from both Tiffany Nilges and Alex Lovell. Minnesota then rebuilt a 10-7 lead before Megan Eskew recorded an ace and a kill to pull Iowa back within a point, 11-10. A third kill from Nilges kept Iowa close, 17-13, but Minnesota put together a 5-1 run to pull away and capture the opening set.

The Hawkeyes were unable to slow the Gophers in the second frame and fell, 25-14. Trailing 17-7, Iowa used a pair of kills from Bedell and a kill from Erin Leppek to spur a 4-2 run, but Minnesota answered with six straight points to eventually earn the set and grab a 2-0 match advantage.

The Gophers ended the match with a 25-16 win in set three. Iowa trailed early but used a pair of kills from Bedell and a block apiece from Chante’ Thompson and Leppek to grab 10-9 advantage. The teams then battled to ties at 11-11 and 12-12 before a 7-1 Minnesota run gave the Gophers a 19-13 edge. Another Thompson kill ended the rally, but Minnesota finished with a 6-2 run to end the frame and clinch the match.

“We’ll get better before Sunday,” said Dingman, “and we’ll make some lineup adjustments. We need to get players on the floor that bring energy to the court and are prepared to handle the Big Ten road environment.”

Iowa has Saturday off before returning to the floor Sunday at Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes and Badgers play at 1 p.m. inside the UW Field House. The match will be broadcast live on Hawkeye All-Access and AM-800 KXIC. It will also be televised on a tape delay at 5 p.m. CT on BTN.

Iowa at Minnesota 1st 2nd 3rd
Iowa (11-9, 1-6) 16 14 16
Michigan State (11-5, 4-3) 25 25 25

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Rachael Bedell (UI) 6 | Wittman (UM) 10
Assists: Nikki Dailey (UI) 18 | Tabberson (UM) 36
Digs: Bethany Yeager (UI) 11 | Wittman (UM) 12